Greater yam- Planting activities
Greater yam is propagated by tubers. Each piece of cut tuber should weigh at least 250-300 gram. About 1000-1200 kg of seed material is required to cover one acre of land.
It can be intercropped profitably in coconut, arecanut, rubber, banana and robusta coffee plantations.
Seed tubers are normally planted during the later part of the dry season (March-April) and start sprouting with the onset of pre-monsoon showers.
Day length greater than 12 hours during initial stages and shorter day length during the later part of the growing season favour satisfactory tuber formation.
Yam requires loose, deep, well-drained, fertile soil. The crop does not come up well in waterlogged conditions.
The tuber will have only one head end. For getting the head end in each propagation unit, the whole tuber is divided longitudinally.
Dip the pieces in cow dung slurry and allow to dry under the shade before planting.
Plough or dig the land up to a depth of 15-20 cm. Dig pits of size 45 x 45 x 45 cm at a distance of 1 x 1m. Fill up three fourth of the pits with 1-1.25 kg cattle manure or compost and mix with topsoil.
Plant the cut tuber pieces at 90 x 90 cm spacing and completely cover the pit with leafy materials to conserve soil moisture and maintain optimum temperature.
Lime or dolomite has to be applied in acid soils two weeks ahead of fertilizer application.
The first split of fertilizer has to be applied at the time when 50 % of the sets are sprouted.