Optimizing Mango Orchard Operations: A Comprehensive Guide for Month-wise Planning

Mango farming is a complex and demanding process that requires careful planning and execution. Optimizing orchard operations monthly is important to achieve maximum yield and quality. According to the FAO, global mango production was approximately 54 million tons in 2020, with India being the largest producer, followed by China and Mexico.

Mangoes ready to harvest

Mangoes are grown in over 100 countries and are an important source of nutrition and income for millions. A month-wise approach to orchard operations can help growers achieve better yields, reduce costs, and improve overall orchard health. Let’s check out more information on mango orchard operations below.

What is Mango Farming and its Overview?

Mango farming involves the cultivation of mango trees for their fruit. Mangoes are the world’s most popular fruits, either fresh or processed into different products such as juice, jam, and dried fruit. The mango tree is a tropical fruit tree that can grow up to 35 meters tall and produces fruit in varying sizes, shapes, and colors. Mangoes require warm temperatures, plenty of sunlight, and well-drained soil for optimal growth.

They also need careful management of pests, diseases, and irrigation to achieve maximum yields and quality. Mango farming is a significant source of income and employment for millions of people worldwide, particularly in countries like India. The global mango market is expected to grow, making mango farming an attractive and potentially lucrative venture for growers.

Importance of Month-Wise Planning for Mango Orchard Operations

The profitability of mango growing mainly depends on timely farm operations. Delay in a single activity causes huge losses to the growers and results in unprofitable ventures. Therefore, the month-wise cultural practices in this document are for the benefit of the mango growers. The information is supplemented with need-based digital photographs of insects, pests, diseases, and physiological disorders for their correct identification and management. Therefore, adopting such recommendations will help fruit growers enhance their production, productivity, quality, and net returns.

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Mango Orchard Operations

Mango Orchard Operations

January Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Remove flowers on grafted plants: To encourage better growth, it is recommended to remove any flowers that continue to appear on grafted plants by pinching.
  • Control powdery mildew and leaf hoppers: These pests can cause significant damage to mango crops if not controlled. Growers should consider spraying Wettable Sulphur (80% WP) mixed with phosphomidon (2ml/L) of water to prevent powdery mildew and leaf hoppers.
  • Deblossom early emerged panicles: To reduce the incidence of mango malformation, early emerged panicles should be deblossomed.
  • Control midge insect: Midges can be controlled by spraying dimethoate 30 EC (0.6 ml/L) or methyl demeton 25 EC (0.5 ml/L), or Thioxam 25 (0.4 ml/L).
  • Manage mealy bug: Alkathane tree bands, generally applied in December, should be cleaned and rearranged if disturbed to manage mealy bugs.
  • Arrange honey bee boxes: To ensure efficient pollination and fruit set, honey bee boxes should be arranged in the mango orchards.
  • Protect young plants from frost: Young plants are protected from frost by covering them with straw or polyethylene sheets, and proper irrigation should be ensured to minimize frost damage.

February Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • During February, mango growers should irrigate plants regularly at 5-day intervals and observe each plant for bark and stem borers, which can be controlled with Dichlorovas. 
  • Bordeaux Paste should be applied on plant trunks up to 30 to 45 cm in height to prevent termite and fungal disease incidence. Mango hopper can be controlled with insecticides, but care to avoid using the same chemical repeatedly and avoid spraying during full flowering to preserve beneficial insects. 
  • Powdery mildew is common during flowering, so growers should perform the first spray of soluble sulfur, followed by a second spray of Dinocap after 10-12 days. 
  • Midge-infested panicles should be removed, and alkathene tree bands cleaned and rearranged if disturbed. Any malformed panicles remaining on the plants should also be removed and destroyed.

March Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Apply fertilizers: In March, the third top dressing of fertilizers should be applied to each pit as follows: Urea (50 gm/plant), Single Super Phosphate (125 gm), and Murate of Potash (40 gm). Ensure the fertilizers are applied at least 6 inches away from the plant, and the pits are irrigated immediately after application.
  • Apply mulch material: Apply one basket of mulch material to control evapotranspiration losses and weed growth in basins. To control powdery mildew, spray Dinocap (1 ml/L Karathane) should be done.
  • Control anthracnose disease: If symptoms of anthracnose disease are seen on the panicles, spray Carbendazim (2g/L) is advisable. Spraying copper oxychloride (3 g/L) is advised to control anthracnose on leaves and twigs.
  • Avoid insecticide spray during flowering: In general, insecticide spray should be avoided to prevent the washing away of pollen grains and the killing of pollinating insects.

