Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Krauss et al.

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 2 (3),  June 2012.

 © 2011 Greener Journals


Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) yield increase in Costa Rica through novel stress management and fertilization approach

 

Ulrike Krauss 1*, Valex Adonijah 2, Claudio Arroyo 2, Mirjam Bekker 1, Jayne Crozier 3, Arturo Gamboa 2, Chantal Steuten 1 & Keith Holmes 3


1 CABI Caribbean and Latin America - Costa Rica, c/o Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), 7170 Turrialba, Costa Rica

2 CATIE, 7170 Turrialba, Costa Rica

3 CABI Europe – UK, Silwood Park, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berks., U.K.

 

* Corresponding Author’s Email: ulrike.krauss@gmail.com

Abstract:

We assessed the effect of calcium-based anti-stress and fertilization products on cocoa diseases, yield and quality.  Calcium levels in cocoa seeds were elevated by up to 25% w/w.  Cocoa bean defects, pod index, pH and organoleptic parameters were unaffected by treatments.  Impaction did not improve yield (average 179.6 kg ha-1 yr-1), but led to a reduction of cherelle wilt from 3.7% to 1.6% over two seasons.  Impaction with Speedo CaN increased yield by over 40%, from 190.7 kg ha-1 yr-1 to 273.7 kg ha-1 yr-1, by stimulating pod production.  Diseases, most notably frosty pod rot, claimed over 80% of pods and were unaffected by the above products. Thus, we combined them with the biocontrol agent Trichoderma ovalisporum.  The agents proved to be compatible and augmented the number of healthy pods harvested, but not as much as a copper fungicide. 

 

Keywords: calcium fertilization, cocoa, plant stress, Theobroma cacao, Trichoderma ovalisporum.