Saturday, September 19, 2009

Albizia falcataria (Tamil : Kattumaram)

Name of the Tree - Albizia falcataria (Tamil : Kattumaram)
Legume Family ; Leguminosae (Mimosoideae)

Albizia falcataria is one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. It is widely planted in tropical countries including India.

In Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu, India, it is called
'Kattumaram' since it is used for making catamarans and boats. There, it is highly regarded as shade tree for Pepper, Clove and Coffee plantations. Growers call it as 'Albizia' also, although the term refers to other varieties such as:

Albizia amara (Tamil: Usilamaram)
Albizia lebbeck, East Indian Walnut
(Tamil:Vagai) and
Albizia odoratissima (Tamil:Sila Vagai)
( In Tamil 'Dalbergia paniculata' is also called as Vagai but the correct term is 'Pani vagai')

Albizia is a genus of about 150 species of mostly fast-growing subtropical and tropical trees. Scientific name can be spelled with double 'z' also.

Albizia falcataria is a large deciduous tree 24 to 30m tall, with a thin, very broad crown of dull green foliage often umbrella shaped, with numerous small leaflets (the specific name, "falcate" or "curved like a sickle" refers to the leaflets) and narrow, flat brown seed pods that split open easily under favorable conditions.

These lightweight seedpods contain abundant seeds, which are easily blown by winds. Hence, the tree regenerates so easily by this way of natural seeding on any clearing and becoming naturalized. It is considered as 'invasive pest' in some areas because of its easy spreading and germination quality.

Altitudinal range 0 to 1200 metres MSL.
Rainfall regime - Uniform Dry season: 3 months
Mean Annual Temp. 28 - 34F

Soil: Tree is adaptable to medium texture soil with good drainage facility. Grows best on deep, well-drained fertile soils, such as friable clay loam. Does better on alkaline than acid soils; not suited to dry sands. Growth is very fast under moist soil conditions.

Nursery: Seeds per Kilogram 38,000 to 44,000
Seeds storage limit: Airtight for up to one year
Germination and growth: Germinates in 2 to 5 days. Nursery raised plants will attain plantable size in 4 to 6 months.

Spacing: Recommended tree spacing is 10' x 10' @ 400 trees approx./acre so that trunk grows straight and the crown closes quickly, shading out weeds. But in my view,
the above mentioned closer spacing will create problems like root and canopy competition in fertile soils with good irrigation potential. So, a safer spacing plan should be a min of 15' x 15' for bulk planting and 10' for border planting

It is a strong light-demanding tree.

Coppice capability: The trees coppice vigorously and can be harvested in plantations on a 12 - 15 year cycle from coppice growth. (There are records of 8 year cycles also.) They are shallow-rooted and very susceptible to uprooting and breakage of branches by strong winds.

'N' fixing capacity: Nodules of N-fixing bacteria occur on the roots.

Silviculture: A well-grown tree will attain 24 - 30 meters in height. Growth records of this tree in good soil and high rainfall are as much as 5m in height in a year, 10m in 3 years, 15m in 4 years and 30m in 12 years.

In the plains, the most vigorous trees increased in trunk diameter about 4 - 6cm per year. Trees 2 years old may attain 15 cm DBH, while 10-year old trees may attain and 60 cm DBH. (Diameter in Breast Height.)

Production: Normal production Volume is 10 cu.metres. But, young plantations have yielded mean annual increment of 30 m3/yr in 12–15 yr rotations assuming 70% survival and establishment at 3 x 3 m.

Timber: Heartwood light brown with a slight pinkish or yellowish tinge; not clearly demarcated from the sapwood. Saws well but growth stresses often cause pinching of the blade. Sharp tools are required to cut this soft wood cleanly. The timber dries rapidly with little or no degrades.

Density. Lightweight with S.G: 0.30 - 0.46,

Natural durability of the timber: The wood is not durable and is vulnerable to attack by termites and powder-post beetles. Lumber stains rather rapidly.
Even though Albizia falcataria has many uses, this fast-growing hardwood plantation tree is not fully utilized because of problems such as warpage, cracking, bending, and its low durability.

Uses: It is a promising source of pulpwood. Rated excellent for plywood, fiberboard and particle-board. Used for veneer core stock pallets, boxes, crates, furniture components, matches and for the construction of catamarans / boats.
There is a good demand for this timber all through the year because of its many uses.