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Mango Tree

April Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Regular irrigation is necessary through drip or basin irrigation, at least once in 5 days intervals, as fruit drop is common during this month.
  • Micronutrient mixtures should be sprayed at 10-12 days intervals from the marble stage to ensure healthy fruit growth.
  • Malformed panicles should be cut with a sterile knife and buried in the soil to prevent the further spread of the problem.
  • Termite attacks can be managed by using Chloropyriphos.
  • Mango hoppers can be controlled by spraying Chlorpyriphos or dimethoate.
  • Fruit fly traps can be used to monitor and manage the population of fruit flies in the orchard.
  • To prevent physiological disorders like black tip and internal necrosis, a spray of Borax is advised.
  • Shoot borer and leaf-cutting weevil can be managed by spraying Carbaryl or Monocrotophos.

May Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • It is recommended to use drip or basin irrigation, and irrigation should be done at least once every five days.
  • Soil working should be done to create a soil mulch that will help retain moisture and regulate temperature.
  • Fruit flies may infest fruits multiple times, and the life of chemical-soaked wood is short. Therefore, necessary arrangements should be made to change the chemical (Methyl Euginol, 0.1% + Malathion, 0.1%) soaked wood of the fruit fly traps to protect the fruits.
  • A Borax (1%) Spray should be continued this month to control black tip and internal necrosis.
  • Bacterial canker is a common problem this month, so proper control measures should be adopted, such as the spray of streptomycin (200 ppm or 20 g/100 liters of water).
  • Irrigation should be done at 7-10 days intervals to ensure proper fruit development.
  • Farmers should also be aware of leaf-cutting weevil and shoot borer infestations, which can be controlled by spraying Carbaryl (0.2%) or Monocrotophos (0.05%).

June Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Fill pits with topsoil mixed with FYM, Single Super Phosphate, Neem Cake, and Follidol dust per pit to prepare the soil for planting.
  • Install thorn fencing or live fence to prevent cattle trespassing and protect the orchard.
  • Mark out and complete trench cutting for drip irrigation installation.
  • With the onset of the monsoon, farmers can sow intercrops.
  • Change the chemical-soaked wood of fruit fly traps with Methyl Euginol and Malathion.
  • Harvest mango varieties mature in June, along with a 10mm shoot, preferably in the morning or evening. Use secateurs for dwarf varieties and mango harvesters for vigorous plants.
  • Sort and grade harvested fruits by variety and size, and discard damaged or rotten mangoes.
  • Dip the mango fruits in an ethrel solution (700 ppm; 1.8 ml/L) prepared in lukewarm water (52 ± 1°C) for 5 minutes to ensure uniform ripening. Adding Carbendazim to the solution helps protect against fungal diseases after harvest.

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Mango Orchard

July Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Check the plant material quality and ensure that the graft has at least 4 to 6 flushes with a height of 60 to 75 cm, the graft union is perfect, and at least 6 inches above the soil in the poly bag, the graft is free from side shoots on rootstock. The sapling is healthy and free from pests and diseases.
  • Arrange for transportation of plant material from the nursery to the planting site.
  • Soak the pits with irrigation or by running the drip system if there is any delay in receipt of good rains. Ensure that the soil in the pit is at ground level; otherwise, level the soil in the pits.
  • Stake the plant with a strong support stick 4 to 5 ft, and dip the bottom of the stick in black tar to avoid termite attacks.
  • Irrigate the plants every 4 to 5 days intervals during the early month and later at 8 to 10 days if there are no rains during the initial two years.
  • For late-maturing mango varieties, harvest the fruits and subject them to desapping treatment immediately after harvest to avoid injuries caused due to sap flow.
  • Keep the harvested fruits in plastic crates and carefully transport them to the packaging shade.
  • Properly grade the mango fruits in the packaging house and discard damaged, cut, and rotten fruits.
  • Wash and dry the mango fruits before storage.
  • Dip the mango fruits in ethrel solution (700 ppm; 1.8 l/L) prepared in lukewarm water (52 ± 1°C) for 5 minutes for uniform ripening. Adding Carbendazim (0.5 g/L) in this solution helps protect against fungal diseases after harvest.
  • To control shoot borer and leaf-cutting weevil, spray Carbaryl (0.2%) or Monocrotophos (0.05%) and apply 500 g of nitrogen, 250 g of phosphorus, and 500g of potassium after harvesting the fruits.
  • Remove weeds manually or chemically from basins before applying fertilizers.

August Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Protect new growth on planted saplings from leaf-eating caterpillars or beetles by spraying Quinolphos or Endosulphon at regular intervals.
  • Weeding should be done once a month during monsoon season to control weeds. At the same time, basins around the plants should be made to retain water.
  • To avoid Evapotranspiration losses, mulch the basins with paddy husk, straw, or groundnut shells. Mulching also helps in controlling weeds in the basins.
  • Remove the side shoots that appear on the rootstock.
  • Leaf spot diseases generally appear when heavy rains are received during August-September. Control this by spraying Copper Oxy Chloride (Blitox) at regular intervals. If not controlled in time, twig drying (Dieback) leads to plant death will occur.
  • Control shoot gall maker insects in tarai regions by spraying Monocrotophos or Dimethoate in the middle of the month.
  • Clean spider webs and cut and burn affected portions.
  • Spray Copper oxychloride (0.3%) to control red rust and anthracnose.

September Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • In August, orchard operations planning should focus on protecting new growth on planted saplings from leaf-eating caterpillars or beetles by spraying Quinolphos or Endosulphon at regular intervals. 
  • Weeding should be done monthly during the monsoon season to control weeds, and basins around the plants should be made to retain water. 
  • Mulching with paddy husk, straw, or groundnut shells helps control weeds and avoid Evapotranspiration losses. Removing side shoots on the rootstock is also important. 
  • Leaf spot diseases can appear during August-September. It is essential to control them by spraying Copper Oxy Chloride (Blitox) regularly to prevent twig drying and leading to plant death. 
  • Shoot gall maker insects in tarai regions should be controlled by spraying Monocrotophos or Dimethoate in the middle of the month. Spider webs should be cleaned, and affected portions should be cut and burned. 

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Mango Farm

October Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • Complete the fertilization of orchards with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and well-rotted farmyard manure. 
  • Fill any gaps caused by plant death, and remove side shoots from the rootstock. 
  • Planting can be done in October-November for high rainfall zones, and intercrops for the rabi season can be sown during this month. To minimize floral mango malformation, apply NAA in the first half of October. 
  • Regulate flowering in mango trees by applying paclobutrazol. Prune dead wood and spray copper oxychloride twice to prevent dieback symptoms. Control gummosis by applying copper sulfate.

November Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • In November, soil working in the basins and mulching should be done, and any side shoots that appear on the rootstock should be removed. 
  • Dieback symptoms are common this month, so pruning dead wood up to 5-10 cm green portion is advisable. Spraying copper oxychloride (0.3%) twice at 15 days intervals is recommended for protecting mango trees from dieback.
  • If symptoms of gummosis are seen, clean the surface and apply Bordeaux paste on the affected portion. 
  • Plowing the orchard and removing weeds from the orchard are also necessary during this month.

December Month Orchard Operations Planning

  • In December, tree banding for mealybug control should be arranged by wrapping an alkathane sheet around the tree trunk and spraying Carbosulfan or Chlorpyriphos granules in the basin. 
  • Control bark-eating and trunk-boring insects by applying Dichlorvos or Monocrotophos in holes. Deblossom early emerged panicles to minimize floral mango malformation. 
  • Protect young plants from frost by irrigating and covering them with straw or alkathane sheets. Control Powdery Mildew diseases and leaf hoppers with Wettable Sulphur and phosphomidon. 
  • Apply Urea, Single Super Phosphate, and Murate of Potash fertilizers at least 6″ away from the plant, and irrigate immediately after application.

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Mango Plantation

Conclusion

Optimizing mango orchard operations is crucial for maximizing yield and profits. This comprehensive guide provides a month-wise plan for various operations, including planting, pruning, fertilization, and pest control, to help farmers achieve optimal results and maintain the health of their mango trees.

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