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USE OF COIR DUST ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF COCONUT ON SANDY SOILS

Authors:

L. P. VIDHANA ARACHCHI ,

COCOS, LK
About L. P.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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L. L. W. SOMASIRI

LK
About L. L. W.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

Sandy soils in the coconut triangle often impose limitations such as
poor nutrient retention and moisture availability on the growth of the coconut
palm. The physical properties of such soils has to be improved for increasing
coconut production. Incorporation of coir dust into soils, which is
an organic waste of coconut fibre industry is one of the options. A series of
laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the capability of coir
dust of different age to retain water and nutrient and to investigate the suitable
mixing ratio of coir dust and soil to ameliorate the moisture status and
pore size distribution of the sandy soils. Soil physical characters of coir dust/
sand mixtures such as pore size distribution, capillary rise, water retention
and reduction pattern of different ratio of coir dust and soil were determined.
Chemical characteristics of coir dust were also determined to study its environmental
sustainability. Chemical characteristics showed that coir dusts are
poor in nutritional value but high in nutrient retention capacity and it is highly
resistant to environmental biodegradation. The available water capacity measured
in coir dust aged from 0 to 20 years indicated that the quantity of available
water increased from 122.7% in fresh to 222.4% in 20 years old mate
rial (g/g). The increase in available water showed a linear trend with a age of
coir dust (r=0.913; P<0.001) and the rate was 5% per annum. The water
content at field capacity (10 kPa suction) progressively increased up to the
application rate of 21,000 kg coir dust/ha and thereafter remained constant
up to the rate of 62,000 kg coir dust/ha beyond which it again gradually
increased. The results suggest that the optimum rate of coir dust incorporation
into sandy soil is 21,000 kg coir dust/ha (6.3% or 1:15 CD/sand; vol/vol)
and the use of old coir dust up to 20 years is more beneficial for amelioration
of soil physical and chemical characteristics when compared to fresh coir
dust.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v12i0.2166
How to Cite: VIDHANA ARACHCHI, L.P. & SOMASIRI, L.L.W., (2010). USE OF COIR DUST ON THE PRODUCTIVITY OF COCONUT ON SANDY SOILS. COCOS. 12, pp.54–71. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v12i0.2166
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Published on 10 Aug 2010.
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