Groundnut production in Indonesia is relatively stable, but the demand is increasing each year. The gap between ground nut yields at research centers in Indonesia and those in farmers' fields is still wide. Farm yields are about 0.6 - 1.2 mt/ha in upland fields, and 1.2 - 1.8 mt/ha in irrigated fields (Fig. 1). However, research results indicate that it should be very easy to obtain yields of more than 1.5 mt/ha in upland fields, and yields of at least 1.8 mt/ha in irrigated ones.
In Indonesia, groundnut is considered to be a secondary crop after rice or maize. It is often difficult for farmers to obtain seeds and other important inputs, (and groundnut production needs high levels of inputs!)
In upland fields, the main constraints are drought, nutrient deficiencies, weeds, pests and diseases. In irrigated fields, the main constraints are poor irrigation techniques, weeds, pests and diseases. Groundnut yields can be considerably increased if growers adopt the following package of technology.
For a medium heavy soil, the soil should be tilled once or twice, then leveled. A network of deep furrows to act as drainage channels should be dug every 3 - 4 meters. On light soils, only light plowing is needed to remove weeds and dig the drainage channels.
Groundnut is planted at the beginning of the wet season (when about 60 mm of rain has fallen). Groundnut may be planted as an intercrop with maize, 30 days before the maize is harvested. Groundnut grown as an intercrop can give a yield of 1.5 mt/ha (weight of dry pods) ( Fig. 2).
In soils with medium to high fertility, plants should be spaced 40 cm apart, with 1 plant/hill. In soils with low to medium soil fertility, the plant spacing should be 25 - 30 cm, again with 1 plant/hill. The groundnut seed is sown in rows separated by a furrow, or by dibbling the seed.
To obtain the optimum yield of groundnut, upland growers should apply the following fertilizers:
- 50 - 70 kg urea per hectare;
- 75 - 100 kg of superphosphate-36 per hectare;
- 0 - 50 kg potassium chloride (KCl) per hectare.
In irrigated fields, growers need to apply only 0 - 50 kg urea per hectare.
Weeding must be done before and after the groundnut plants reach the flowering stage. Weeds can be removed by hand, using a hoe and sickle, or by herbicides.
To obtain high yields, hand weeding should be carried out when the plants are 2 - 3 weeks old, and again when they are 4 - 5 weeks old. If labor and time are limited, spraying pre-emergence herbicides onto the soil surface immediately after seeding can substitute for the first weeding.
Pest and Disease Control
The application of Furadan 36 (Carbofuran) at a rate of 17 kg/ha at planting, and three applications of Azodrin when the plant are 20, 40 and 60 days old respectively, are effective in suppressing leaf damage caused by sucking insects.
Two sprays of thiofanat methyl when the plants are 4 and 6 weeks old, respectively, and triadimefon when the plants are 8 and 10 weeks old, respectively, are effective in suppressing outbreaks of leaf spot disease from 86% to 19%, rust disease 30 to 23%, while wilt disease is reduced from 3.1 to 2.4 plant per planting area of 4 x 5 m. These pesticide sprays can thus increase average dry pod yields from 1.41 mt/ha to 1.64 mt/ha. This package of technology can increase groundnut yields in irrigated areas to 1.8 mt/ha, and in dryland fields to 1.5 mt/ha.
Zero tillage can be practiced on light wetland soils, providing irrigation is supplied to the crop at the appropriate time.
Index of Images
Figure 1 Field of Groundnuts
Figure 2 Newly Harvested Groundnuts
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