PERFORMANCE AND FIELD MANAGEMENT OF SIX PROMINENT CULTIVARS OF DATE PALM (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA) IN EXTREME ARID REGIONS OF THAR DESERT, INDIA
Ten female cultivars of datepalm were introduced in 1996 at the Chandan research centre located at 27°01N and 71°01E in Jaisalmer district of Western Rajasthan, India. Twelve offshoots of six prominent cultivars, each having average weight of 10-12 kg were further transplanted after careful separation from mother plants in the year 2000. It is revealed that transplanting of offshoots in the month of September is more beneficial with higher survival; 90% as against 65% in the offshoots transplanted in the month of March-April. First flowering was observed in Halawi and Samran in the second year of field planting whereas other cultivars flowered in the fourth and fifth year except Migraf, which flowered in the sixth year. Minimum thermal degree days were required for Khadravi; 2213°C for khalal stage to 3125°C for tamar (dang) stage, whereas maximum was recorded in Medjool; 2640°C for khalal stage to 3440°C for tamar stage during 2009. Physical characteristics of fruits of six prominent cultivars revealed a maximum fruit length of 39.5 mm in Medjool and minimum 25.1 mm in Khadrawi. Similarly, maximum pulp thickness of 16.3 mm was recorded in Medjool and least 7.4 mm in Dayani at khalal stage. The single fruit weight 16.1 g was also highest in Medjool and lowest 3.8 g in Khadrawi. Significant reduction in pulp and net weight of single fruit was recorded in all the cultivars, which was up to 30-35% in Halawi. Maximum number of bunch 15 were recorded in Khalas followed by 14 in Halawi. Maximum yield of 125 kg per plant at tamar stage was recorded in Khalas followed by Halawi, 92 kg and closely followed by Medjool, 89 kg during the year 2009. The prevailing conducive climatic conditions along with the inception of a canal system and ground water in the desert has opened the potential of commercial cultivation of date palm in the Indian Thar desert in millions of hectares in the future ahead.
Mertia, R.S., Birbal, and Kumawat, R.N. (2010). PERFORMANCE AND FIELD MANAGEMENT OF SIX PROMINENT CULTIVARS OF DATE PALM (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA) IN EXTREME ARID REGIONS OF THAR DESERT, INDIA. Acta Hortic. 882, 65-68
date palm, Indian Thar Desert, doka and pind stage, fruit characteristics