Crop Profile for Mangos in Puerto Rico
Prepared: November, 2004
General Production Information
For 2002-2003 mango production was 15,662 tons with an average farm price of $763.25 per ton and a total gross income of $11.8 million.
State Rank: Mango production occupies first place in importance among fruits.
Yearly Production Numbers: Around 2,666 acres in 264 farms are devoted to mango. Around 95% of the total acreage is harvested. The value at farm level is around $763.25 per ton. One acre of mango has about 70 trees and the average production varies from 8 to 10 tons per acre.
Imports/Exports: The main market for Puerto Rico’s mango is Europe. For the production of 2002-2003 (15,662 tons) 90% was exported to Europe (80%) and USA (10%) and 10% was for local consumption.
Production Cost: For 2003-2003 production the gross income per acre was $6,779.00. The production cost per acre was $1,965.00 (29%) and the net income around $4,814.00 (71%).
Fresh and Processing Market: Around 10% of mango production is destined for the local fresh market and 90% for Europe and USA fresh market export. Less than 1% of the native varieties are processed as juice, jelly, paste, and other derived products.
Production Areas: The main production region is the south coast, with 90% of the total acreage, and 10% scattered throughout the island. The south coast is flat land with an arid climate and an average rainfall of 35 inches per year.
Land Preparation: At nurseries seed planting, layering and grafting are made by hand. Soil preparation includes two plow cuts, two disking and two bank preparations using enclosed cab tractor. Clean area from weeds. Also, it can prepare single sites where it is going to plant the tree. For single sites crowns of 15 feet in diameter are prepared around the site where each tree will be planted. In both systems, marks the distance of sows.
Planting Method: Planting is mainly during spring time at the humid period from March to June, but can be year round. Trees are transplanted after growing 12 or 14 months in nurseries. Transplants are made by hand.Usually 30 feet between trees and 25 between rows, opening hole 1’ x 1’ x 1’ for transplanting. Around 90% of the total acreage depends on drip irrigation and 10% depends on rainfall. The total acreage of the south coast is under drip irrigation.
Cultivation: During the first 2 years pruning is for crown formation. After the first harvest (three years) and subsequent years the branches are thinned, commonly one month after harvest.
The most important commercial varieties are Keith, Tommy Atkins, Parvin and Haden.Around 80% Keith, 10% Tommy Atkins, 6% Parvin and 4% Haden are commonly found in a commercial orchard. Fertilizers are applied three times a year for the first three years beginning at a rate of 1.5 pounds per tree. After the 4 th year the amount is increased at a rate of one pound per year. During production (after 3 years) fertilizer is applied two times per year, the first application flowering stage and the second after harvest. For the first 3 years use a 20-5-10-3 or 15-15-10-3 formula, before flowering 15-5-20 or 20-5-20 and 20-5-20-3 or 15-5-0-3 formula after harvest.
Artificial flowering induction is realized with potassium nitrate, cicocel or paco-butrazol at a rate of ppm. The induction is performed 4 months after harvesting. A period of drought of 30 days is applied to the field before the spraying of the induction products.
The mangoes require areas free of weeds. The weed control in the mangoes plantations is summarized in two methods: mechanically (hoe, machete or machinery) and with the use of herbicides (postemergence).
Scouting: In commercial property scouting is made 4 times to the year, by private companies. Internally the personnel of the property make scouting every 3 weeks.
Pesticide Applications: The pesticides applications are made by ground and mechanical equipment by workers or personnel of the Department of Agriculture. Personnel from the department of agriculture will make the applications at the request of the farmers.This it is a service offered by the agency.
Harvest: The crop is carried out by hand. One man can harvest 1 ½ per day (8 hours)
Occurrence: Anthracnose occurs in all mango-growing areas of the world. It can be serious if the correct spraying program is not followed. It is the most common fungal disease of mangoes. Major losses occur from flowering to fruit set subsequent to harvest. The disease is most severe during periods of wet weather. There is considerable variation in susceptibility of mango cultivars to this disease.
Symptoms and Damage:
Field: Spray with benlate or kocide weekly during flowering.
