ESTATE CROPS NEWS – Cashew productivity in Indonesia is still low, due to improper cultivation technique and the use of unimproved varieties. Crop yield is determined by several morpho-physiological characters such as leaf area, leaf thickness, the number of stomata, the rate of photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, relative water content (RWC), and leaf osmotic potential.
This study aimed to obtain morpho-physiological characters affecting cashew production. The research was conducted in the Cikampek Experimental Station and in the Laboratory, ISMECRI, Bogor, West Java, from January to December 2012. The plant material used were two selected high-yielding varieties (B02 and GG1) and three low-yielding varieties (Laode Gani, Laode Kase, and Laura). The plants were divided into three age groups (5, 8, and 17 years).
Parameters measured were morphological characteristics such as leaf thickness (μm), leaf area (cm2), leaf dry weight (g/leaf), and nut yield (kg/tree), as well as anatomical characteristic such as the number of stomata, and physiological parameters consisted of chlorophyll content (a+b) (%), photosynthetic rate (μmol CO2 m-2s-1), leaf carbohydrate content (%), leaf water potential (bar) and relative water content (RWC) (%). Data were analysed using component test to find morpho-physiological characteristics which was affecting nut yield.
The result showed chlorophyll content was significantly affected nut yield among varieties as shown in the following function: lnnut yield = 2.01 + 11.0 lnchlorophyll. The result indicated that when the chlorophyll content increased 1% the nut yield would increase 11%.
Keywords: Anacardium occidentale, morpho-physiological characteristic, production
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