For content source and pictures visit: Albizia falcataria


Vishnu Sankar

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Farmer's Training Programme

Tissue culture Banana 'Grand Naine' in our Farm:

Interacting with World Bank Consultant ( IAMWARM) Dr.Ben O'Brien, Agri. specialist, about the declogging facility provided in the Drip irrigation system.

World Bank Consultant ( IAMWARM) Dr.Ben O' Brien and Joint Director of Horticulture Mr.Mohan are viewing the fertigation schedule followed by us (fertigation using water soluble fertilisers) for T.C Banana.

IAMWARM - Kalingalar Sub Basin, Phase II, World Bank Mission's consultant and officers of the State implementing agencies visiting our farm.

Tomato plants raised with supports:

Showing 'Helicoverpa armigera'(American boll worm) male insect trapped in the Sex pheromone trap (PCI make model Fero-T):

Friday, September 4, 2009


The editorial in 'The Hindu' news paper on 27/08/2009 with the heading 'The spectre of agricolonialism' rings an alarm bell, actually a loud siren, to the policy makers and to the traditional farmers.

The traditional farm lands in this part of south Tamilnadu are slowly but steadily purchased out by the so called farmers from the neighboring states. There is neither a hue and cry about this 'land grabbings' nor an expression of sorrow by the selling farmer. There is only happiness since farming is wrongly considered as un remunerative.

This sorry state of affair is at a time, when there is talk about '2nd Green Revolution in India' and the prevailing bright possibilities to achieve a quantum jump in agriculture production.

The main problem in India is small landholdings coupled with the lack of scientific agriculture management practices result in productivity levels that are 1/5th - 1/10th of farms in US and Israel.

We can overcome this problem, since we are blessed with agro-climatic conditions that permit farming around the year, by bringing managerial and engineering talents together for overall agricultural producvity improvement in India. These include adressing issues like better crop selection, regional agro-climatic conditions, land preparation, fertilization, irrigation, pest control etc.

Now, the poor third world countries are facing a problem of 'agricolonialism' a new term coined by 'The Hindu' wherein some nations lest alone multinational companies are buying up millions of hectares of vast tracts of farmland in parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Read this link to understand the kind of catostropic condition we the farmers are in.

Vishnu Sankar

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Agricultural Machinery

Some Video files of Agricultural Machinery:
These are imported from Europe and other countries and are distributed across India thro' more than 70 retail outlets by M/s. Rathinagiri Impex P.Ltd, Bangalore.

Ratnagiri Impex - Agriculture, Horticulture, Plantations, Foresty, Garden, Health Care Brush Cutter, Chain Saw, Lawn Mover, Hedge Trimmer, Augur, Sprayer, Blower, Garden Tractor

Product Range


Augur - 2:

Chain Saw:

Weed Cutter / Brush cutter / Floor polisher / Hedge Trimmer / Pruner :

Agricultural Machinery

Dear Friends,

Our highly enlightened farmer friends and bloggers are kindly requested to identify and tell the name and purpose of the following agricultural machinery:

(Thanks for identifying all the machinery in this post Er. Sundar. Mr Sundar is an Engineer working as A.E in Agriculture Engineering Department. See comment box for details)

The following first 5 pictures are showing 'Tractor mounted Laser Leveler' taken from different angles.

Tractor mounted Laser Leveler

Tractor mounted Laser Leveler

Tractor mounted Laser Leveler

Tractor mounted Laser Leveler

Tapioca harvester - TNAU Model - 2004 - Rs.8,000 in 2004 - 1.60 Ha per day - 35 HP Tractor required

A close up view of the same as above:

Turmeric harvester - TNAU Model - 2004 - Rs.8,000 in 2004 - 1.60 Ha per day - 35 HP Tractor required

Power tiller operated Turmeric harvester - TNAU Model - 2004 - Rs.15,000 in 2004 - 0.60 Ha per day

PARA Plough - For mulch tillage and moisture conservation under dry farming condition - TNAU Model - 2004 - Rs7,750 in 2004 - 0.20 Ha per hour - 35 HP Tractor required

For more details: Link- 1 and Link - 2

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