Post-harvest: Soak fruit within 24 hours of harvest for 5 minutes in hot water not exceeding 52oC to which has been added 100g/100L benomyl (500 g/kg). Temperature must be carefully controlled to prevent fruit damage. Soaking fruit in hot water alone at 55o C for 5 minutes can also control anthracnose. Again, temperature must be carefully controlled.
Percentage Acres Affected: 100% at risk, 70% affected
Percentage Damage: 30%
Export: Choose fruit from orchards with low disease levels. Fruit from orchards with a history of serious losses from disease should not be exported. The severity of anthracnose and stem end rot can be assessed as follows. Harvest 100 mature fruit at random from throughout the orchard. Leave them untreated and store at 25o C until they are fully ripe. Ideally, less than one-tenth and certainly no more than one-third of the fruit should develop symptoms of anthracnose or stem end rot by the time they are fully ripe.
Occurrence: Stem end rot is a post-harvest disease which has become more prominent since pre-harvest spray programs have reduced the incidence and severity of anthracnose and as orchard have become older. The disease builds up in an orchard as trees age. Losses can increase during prolonged storage of fruit. Water stress may favor twig dieback and branch canker caused by the same fungi.
Percentage Acres Affected: 5 to 10%
Percentage Damage: 2%
Symptoms and Damage: Symptoms appear as the fruit ripens. A brown, firm decay starts at the stem end and develops rapidly over the skin and through the flesh of the whole fruit. Lesions may occur away from the stem end, particularly if the fruit has been injured. Flesh of affected fruit has an unpleasant flavour.
Source of Infection and Spread: The fungi survive on dead twigs, leaf litter and branches where they produce large numbers of spores. Spores are spread to flowers and developing fruit, where infection occurs prior to harvest. Post-harvest spread is unlikely.
Disease Management: Pre-harvest spray of copper oxychloride used to control bacterial black spot or copper products used to control anthracnose may reduce the incidence of stem end rot in the fruit. The disease is less prevalent in young orchards where leaf litter and pruning are not allowed to accumulate. Avoid harvesting immature fruits. Cool fruit immediately after harvest and store in well-ventilated containers.
Occurrence: Bacterial black spot occurs throughout the island and in most countries where susceptible cultivars are grown.The disease is severe in windy areas that lack windbreaks. Trees lacking vigor are also more susceptible. The disease can be prevalent in both low and high rainfall areas. Infected nursery trees have been a major cause of spread of bacterial spot into new orchards.
Symptoms and Damage
Source of Infection and Spread: Wind-driven rain, irrigation water, insects disperse bacteria from diseased tissue, and mechanical transfer on infected planting material. The bacteria enter through natural openings on leaves (stomates) and fruit (lenticels) or through abrasions. Disease incidence is greater on exposed and abraded leaf and fruit surfaces or where fruits touch each other.
Disease Management: Pre-harvest control measures are required. The disease can be avoided by using disease-free rootstocks sprayed with copper oxychloride (400 g/100L), and disease-free scion wood. Scion wood should be disinfected with 0.35% calcium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite solution for 5 minutes before grafting. Do not raise rootstocks or propagate grafted plants under mango trees or close to other sources of infection. For field planting, select a site protected from strong winds. Apply preventative sprays of copper oxychloride at 400 g/100L. Spray fortnightly during wet weather; monthly at other times. Avoid applications during flowering. Provide adequate wind protection around and within the orchard.
Percentage Acres Affected: 3%
Percentage Damage: 1 – 2%
Occurrence: Alternaria rot is a post-harvest disease. It is low to develop and is likely to be serious only after prolonged storage. Under the conditions recommended for controlled atmosphere storage (5% O2, 2% CO2, 13oC) for three or more weeks, when fruit have ripened slowly and are reaching the end of their storage life. The disease is usually observed only when anthracnose and stem end rot, which would normally develop earlier in the ripening process, have been well controlled.
Symptoms: Small brown with diffuse margins expand into extensive dark-brown lesions at the stem end or on the sides of fruit. A white to gray fungal growth may cover the surface of the lesions.
