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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #63112


item Irizarry, Heber
item Rivera Amador, Edmundo

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Puerto Rico does not produce cacao on a commercial scale but possesses the soils, climate and the availability of local and export markets that justify the agronomic evaluation of the crop. There are about 235,000 hectares of red-acid soils in the mountain region and 10,000 hectares in the fertile valleys of the east-central region that are underutilized. In an attempt to find diversify crop uses for these soils, we carried out a cacao evaluation trial in three different sites using controlled- pollinated seed as planting material. During a four-year evaluation period five cacao families yielded 5,950, 5,225 and 4,783 kg/ha of dry beans at Corozal, Yabucoa and Gurabo, respectively. We also determined that the high yielding capacity attributed to cacao families is confined to only 2 or 3% of consistently high yielding individual trees within a family population.

Technical Abstract: Five families of Theobroma cacao L. were evaluated for yield between three and seven years of age at Corozal, Gurabo and Yabucoa. Parents involved in the recombination of the families were such well-known clones as 'Pound-7', 'Scavina-6', 'Scavina-12', and IMC, EET and UF selections which have been widely used to produce controlled-pollinated seed in Latin America and elsewhere. Eight months after field planting the temporary shade was removed and the trees were grown under full sunlight and intensive management in replicated plots. Between 1986 and 1989, number of pods and dry weight of beans per year was recorded for more than 1,300 trees. Families EET-400 x SCA-12, SCA-6 x EET-62, and UF-668 x Pound-7 were significantly superior yielders at Gurabo. Average total yield for these families was 5,406 kg/ha. At the termination of the four-year evaluation period none the families maintained superiority at Corozal and Yabucoa locations. Average total yield for all families was 5,950 and 5,225 kg/ha at Corozal and Yabucoa, respectively. The individual tree yield data showed that only 2 or 3 % of exceptionally high yielding trees within a family consistently accounted for more than 60% of the total family yield. Regardless of family or location at the end of the fourth full year of production about 56.2% of all trees were yielding below the average of 1.6 kg of dry beans per tree.