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General knowledge on Casuarina

Casuarina

It is reported that Casuarina had come from Indonesia and Malaysia. It can grow via seeds or through clonal propagation. The biggest use of Casuarina has been as wind brake along the coastline (on the sea shore) to protect the coastal villages from strong wind and salt. However, there are many other uses of Casuarina as reported. While main stem of it is sold as Poles or Pulpwood to different industries, the branches are used as firewood. The wood that burns with very high heat is believed as the best firewood in the world. It makes a good charcoal. In china, the wood is used for firing brick kilns. As Poles and Pulpwood also, the Casuarina clones, as introduced by IPAPPM in coastal Andhra, on an average yields around 60 MT per acre (subject to the following of prescribed cultivation practice), that is considerably high among the pulpwood species. It grows best in loose sandy soil. However, it grows in even red soil, alkaline or acidic soil. It is draught resistant at later stage of growth as well. However, it cannot tolerate water logging, and therefore, while going for Casuarina, the drainage condition of the site must be kept in mind.

However, at a juvenile stage it cannot tolerate water logging, and therefore, while going for Casuarina, the drainage condition of the site must be kept in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true Casuarina clonal plantations requires coastal environment?

No, Casuarina can grow in all types of soils (subject to following of proper practices at the plantation)

What is the yield per acre of Casuarina Clones?

The Average yield from Casuarina clones- 60-70 MT (subject to following of proper practices at the plantation)

What is the crop rotation period?

The period of harvest is 4 years after the planting.

What is spacing for Casuarina?

The required spacing for Casuarina is 3 mtr x 1 mtr. 3 mtr between rows and 1 mtr between plants.

What is the no. of plants required per ac. for Casuarina?

Recommended plants per ac.-1600 no.

Is it true that Casuarina clones will give coppice for next crop rotation?

Some reports say that species like Casuarina junghuhniana does carry the capability of coppice, but Casuarina equisetifolia does not coppice at all. Moreover, even coppice in any Casuarina species grows very poor and is not at all economically beneficial for the farmers.

What type of benefits we can expect from IPAPPM?

Quality Clonal saplings and field technical advices & recommendation
1. Quality clonal saplings of Casuarina,
2. Technical advices on best planting practices

Shall we go for any intercrop in Casuarina plantations? How many years?

Casuarina is nitrogen fixer and can grow on most adverse soil conditions. Thus, intercropping with Casuarina always benefits the other crop. While growing only Casuarina clones following recommended practice may lead to 60 - 70 MT per acre of Casuarina wood after 3.5 years (of planting), the intercropping would certainly reduce the yield of wood per acre from Casuarina as other crop would also take place. However, farmer would get financial return from the field without waiting for 3.5 years. Thus, both are beneficial. The decision of intercropping is farmers'.

What are the suitable crops for intercrop in Casuarina?

Tobacco, Cotton, Vegetables, Chillis, Ground nut, and water melon are the recommended. Net says various researches on Bhindi, Sesame (Til), Ground nut and Watermelon as successful intercrops with Casuarina (based on different soil types)

Where will we get the Casuarina Clonal saplings?

IPAPPM Clonal Production Centers (Rajahmundry, Mulagapudi & Theeda (Narisipatnam) Devipurum (Anakapalli) and Zarugumalli (Ongole)

Do Casuarina Clonal plantations require irrigation facility?

YES. Casuarina clonal plantations requires irrigation in the first year when the plants are young. Later its root system becomes stronger and it may withstand less water availability. More importantly, the soil must be free of water logging. In case of no facility of irrigation even in the first year also, planting has to be done during first monsoon itself.

Comparison Calculator

Below is the example calculation of how a farmer's credits are calculated based on below components. You can calculate the credits by entering the values accroding to components.

Casuarina Alternate Crop 1 Alternate Crop 2
Sl. Component Expenses Expenses Expenses
1 Total acrage
2 Total cost of plant (in Rs)
3 Fertilizer in 4 years (in Rs)
4 Pesticides in 4 years (in Rs)
5 Labour
a Planting (in Rs)
b Total Maintenance (in Rs)
6 Harvesting cycle (in years)
  Total expenditure (in Rs)
  Sale rate per Ton (in Rs)
  Total yield (MT) (in Rs)
  Total revenue (in Rs)
  Net profit (in Rs)
  Net profit per year (in Rs)
  Profit/ acre/ year (in Rs)

Intercropping options with Casuarina

Casuarina is a Nitrogen fixing species like subabul that increases the fertility of the soil. Thus, it is often a preferred species for cultivation with other crops. Several studies have been carried to find out the best combinations of intercropping with Casuarina. It is found out that, sesame (til), bhindi, ground nut, tobacco and tomato are a few crops that grow well with Casuarina without causing mutual competition to each other.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge the image.