Percentage Acres Affected: 2 to 5%
Percentage Damage: 2 to 3%
Source of Infection and Spread: This fungus has a wide range of hosts, in which it causes leaf spots as well as fruit lesions. The spores are airborne. Infection occurs before harvest, but symptoms do not develop until fruit are ripe.
Disease Management: Copper compounds applied to control anthracnose will also reduce alternaria rot. The disease is not likely to cause losses in fruit consumed within 2 weeks of harvest.
Occurrence: While sooty molds do not cause disease lesions, but their dark saprophytic growth makes the fruit surface unsightly, lowering its market quality. They occur more frequently when scale insects are a problem, and in humid growing conditions.
Symptoms and Damage: Fungi of this large group form dense, dark mats of fungal growth on living leaves, stems and fruit. This is a superficial covering which can be rubbed away to reveal undamaged tissue beneath.
Percentage Acres Affected: 15 to 20%
Percentage Damage: 5 to 10%
Source of Infection and Spread: The growth of these fungi is associated with infestation by scale insects. The fungi feed on the excreta of the insects and nutrients on the plant surface.
Disease Management: Observe scale insect control recommendations. Washing and brushing fruit after harvest should remove sooty mold.
Occurrence: Powdery mildew is a sporadic field problem and is more common during cool dry weather, particularly when the humidity is high. It occurs in most mango growing areas of the world. Mango cultivars vary considerably in their susceptibility. The disease usually affects shoots and flowers, and occasionally fruits.
Percentage Acres Affected: 20 to 30%
Percentage Damage: 15 to 20%
Symptoms and Damage: Young shoots, flowers and small fruits are covered with a white, powdery growth. Affected fruit may fall prematurely. Purplish-brown, blotchy areas appear on the skin of older fruit.
Source of Infection and Spread: The white, powdery growth consists of large numbers of spores, which are dispersed by the wind.
Disease Management: Under normal conditions, sulphur applied regularly will keep powdery mildew in check.
Chemical Control Practices: The following table summarizes fungicides used for managing mango diseases.
Table I: Fungicides for Mango Disease Control
|Pesticide||Target Pest1||Acreage Treated||Type Applic.||Typical Rates pounds a.i./acre||Timing||No.of Applic.|
at 20 day
|SM, PM||50||Foliar||1.5 gal||Before
at 2 week
Occurrence: Both species of mango scale are widespread in mango growing areas of the world.
Damage: Infested areas on leaves turn pale-green or yellow and ultimately die.In the nursery a severe infestation of mango scale will retard growth. Young trees in the field are particularly vulnerable to excessive leaf loss and death of twigs during hot dry weather. Scale infestation causes a conspicuous pink blemish on the fruit. Both the blemish and presence of scales will downgrade quality.
Description and Life Cycle: Both species of mango scales are similar in appearance and biology. Continuous breeding occurs throughout the year. Females and immature males penetrate the plant tissue with their mouth-parts and feed on the cell sap. The sedentary adult females have a round, white transparent covering, which incorporates a dark oval spot (the cast nymphal skin). Each female lays about 50 eggs under the protective scale covering. After hatching, the crawlers move around in search of a feeding site. Female crawlers become sedentary and start secreting their protective scale cover. Male crawlers settle in groups and secrete a fine white filament which curls over the body; later immature stages secrete a white rectangular cover with two distinct grooves. The adult male has two wings and is capable of flight.
Percentage Acres Affected: 30 to 40%
Percentage Damage: 15 to 20%
Pest Monitoring: Using a 10X magnification hand lens, check twigs and leaves less than 12 months old for scale. With a pin remove the white transparent covering of the female scale and prick the scale to release body fluid. Masses of pink eggs and crawlers (nymphs) may be observed under the scale cover.
Pest Management: Post-harvest pruning to open the tree canopy will help sprays to penetrate. Full cover sprays should be applied when trees are flushing in February-March and again in spring when fruit is pigeon egg sized
Occurrence: This insect has a wide host range including ornamental and crop trees.
