Why must the Hybrid Coconut Palm be given adequate water?
The coconut palm evolved over the millennia on the seashores of the tropical world, possibly on one of the thousands of Indonesian islands. On the shore, the palm gets adequate water every day. Due to the daily low and high ocean tides, the water table along the beach rises by 3 to 5 feet submerging the roots of the palm for a few hours and then allowing them to get oxygen when the tide recedes. The palms received a lot of water when the tide was high, and plenty of oxygen when the tide was low. They never have to face waterlogging and evolved with no capacity to manage water better, i.e. when there is too little water or too much water for too long. As an example the palmyra palm on the other hand evolved in drylands, surviving the heat, low humidity, and drought. The coconut palm cannot withstand that.
Over the centuries, people started cultivating coconut palms and took them all over the tropics. These traditional Coconut Palms have further evolved by adapting and living far from the seashore. Their genetics is to survive with some production under improper conditions, rather than die out. They developed a deeper root system. They could manage with less water and lower humidity. Under these conditions, the average yield in India is between 40 and 60 nuts in different places. With good management and adequate water, yields may even double.
In the last few decades, we see the arrival of the high yielding hybrid coconut palm. The Deejay Sampoorna®, a high yielding hybrid, produces on an average 250 nuts per palm per year, under good conditions. Under excellent conditions yields of over 400 nuts per palm per year have been recorded. Excellent conditions mean adequate water but not so much that leads to water logging or leaching of the soil. It means proper identification and timely distribution of nutrients, both macro and micro.
This Sampoorna Hybrid requires more water as they have more leaves and broader leaflets. In exchange, we get higher yields, more sap production for coconut sugar, more tender coconut water. The Sampoorna Hybrid has 3 times the area under the leaf surface, 3 times the amount of light, through photosynthesis, is converted into energy in the form of sugars. Our palm requires 100 liters/day. Also do not forget that the best management will give you premium results.
David J. Lobo
CMD, Deejay Coconut Farm Pvt. Ltd.