Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
  1. Introduction:
Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide is here for you. Castor is an important non-edible oilseed export cash crop of India and the world. Castor ranks first among non-edible oilseed crops in the World and country. Due to its properties, it is used in engine lubricants, dyes, and various industrial products such as plastics, soaps, printing inks, waxes, rubber, hard plastic sheets, cosmetics, and medicines.
Crop NameCastor
Scientific NameRicinus Communis L
FamilyEuphorbeacea
GenusRicinus
Non-edible oil content45-47%
Major growing countriesIndia, China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, African countries Pakistan, Philippines
Major Growing States in IndiaGujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc
TOP castor growing stateGujarat

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Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Lady Bird Beetle natural biological control agent/Image Credit Pixabay.com

The pulp of the plant is used in the manufacture of paper for cartons and newspapers. The various countries earn foreign exchange through the export of oil and various oil products. Due to the toxic substance called RESIN present in Castor seeds, it cannot be used as animal feed, but as it contains 5% Nitrogen content, it is very useful as an organic fertilizer to improve soil fertility.

Castor is cultivated around the world mainly in India, China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, African countries Pakistan, the Philippines, etc.

In India, Castor is grown in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc. India’s share in the world’s total cultivation and production is 83-85 and 66-68 percent respectively. India ranks first in terms of production and productivity per hectare among the major countries of the world under cultivation of castor.

Castor is cultivated in about 8.00 lakh hectares in our country out of which 11.00 lakh tonnes of production is obtained.

The state of Gujarat contributes about 30% of the total area and about 70% of the production of India. About 9.50 lakh tonnes are produced annually from approximately 4.50 lakh hectares of cultivated area in Gujarat. The productivity of castor in Gujarat is approximately 2000 kg/ha.


Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Castor Crop standing in the field

  1. Soil and Climate:

  • Castor can be grown in a variety of soils but medium black, loam, and sandy soils with good drainage are preferred.
  • Fertile and well-drained soil should be selected as it is a long-duration crop.
  • Heavy black soils or alkaline soils that are waterlogged is suitable for castor growing.
  • The crop is resistant to waterlogging and can be cultivated as a non-irrigated crop even in dry areas.
  • Irrigated castor produces two to three times higher production than that of rainfed castor.
  • This crop prefers a moderate temperature (20° to 26°C) climate with minimum humidity.
  • Excessive cold and frost damage the cultivated crop.

  1. Land Preparation and Organic Manure:

  • Apply 10 to 12 tons of well-decomposed Farm Yard Manure (FYM) or one ton of castor cake per hectare to be given before sowing the crop.
  • After giving well-decomposed manure, carry out two to three plows and level the land.
  • If well-decomposed manure or castor cake is not available, then, in the first week of June green manuring the field with cluster bean or sun hemp green crop.

  1. Selection of Variety:

  • Hybrid, high-yielding, drought-resistant, short-duration, Insect-pest- disease resistance varieties should be selected and grown for a higher yield of castor.
  1. Seed treatment:

  • Seed treatment with fungicide like Thiram or Captan 3 gm/kg or Carbendazim 1 gm/kg to protect the plants from seed-borne diseases before sowing.
  • Treatment of seeds with Azospirillum, Acetobacter and Trichoderma with phosphate culture is also recommended by various agriculture university
  1. Sowing Time:

  • Irrigated Castor: Castor is sown from JULY TO THE END OF SEPTEMBER. Sowing of CASTOR after 15th August can protect the crop from infestation of caterpillars.
  • Non-Irrigated Castor: Sowing of non-irrigated CASTOR should be done immediately after rains.Late sowing reduces crop production.
  1. Seed rate:

  • Castor is generally sown by hand at a suitable distance through the hand dibbling method. This method requires 04 to 06 kg of seeds per hectare.
  • While planting through seed drilling requires 8 to 10 kg of seed per hectare.
  1. Gap filling:

  • After 15-20 days from sowing carries out gap filling and keep a single plant in a pit, so that the crop develops horizontally and starts sprouting.
  1. Chemical fertilizer Management:

  • For Non-Irrigated Castor:

For effective return, it is imperative to provide the required nutrients based on soil testing/analysis. It is economically beneficial to apply 60 kg nitrogen and 30 kg phosphorus to Castor crop under non-irrigated conditions, of which 30 kg nitrogen and 30 kg phosphorus are applied as base fertilizer at sowing and the remaining 30 kg nitrogen is applied 40 to 50 days after planting, when the soil is sufficiently moist.


Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Why Camel Milk is good for Human Health

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Castor Crop standing in the field

  • For Irrigated Castor:

Apply 75 kg of nitrogen and 50 kg of phosphorus per hectare are recommended for irrigated castor, of which 37.5 kg of nitrogen and 50 kg of phosphorus should be applied to the soil at the time of sowing and 18.75 kg of nitrogen should be applied 40 days after sowing and again the same amount after 70 days of sowing.

