One of the misery or accident that sometimes haunts the rubber growers is fire and harsh weather condition during particular times of every year. This is especially so in the initial days of rubber cultivation. Of course, danger for natural calamities does remain always or take place or inflict at any age or stage of the rubber plantation.
During the time starting from mid February onwards day temperature usually starts rising so is drying up of herbs/shrubs/weeds etc in the rubber plantation as well as surrounding the plantation area too. This not only increases the chances of wilting of young rubber seedlings but also increases the danger for accidental fire or wild fire which could devastate the whole rubber plantation itself.
Increase of day temperature coupled with dry spell that prevail from the mid or end of February to April month bring out lots of hardship to the rubber plantation owner as well as young rubber seedlings. It is frequently reported that young rubber seedling started showing wilting symptom due to hot temperature and increase of soil temperature around the root zone of the rubber seedling.
It is also unfortunately seen that fire completely engulfed the young rubber plantation which was accidentally started some where but spread to the rubber plantation in absence of control mechanism like fire line etc.
During this stage, rubber plantation should invites special attention of the rubber growers for managing his / her rubber plantation from the harsh weather as well as fire by making use of simple technique like fire line making at the width of 2(two) meters around the rubber plantation so the fire from the others area does not spread to the plantation and cause damage.
So far as protecting of the rubber especially young rubber seedling is concerned, ground of the rubber seedling should be mulched with dried grass thereby temperature in and around the root zone of the rubber seedling is minimized and young seedling is protected from the scorching sunlight and heat.
The process of making fire line is very simple one; a line to the width of 2(two) meter is cleaned without leaving any dry grass in between. The mechanism is just to avoid the fire from the surrounding area spread to the rubber plantation and cause damage to the rubber seedlings. It can be done by employing even unskilled wage earner only the point is fire line to be made around the rubber plantation.
In case of mulching of young rubber seedlings, here also the process is very simple and can be made at ease by the plantation owner. The process is; dry grass is evenly spread on the ground around the rubber seedling. However, care should be taken that only dry grass is used and care also should be taken that the mulch do not generate heat around the rubber seedling and also does not attract the termite infestation which will cause damage to the rubber seedlings. The idea is to keep the soil temperature around the root zone cool.
In conclusion what could be said here is that; for managing the rubber plantation especially the young rubber plantation from the dry spell, these simple two steps can minimize the casualty due to harsh weather condition and fire accident.
N: B: For specific recommendation and implementation purpose, expert may be consulted.