Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.); Anacardiaceae

VRI 1, VRI 2, VRI 3, VRI 4 and VRI (CW) H1
It grows up well in all soils. Red sandy loam is best suited. Plains as well as hill slopes upto 600 – 700 feet elevation are suitable for cultivation.

June – December.

The cashew seeds should be soaked in water for 12-24 hours before sowing and the floats are removed those which sink to the bottom should be used for planting.
Soft wood grafting, air layer and epicotyl grafting.
200 plants/ha.
Pits of 45x45x45cm size are dug and filled up with a mixture of soil + 10 kg FYM + one kg neem cake.
7 m either way.
Spacing of 5 x 4 m accommodating 500 plants per hectare is recommended. Prune the interlocking branches during July-August to maintain the frame.

Manures and fertilizers                         I year                   II year                     III year                    IV year                         V year onwards
FYM or Compost (kg)                                    10                           20                            20                             30                                            50
N(g)                                                                   70                         140                           210                            280                                         500
P(g)                                                                    40                          80                           120                            160                                          200
K(g)                                                                    60                          120                           180                          240                                         300

Fertilizer application may be done during October – November in the East Coast areas. Wherever possible the fertilizer can be applied in two equal split doses during June-July and October-November periods under east coast, with a fertilizer schedule of 1000:125:250 g NPK per tree.

Normally grown as a rainfed crop. Irrigation once in a week from flowering to fruit maturity stage is good to increase the yield.
Plough the interspaces after the receipt of rain and raise either groundnut or black gram or bhendi till the trees reach bearing age.
Develop the trunk to a height of 1 m by removing low lying branches. The dried twigs and branches should be removed every year
In older cashew plantations, removal of dried or dead wood, criss-cross branches, water shoots etc. should be done at least once in 2-3 years. Redevelopment of canopy is possible by heading back of existing senile trees which have exhausted canopies and erratic growth resulting in reduced yield. Heading back if done at 1.0-1.5 m height of the trees new flushes will emerge from dormant buds on remaining trunk and develops into a vigorous new canopy. By and large old cashew plantations are of seedling origin and have become senile. Such trees can be rejuvenated by grafting with scion sticks of improved and high yielding varieties on new shoots arising on beheaded stumps. May-June is the right time for beheading and July-August is for grafting. However, preventative measures need to be taken to monitor each plant for the attack of cashew stem and root borer on the top worked trees.

Stem borer
 Collect and destroy affected shoots.
 Swabbing the bark of exposed roots and shoots with dimethoate 2 ml/lit twice a year before the onset of South West Monsoon (March – April). After cessation of monsoon(November), painting of coal tar + kerosene mixture (1:2) or swabbing with a suspension upto one metre height in the exposed trunk region after shaving the bark or swab the tree trunk with neem oil 5% thrice during January-February, May-June, and September-October
 Remove grubs from the infested trees at early stage and drench the damage portion with Chlorpyriphos 0.2% @ 10 ml/lit or Neem oil 5%
Tea mosquito bug
 Spray application of phosalone 35 EC @ 2.0 ml, at vegetative flush stage, panicle initiation stage and nut formation stage respectively are recommended for the management of tea mosquito bug.
 Spray schedule involving three rounds of spray viz., first spraying with profenophos
(0.05%) at flushing stage, second spraying with chlorpyriphos (0.05%).
 Root borer
Pour chlorpyriphos 10 ml/tree in the bore holes split into two halves (insecticide 5 ml+ 5 ml water).

Die back or pink disease
 Prune the affected shoots just below the affected portion and apply bordeaux paste
 Spray 1% bordeaux mixture or copper oxychloride @ 0.25 % twice in May- June and October as a prophylactic measure

The plant starts yielding from 3rd year onwards. The peak picking months are March to May. Good nuts are grey green, smooth and well filled. After picking, the nuts are separated from the apple and dried in the sun for two to three days to bring down the moisture content to 10 to 12 %. Properly dried nuts are packed in alkathene bags. This will keep for 6 months.

3 – 4 kg/tree/year.

Growing Districts                                 Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Pudukottai, Tirunelveli, Villupuram, Theni
Major markets in Tamil Nadu           Jayankondam, Vridhachalam, Panruti
Grade specification                              White/ Pieces, splits, butts, 320,240,180