The scientific name of the date palm is Phoenix dactylifera, considered one of the main staple and ancient crops. It belongs to the palm family and is cultivated for its edible sweet fruit, called dates. The date palm is the oldest tree grown on earth. Dates are an excellent source of iron, calcium, sugar, and potassium.
How to Start Date Farming
Let’s look at the date farming with specifications.
For their best growth, dates require plenty of sunshine and relative humidity. It needs long days with abundant sunshine, winter days without frost and night temperatures. It does not favour rain, especially during fruit setting and flowering.
Dates require sandy loam soil that is well-drained with a pH of 8.0 to 10.0. The soil should be capable of holding the moisture. You can grow the dates in alkaline and saline soils with lower yields. For better root development, you should keep the soil free from calcium carbonate and not have any hard pans up to 2.5 metres.
When preparing the soil, you need to know which equipment is best for farming; Tractor is the essential equipment for attachment. So choose the tractor which can be perfect for almost all kinds of attachment. However, you can choose the mahindra 4wd tractor tractor or any other tractor model suitable for date farming.
Propagation is done by off-shoots emerging from the base of the mother palm tree or seed or tissue culture for date palm. Farmers do not prefer seed propagation as it results in poor fruit quality, and more than half of those fruits may be non-bearing males. You should separate the suckers from the mother palm trees 4-5 years after planting. In this process, 9 to 20 off-shoots (suckers) weighing 9 to 15 kg can be obtained during the fourth and tenth years of life. This is a very slow multiplication process; thus, this method is an obstacle to overcome in date palm cultivation. Although tissue culture technology is standardised, commercial use is still constrained.
Land Preparation, Spacing and Planting
Since date trees are perennial and have a long life of about 50 years, it is necessary to have adequate spacing between the plants. Therefore, a square planting system is adopted in date palm cultivation, and a distance of 8 metres is maintained between rows in this system for proper inter-cultural operation and development. The plant density in date palm cultivation is about 160 plants per hectare of land, and 10% of them must be male off-shoots to provide sufficient pollen-grain, as dates are fruits of each other.
You should plough the select field 2 to 3 times and level to bring the soil to the fine tilth stage. For the rainy season plant, 1-metre x 1-metre x 1 metre dig the pit size during the summer. You should keep the pits open for about 2 weeks and then fill them with well-rotted farmyard manure and the soil. For planting, July to September is the best time.
If the field has irrigation facilities, farmers can get some extra income by planting intercropping between date palm plants. Intercrops like green, black, peas, lentils, vegetable crops, papaya, and pomegranate can be cultivated. In case of intercropping, ensure the additional requirement of water and fertilisers.
Farmers require high water for date palm, although it can tolerate prolonged dryness. It prefers moisture in the soil but is sensitive to water logging. There is no need for water during the rainy season, and if heavy rains, it drains out immediately to not damage the plantation.
In areas with high water levels, 5 to 6 irrigations per year may be required, while it may require frequent irrigation after planting. Water requirement depends on the moisture-holding capacity of the soil and climatic conditions. Mulching is the best way to retain soil moisture and prevent weeds from growing. Once off-shoots emerge, the frequency of irrigation can be reduced.
Manures and Fertilisers
Organic and inorganic fertilisers are very important for producing quality dates in date palm farming. This also increases the yield of dates. Therefore, supplementing the soil with well-decomposed farm manure of 12 to 35 t/ha is recommended and can be applied in early winter. N:P:K chemical fertilisers should be applied in the ratio of 30:20:50 kg. /ha, and it can be implemented in March and April. An adult tree requires 600 g ‘N’, 100 g ‘P’ and 75 g ‘K’ every year.
When you want information about litchi fruit cultivation, you should also know the tools that will help increase the yield. Cultivator, tiller and tractor are important factors in cultivating litchi fruit. However, you can choose between powertrac 445 tractor and any other.
For further information on any farming blog, stay tuned with us.
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