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Cover Crops (Kancagan) are established and maintained in rubber and oil palm plantations for conserving the soil and for improving or maintaining the soil structure and fertility. Cover crops are leguminous creepers, which are easy to establish. They are the most desirable species of plants that can be used as ground covers in rubber and oil palm plantations, because they have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen which can later be used by the immature rubber and oil palm plants, besides the other characters common to all cover plants. Also such legume covers keep down the soil temperature during summer, they suppress the weeds and help in the proper utilization of fertilizers applied to the rubber plants.
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Cover Crop Seeds Kancagan

  • Pueraria Javanica A very popular cover crop worldwide. It is a vigorous twiner and creeper that can be propagandized by seeds and cuttings. The Plant can stand strong sun and smothers weeds ever Chromolena. The seed rate is about 3-4.5 kg/ha.

  • Calopogonium mucunoides It is a twinner and creeper with tolerance for poor soils. The legume cuts off during dry months. It is a prolic seeder; seed rate is 3-4.5 kg per ha.

  • Centrosema pubescens It is a perennial climber that can grow in shades. It is a slow grower, not tolerant to wet conditions and smothers other weeds. The seed rate is 3-4.5 per ha.

  • Mucuna Bracteata A wild legume Mucuna bracteata collected is drought resistant and shade tolerant. Nitrogen fixing capacity of this was found to be high. It grows fast and covers the field very quickly thus, it suppresses all weeds. The seed rate is 200g for planting in 420 points (1 ha).

The desirable characteristics of
Mucuna Bracteata

Very vigorous growth Easy establishment and low seed rate
Non-palatability to cattle  High-drought tolerance
Shade tolerance Presence of alleolo chemical to enhance competitive ability against weed growth
High biomass productions
Low labour and chemical Requirements for its establishment  Tolerance to pest and diseases
Good control against soil erosion

Among the four, Pueraria Javanica is the best as it is easier to establish. Both Pueraria and Mucuna grow faster and smoother weeds better than others under the conditions in South India.

Pretreatment of Mucuna Bracteata Seeds.

 As a part of value addition to the Mucuna bracteata seeds exported by us, we have been constantly experimenting with methods to improve the germination of the seeds.

Described below is the method that we found to give the best results, so far and improves germination by about 50-75%:

1. Take cleaned Mucuna bracteata seeds (free from soil and other debris) in an acid resistant container (Glass or Plastic).

2. Add Concentrated Sulphuric acid (85%) gently while stirring with a wooden stick till a thin layer of acid coating is formed over the seeds.

3. Approximately for every kilogram of seeds 50 cc. Of Sulphuric acid is needed.

4. Continued the stirring for 30 minutes. By this time the outer hard coating which prevents the absorption of water by the seeds is dissolved and forms a black substance.

5. Transfer the treated seeds to another container/bucket containing cold/normal water. Please ensure that the seeds are added to the water and not water to seeds.

6. Decant the water and add fresh water.

7. Now rub the seeds between two hands to remove the scars on the seeds.

8, Repeat this for two more times till the seeds are free from acid.

9. Spread the seeds over any absorbent surface, like sack and cloth and dry them under shade.

10. Sow them as early as possible.

We have also observed that the following method of sowing gives the best results in case of Mucuna bracteata.

1. Plant Density-200 to 300 grams per hectare.

2. Mark the areas in which seeds are to be planted.

3. Dig a one cubic feet pit.

4. Fill it with loose sand mixed with Supplements for early nodulation/growth.

5. Sow two seeds per pit, taking into consideration, 50% germination probability.

* Further reference on Mucuna bracteata go to http://cheriachagelmathews.tripod.com

Nadampadom Rubber Estate since 1951 exports Cover Crop seeds, Tree seeds, Shrub seeds, Shade seeds, and grass seeds. It is a subsidiary of Chemmanur group of companies. The seeds are collected from the disease free growing fields, plantations and estates.

Nadampadom Rubber Estate exports seeds to different parts of the world. They include Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Holland, Brazil, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Uganda.




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