Damage: Adult female flies sting the fruit with their ovipositors to lay eggs on the fruit.Larvae feed throughout the tissue of the fruit, destroying much of it and opening the way for decomposition. The fruit ripens prematurely and is unfit for marketing.
Description and Life Cycle: Adults are wasp-like, and about 8 mm long. The white, eggs are laid in small batches beneath the skin of fruit. The torpedo-shaped larvae, about 7 mm long when mature, leave the fruit to pupate in the soil. The life cycle may be completed in little more than 2 weeks. Warm, humid weather is favorable to fruit flies. Pest populations build up as the mango picking season progresses.
Pest Monitoring: In the dry tropics, fruit flies are more active in the wet season (November-April),particularly during periods of warm humid weather. Fruit fly activity should be gauged by the use of fruit fly traps. The traps are hung under the shady canopy (where the flies tend to rest). Weekly counts are made of trapped flies. Spraying is recommended when a sustained increase in numbers is noted.
Pest Management: Sprays to control fruit fly are applied 6, 4, 2 and 1 week (s) before harvest or as indicated by trapping (see Table 2). Mangoes are considered a high-risk commodity for some interstate and overseas markets because of potential fruit fly infestations. Growers wishing to send fruit overseas should contact the nearest Department of Agriculture (USDA Aphis PPQ) office for information on postharvest treatments and inspection procedures.
Percentage Acres Affected: 30 to 40%
Percentage Damage: 15 to 20%
Occurrence: Pink wax scale is distributed throughout the Caribbean. The host range in the area includes many native and introduced shrubs and trees.
Damage: Shoots, fruit stalks and parts of fruit may be covered with pink, convex scales. Fruit size and tree vigor are adversely affected. Black, sooty mold fungi feed on excretions of the scale insects, giving the leaves and fruit an unsightly appearance.
Description of Life Cycle: Adults are pinkish brown and almost globular in shape. Both adults and nymphs feed by sucking sap. There are several generations a year. These begin with the emergence of masses of pink crawlers from the female scales. Crawlers move over the young growth and select feeding sites on the midrib and main veins of both leaf surfaces. They then lose the use of their legs and secrete a waxy covering.
Pest Monitoring: Using a 10X magnification hand lens, check new growth for the presence of crawlers. Turn mature scales over and examine for eggs and crawlers. When squashed, live scales are soft and contain a pink fluid. Dead scales are hard and dry. Scales, which have changed in color from reddish-pink to gray, should not be disturbed, as they have been parasitised by wasps, their natural enemies.
Pest Management: Natural enemies are important in the control of pink wax scale. A full cover spray is occasionally necessary in September or February to March when young scales are seen on the leaves. Scales should be controlled before they become 1.5 mm long.
Percentage Acres Affected: 10%
Percentage Damage: 5%
Occurrence: Redbanded thrips are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Hosts include avocado and guava.
Damage: The preferred feeding site for the thrips is the tissue next to the midrib on the undersurface of leaves, but in severe infestations fruit is also attacked. The first sign of damage is a silvering of leaves and fruit. In severe infestations, the silvering develops a pale-yellow to brown discoloration, speckled darkly with dried droppings.
Description and Life Cycle: Adult thrips are dark bodied with a red band on the first three abdominal segments. In the immature stages abdominal segments one and two are light orange and the anal segments bright red. Eggs are inserted into the tissue on the lower leaf surface and covered with a drop of fluid, which dries to form a black, disc-like cover. Nymphs emerge in about 12 days. One generation is completed in two weeks. Both immature and adult thrips feed by sucking sap from cells. Following feeding, nymphs carry a drop of excrement at the end of the abdomen. The abdomen is raised and lowered periodically to deposit the droplet, which dries to give a small, dark stain.
Pest Monitoring: Using a 10X magnification hand lens, check the lower leaf surfaces for thrips.
Pest Management: Apply a full cover spray when damage caused by redbanded thrips is observed (see Table 2).
Percentage Acre Affected: 5%
Percentage Damage: 1%
Occurrence: Coccids are found throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. They attack many tropical and subtropical fruits.
Damage: Adults and nymphs suck the sap of shoots, leaves, fruit stalks and fruit. Fruits heavily infested with scale are unmarketable.