Best Practices

General Introduction:

Casuarina is a fast growing tree, mainly planted in coastal region, hot humid climate specially area with tropical and subtropical climatic region. It is light demander require bright sunlight for best growth and development. It is a multipurpose tree used as fire wood, pole for centering, roofing etc, roots used as fire wood in brick manufacturing industry and one of the best raw material for pulp and paper industry.

Site Selection:

Site should be well drained. As far as possible soil should be light and porous i.e. sandy / sandy loam/ loamy and red alluvial soils are most suitable for cultivation of Casuarina. It does not perform well in clayey soils. However , it can be grown even in clayey soil by adopting special management practices like regular ploughing and hoeing at certain interval so that soil remain porous all the time.

Site Cleaning:

Clean and remove all the weeds, bushes, shrubs and scrubs lying unwanted in the field.

Field Preparation:

Deep ploughing with Mould bold/ Disc plough followed by crises- cross ploughing twice with cultivator.

Care of plants during transit i.e. lifting from nursery to planting:

Only graded and well hardened plants i.e. 120 days old plants should be provided to farmers from nursery. Grading should be done at least one week before the lifting. Plants should be well irrigated before loading in to vehicle. After unloading in field plants should be irrigated and kept in open sunlight provide sufficient space between trays. Irrigate plants twice every day if there are no rains till planting is not completed.

Planting Methodology:

For block plantation - 2.5 m. X 1.0 m / 3.0 m X 1.0 m. (1600/ 1333 plants per acre)

For bund plantation (single row) - 1.0 m. (250 plants per acre)

Alignment:

Alignment should be done properly with the help of string and sticks. Stacking at required spacing should be done so that each row must be straight.

Anti termite Application:

Chloropyriphos @ 2 ml/ liter water solution should be applied in soil kept outside pit and inside the four wall of pit. In case chloropyriphos is not available then application of phorate 10G @ 5-10 gm/ plant is suggested.

Planting of Saplings:

Plants should be removed from root trainers without disturbing root ball. Deep planting should be done and Soil should be compacted after planting. Provide one liter water per plant at the time of planting. If rains does not occur or dry spell prolonged then provide irrigation to plants.

Post planting care - Weeding/ hoeing/ fertilizer Application:

Within a month of planting roots get stabilize and new leaves start developing, proper weeding and hoeing around the plants should be done. Strip weeding and hoeing around the plants should be done in radius of 30- 45 cm. Apply DAP fertilizer @ 30gms / plant and repeat application of fertilizer with 20 gms of urea per plants after one month. If there is deficiency of micronutrient then apply the same as per requirement in consultation with our field staff. Please ensure there should be sufficient moisture in soil at the time of fertilizer application. Minimum 2-3 weeding and hoeing required during first year.

Causality Replacement:

Causality replacement should be done at the time of first weeding i.e. after 25- 30 days of planting.

Irrigation:

If there are no rains or long dry spell appear manual irrigation should be provided after planting. It is a general observation that irrigation is helpful in improving the yield of plantation.

Ploughing:

Before the end of monsoon ploughing should be done in between two rows of plants.

Intercropping:

As far as possible farmers should opt inter cropping with local conventional crop under various Agro-forestry model. During first year inter cropping should be done with small Height crop like black gram, green gram, chilli, Ground nut, tobacco, watermelon etc.

Protection of plantation from Animals:

To protect the plantation from grazing or animal trampling it is required to make "Cattle Proof Trench (CPT)" around the plantation or temporary fencing can be done.

Preventive measures for Protection from fire during summer:

During summer there should not be dry grasses in plantation. Keep such area clean from such fire hazardous. If the area is prone to fire make fire line at certain interval.

Maintenance of plantation during 2nd Year:

  • Ploughing should be done in between the two rows before onset of monsoon.
  • Strip weeding and hoeing around the plants should be done so that soil get pulverized and become weed free.
  • During the 2nd year 50 gm/ plant NPK (19: 19:19) fertilizer should be given in two split doses at interval of one month. Fertilizer should be applied after weeding and hoeing.
  • Inter cropping with suitable agricultural crop can be taken during 2nd year also.

During 3rd and 4th year need based maintenance is required.

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