Tips on Mango Production
(Published in the Agriculture Magazine of the Manila Bulletin, January 2011)
By: Felix Daray
There are many factors that affect mango production. Number one is excessive rain during pollination . Too much rain results in few fruits developed. Second is pest infestation, which may be severe in some instances. Third is erratic price. But mango growers shouldn’t be discourage by the rise and fall of the price for mango is a certified moneymaker. This is one of the things I learned as a mango grower for the last 12 years, and I would like to share some more. Here are some tips on mango production:
Use pactrobutrazol (cultar) during the maturation of the leaves. By using this chemical, you can induce mango plants four months earlier. Apply it three months after when the latest buds are maturing. Do not apply to trees ten years old or below, when the trees are weak or sickly, and when the leaves are matured.
Induce mango plants when the leaves of the latest buds are fully matured. I suggest to use Calcium Nitrate or Potassium Nitrate. Apply follow up spray after two days with the same formulation to enhance the emergence of flowers. Use 1 to 2 percent of CaN when the trees are maturing and when the weather is cloudy. In spraying potassium nitrate, prepare 1 to 3 percent solution depending on the condition of the tree. Or mix 4 kilos per 200 liters of water. Use Apsa-80 as sticker.
Spray for pest control. Spraying should be done when the tree and the leaves are dry, and when no expected rain for the next six hours. If possible, spray in the early morning (from sunrise to nine o’clock) or late in the afternoon (from four to six o’clock) to prevent leaf burning due to sunlight.
Inspect flowers everyday to prevent pest infestation. After 12 days, when the flowers start to emerge, spray insecticide and fungicide. The flowers would be fully developed after 20 days. At this time, flowers are susceptible to, pest, so inspect the plants every day to see if there are damages caused by insects and spray appropriate pesticide. Do not touch the flowers during pollination or 26 to 32 days after induction. However, if pest are so severe right away using fine nozzle.
Spray insecticide and fungicide. These chemicals may be applied together. Spray to flowers, totally wetting but not dripping. Use clean water.
Bag the fruits. Do this at 65 to 75 days from induction to control fruit fly and other sucking insects. Spray the fruits with insecticide and fungicide before bagging—this is the last spray. Do not bag the fruits early as malformed fruits cannot be determined yet. Late bagging, on one hand, results in early fruit fly infestation.
Harvest fruits 105 to 110 days from induction. Early harvesting results in poor quality; ripe fruits taste sour. Supervise harvesting to ensure proper handling to minimize, if not prevent the fruits from being damaged. Also fix the price first before harvest. Do not harvest if there is no down payment, that is, 80 percent of the estimated gross weight.
Of course, I take my own advice. I apply these tips with my 2 hectares in Kibuaya, Hagonoy, Davao del Sur. It is planted to 150 grafted Cebu mango. Last December, 2010, I harvest 9.5 tons and I sold my produce at P30 per kilo. A bout 75 persent of my mango trees are fruiting and the rest are flushing.