This text covers all practical aspects of growing rubber. Early chapters describe plant classification, development, environmental influences and propagation. These aspects are followed by details of establishment of a plantation and its maintenance and exploitation. The authors highlight the benefits of the rubber plantation as an environmentally acceptable closed ecosystem with a constant cycle of uptake and return of soil nutrients. Processing and uses of rubber and its associated products are also desribed in an easy-to-read style. "The Tropcial Agriculturalist" is a series of practical field guides and textbooks for: producers, farmers and farm managers; agricultural extension officers; agricultural diploma, degree and vocational students; teachers and lecturers; senior secondary students, as reference books; and adult education, rural and community development programmes. During the 1990s agricultural research and the experience of growers have combined to improve techniques in the growth and processing of rubber. The aim of "Rubber" is to provide a guide to large- and small-scale planters and to answer the questions associated with rubber cultivation.
Introduction: origins; taxonomy; cultivation history. The plant: vegetative cycle; root system; aerial system; reproduction; bark and wood; latex; biosynthesis or rubber. The environment: climatic factors; soils. Propagation of planting material: introduction; choice of clone; production of young plants; bud-wood production; budding. Establishing a plantation: site choice and preparation; soil preparation and conservation; planting pattern and density; lining and holing; planting techniques; replanting. Maintenance: young plantations; weed control; nutrition; treatment of diseases and pests; combining other enterprises with rubber. Exploitation: basic concepts; tools and techniques; organization and implementation; collection. Processing and utilization: introduction; latex; lower-grade rubber; packing and transport; uses and consumption. Other products: introduction; seed; wood.