Rubber farmers warned against daily tapping | Daily News

Rubber farmers warned against daily tapping

Price increase of Rs. 650 leads to over tapping

Rubber farmers have been warned not to exceed the recommended tapping frequency to gain the advantage of the prevailing high price as the damage caused to the trees by daily tapping could last longer.

Rubber Research Institute’s Deputy Director Dr.Priyani Seneviratne said the rubber fields which are under low frequency harvesting should never be tapped at a higher frequency than the recommended d3 or d4 methods as trees are applied with ethrel, a yield stimulant.

“The rubber price in 2021 has increased to Rs. 650 again after 10 years from 2011. Last year it was Rs.250.To gain advantage from the high price, rubber farmers in 2011 tried to get more latex from trees by practicing daily tapping. The high price did not last long but the damage caused is permanent,” she said.

A considerable number of trees that were tapped daily had faced tapping panel dryness. The low rubber productivity in Sri Lanka today is partly due to the presence of dry trees in rubber fields. The effect of this is more than the low price that prevailed in the last 5-6 years for poor performance of rubber lands, the Deputy Director stressed.

The excessive tapping is not affordable under the poor current situation of rubber fields which have not been even fertilised properly and also with high percentage of dry trees already.

“Rubber price may go further up further but, the trees should be protected, she stressed.

Dr. Seneviratne also requests rubber farmers to be alert on a sudden increase of the crop, high water content in latex, longer dripping time than usual or any dry patches along the tapping cut which are pre-symptoms of panel dryness. Farmers were further asked to contact the Rubber Research Institute or the Rubber Development Department for assistance.