Taro(Colocasia esculenta L. Scott); Araceae

CO 1, Panchamukhi and Satamukhi (Kovvur), Sree Pallavi, Sree Rashmi, Sree Kiran.

It comes up well in loamy soils with a pH range of 5.5-7.0 and a combination of warm and moist climate with a mean temperature of 21-27 degree celsius . It can be grown up to 1500 m elevation with well distributed rainfall of about 1000 mm during growth period. In areas
where rainfall is less, a good amount of supplementary irrigation is required for successful production.

Cormels weighing about 20-25 g form good planting material. Seed rate of 800 kg/ha is required.
Under rainfed condition, planting during April – June is ideal. June – July and February – March is ideal. If grown as irrigated crop, it can be raised throughout the year.
Plough the field to a fine tilth and form ridges and furrows at a spacing of 45 cm. In sandy loam soil, pit method is followed. Plant at a spacing of 45 cm in furrows. The cormels may be planted to a depth of 2.5 to 7.5 cm.
Planted seed tubers take 30 to 45 days for sprouting. Mulching helps to hasten sprouting and control weed growth.

Under field condtions, 5-10 per cent of the seed tubers fail to sprout. To overcome this situation, about 2000-3000 corms / cormels per hectare may be planted in a nursery at a close spacing so that sprouted tubers from the nursery can be used for gap filling.

Once in a week

Apply 25 tonnes of FYM, 20 kg N, 30 kg P and 60 kg K/ha as basal and 20 kg N, 30kg P and 60 kg K/ha 45 days after planting

Weeding and earthing up should be done 45 to 60 days after planting. Deep cultivation should be avoided. Small inefficient suckers from the mother plants have to be removed along with the second weeding. It requires profuse irrigation and shade.

Spray Dimethoate 0.05%.

Mealy bugs and scale insects
Dip corms in Dimethoate 0.05% solution for 10 minutes

Leaf blight (Phytophthora colocasiae):
Oval or irregular purplish or brownish necrotic lesions with watersoaked periphery appear on leaves. In severe cases, the entire leaf lamina and the petioles are affected giving a blighted appearance and collapse of the plant. Heavy incidence causes up to 50 per cent crop loss.

Use of field resistant varieties viz., Muktakeshi and Jankhri, early planting to avoid heavy monsoon rains, use of healthy planting materials, removal of self-grown colocasia plants, spray with fungicides viz., Mancozeb (0.2%) or metalaxyl+ mancozeb @ 2 g/l of water and treating the seed tubers with biocontrol agents viz., Trichoderma viride

Crop will be ready for harvest in 6-8 months after planting. One month prior to harvest, all the suckers may be wrapped around the base of the mother plant and covered with soil by earthing up, for arresting further vegetative growth and sprouting of tubers. After this, irrigation has to be withheld to hasten maturity. Harvesting is done by carefully uprooting the plants and the mother corms and cormels are separated

8 – 10 t/ha in 180 days.