Descriptions and Life Cycle: This brown coccid is a kind of scale insect. It is a common, but minor, pest of neglected mango trees. The species is undescribed and its biology is unknown. It is attended by fire ants (Solenopsis spp.), which probably provides protection from parasites and predators.
Pest Monitoring: The oval, immobile, brown scale insects are frequently grouped near the tips of young shoots, on fruit stalks and on the fruit. Inspection of these areas is recommended.
Pest Management: Insecticide sprays recommended to control mango scale should control this coccid. Otherwise, spray when coccids are observed (see Table 2). Removal of attendant ants may permit natural enemies to control the coccids.
Percentage Acres Affected: 25%
Percentage Damage: 10%
Occurrence: Native and cultivated trees growing in dry areas.
Damage: Living and dead roots, bark and branches are attacked. The sapwood is destroyed, leaving a paper-thin outer covering. Strong winds or the weight of fruit will cause damaged branches to break.
Description and Life Cycle: Termite colonies build mounds in living and dead trees or on the ground. A mound consists of a maze of galleries covered with a hard coating of clay and organic material, and may contain several million termites. Covered runway extends to food sources above and below the nest. Termite castes found within the mound include soldiers, workers and winged male and female reproductives. At certain times, usually in summer, the latter termites leave the mounds, mate and lose their wings. The surviving individuals choose suitable sites for the formation of new colonies.
Pest Monitoring: During pruning, inspect scaffold branches for mounds and covered runways.
Pest Management: Before planting, remove old stumps and roots from the field and burn them.
Percentage Acres Affected: 10%
Percentage Damage: 1%
Mango Bud Mite
Occurrence: Mango bud mite occurs throughout the mango growing areas of the world. It is very difficult to find in commercial orchards and consequently is not considered an important pest. Slight damage has been observed in some backyard and neglected trees.
Damage: These mites cause malformation of new growth and dieback of flower panicles. The malformed terminals develop a “dried-up” appearance. Lateral buds are also attacked and ultimately the twig will die. In severe cases the trees become leafless and non-producing.
Description and Life Cycle: The life history of mango bud mite has not been researched.
Pest Monitoring: The white, carrot shaped mites are not visible to the naked eye but can be seen under 10X hand lens or magnifying glass. Brown or black spotting of the bracts at the base of the buds is evidence of mite activity.
Pest Management: Severe pruning in January, followed by pesticide application, is recommended (see Table 2).
Percentage Acres Affected: 5%
Percentage Damage: 1 to 2%
Table 2: Insecticides for Mango Insect Control
|Pesticide||Target Pest1||% Acreage
|Timing||No. of |
to foliage as
of 7 days
harvest, at 2
harvest, at 2
Occurrence: Year round
Damage Caused: Reduced yields from weed competition and loss of efficiency in nursery operations. Weeds can interfere with pesticide applications. Damage occurs primarily in nurseries and new plantings during the first three years. Weeds reduce growth of young tress by competing for water, nutrients and space. Weeds also increase water use, cause vertebrate, invertebrate and other pest problems and may increase the potential for disease.
Percentage Acres Affected: 75% new plantations (1 to 3 years), 50% old plantations (>3 years).
Pest Life Cycles: Annual and perennial weed such as vines, yellow and purple nutsedge, nightshade species, comelina, guinea grass, Menker grass, annual and perennial grasses are present at any time during the year.
Timing of Control: Preplant and postmergence.
Yield Losses: Around 35% in severely infested fields.
Cultural Control Practices: Because few herbicides are registered for mango, cultivation practices are necessary. Fields are planted with two plows, two diskings and two-bank preparations. The use of drip irrigation is recommended. Mechanical weeding is performed between rows and trees to clean up the perimeter along the trunks and along the rows. Early shading by the tree canopy and other cover plants helps reduce annual maintenance.
Biological Control Practices: None
Chemical Control Practices: Preplant preemergence and postemergence herbicides are used to control annual and perennial weeds. The following table summarizes herbicide use for managing weeds.
Table 3: Herbicides for Mango Weeds Control