Cassava Cultivation: Mastering Environmental Factors

Cassava Development Stage 

Cassava, a tropical crop, thrives within specific temperature and precipitation ranges. Limited access to resources, especially water, can affect cassava yields. This chapter provides planting recommendations for different seasons and emphasizes using historical weather data for planting decisions.

Cassava has five stages of development. The first is sprouting (5-15 DAP), requiring adequate soil moisture for root and shoot growth. The second is leaf and root formation (15-90 DAP), relying on moisture for leaf turgor and root development. The third is canopy establishment (90-180 DAP), where water deficits reduce photosynthesis and root starch accumulation. The fourth stage (180-300 DAP) prioritizes carbohydrate translocation to roots for starch accumulation. Finally, the dormancy stage (300-360 DAP) leads to leaf loss, and starch accumulation peaks. These stages highlight the significance of moisture in cassava growth.

Environmental factors affecting cassava growth and development

Temperature and soil moisture are crucial environmental factors for cassava growth. Temperatures below 15°C hinder budding, while the optimum temperature for growth is around 25/15°C (day/night). Insufficient water during vegetative stages reduces leaf area and shoot growth. Prolonged drought can damage shoot meristem. Optimal plant density ranges from 13,000 to 15,000 plants per hectare, with spacing between plants approximately 0.8–0.9 m apart. Strategic planting, considering environmental factors and developmental stages, is essential for successful cassava cultivation.