  • Based on the Recommendation by various Agriculture University, 120 kg of nitrogen per hectare in three equal installments (at base, 40 days and 80 days) and 25 kg of phosphorus to the soil at the time of sowing/planting should be given for proper growth and development of the crop.
  • If the soil is deficient in Sulphur, the application of 20 kg of sulfur per hectare increases the crop production.
  • 15 kg Ferrous sulfate and 8 kg zinc sulfate per hectare as per soil test report or government-approved grade-P micronutrient mixture (containing 2% iron, 0.5% manganese, 5% zinc, 0.2% Cobalt and 0.5% boron) at the time of sowing.
  • Adoption of integrated fertilizer management using other sources like green waste, well decomposed Farm Yard Manure (FYM) and Azospirillum bio fertilizer along with chemical fertilizers can achieve higher production or save 25 to 50 percent of chemical fertilizers.
  • For higher yield and Income from Irrigated Castor, it is recommended to apply 200 kg/ha  Nitrogen in five equal installments @ the time of sowing, 40,70,100 and 130 days of sowing/planting.
  • According to the latest research by various Agriculture University, integrated fertilizer management gives higher production and income and also maintains soil fertility than giving chemical fertilizers alone to Castor crops.

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Why Camel Milk is good for Human Health

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Castor Crop Seeds

  1. Weed Management:

  • One or two deep ploughings is done in the summer season. Irrigate the field before sowing the crop so that all the unwanted weeds come out, which can be buried in soil through ploughing.
  • In labor shortage, use herbicides like Pendimethalin 0.9 kg active ingredient per hectare or trifluralin 1 kg per hectare immediately after sowing but before crop and weed emergence (pre-emergence).
  • Use Quezalofop Ethyl 50 g active/ha 30 days after sowing of crop for effective weeds control.
  1. Intercropping:

  • As the crop is sown in the month of August ,so short-duration monsoon crops can be taken in it as a intercropping. Castor can easily be intercropped with mung bean, soybean, sunflower, urad, sesame and groundnut.
  • Monsoon crops are sown at recommended intervals of 5 to 6 feet leaving one row  for castor sowing. Then, during the second fortnight of August castor sowing  is done in vacant rows with 60-75 cm between two plants.
  • After harvesting of monsoon crops, the growth of Castor crops is good and Castor production is at higher level.
  1. Irrigation:

  • The crop needs 6 to 8 irrigations during its lifetime depending on soil type and moisture storage capacity.
  • First four irrigations should be given at an interval of 15 days after the rains stop and the remaining irrigations should be given at an interval of 20 days.
  • There should not be any water scarcity at the flowering stage, which increases the number of male flowers, thereby reducing production.
  • If water is available only in a limited way, give one irrigation 75 days after sowing.
  • In the water-scarce/Non-Irrigated area drip irrigation saves 24% water and yields 36% more than conventional irrigation methods. Drip irrigation method should be run for 40 minutes from October to November and 30 minutes from December to February on alternate days.
  1. Crop Rotation:

  • Crop rotation is a good for control of various diseases like dry rot and wilt in Castor. Crop like millet, sorghum, paddy, groundnut, pulses etc., which is very important to rotate crops with castor.
  • For control of wilt and root rot in groundnuts, castor crop should be grown after groundnuts.

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Castor Crop Green Bunch

  1. Crop Protection:

Pests

  • About 20% of damage is caused by different insects-pests of Castor.
  • Caterpillars, armyworms, green caterpillars, thrips, and whiteflies are the major pests damage Castor.
  • Integrated pest control:
  • Deep plowing should be done after harvesting the crop.
  • Planting of Castor should be done after 15th August invariably.
  • To know the infestation of red hairy caterpillars, armyworms set up light traps at the beginning of the monsoon.
  • Fix 40 to 50 bird support per hectare, which helps in controlling insect-pests..
  • Use 6 to 8 pheromone traps per hectare to attract armyworm males.

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Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Various Major Insects & Pests attacks Castor crop
  1. Reni form Nematode:

  • The worms do not form nodules on the root of the castor, but remain on the outer side of the root and suck the sap from the root with the help of a sucker.
  • Due to this, the growth of the plant stops and  remains stunted. Infested roots turn black in colour.
  • Due to its infestation, the fungus responsible for the wilt disease easily penetrates the roots.

Control of Reni form Nematode

  • Organic fertilizers like poultry manure or cow dung at 10-15 t/ha application to the soil reduces the number of worms.
  • Apply Carbofuran 3% granular (33 kg per hectare) along with fertilizer in a circular shape around the plants.
  • Crop rotation with cereals reduces worm infestation.
  • Deep plowing with a tractor in the summer after harvesting kills the Nematodes.

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

16. Diseases:

Major diseases attack the castor crops are

  • Fusarium Wilt,
  • Leaf Spot,
  • Powdery Mildew,
  • Gray Mold,
  • Bacterial Leaf Blight and
  • Anthracnose.

Control Measures:

  • Fusarium Wilt: Fumigants like methyl bromide or chloropicrin can be used in the past for controlling Fusarium wilt. Fungicides containing active ingredients such as thiophanate-methyl, propiconazole, or carbendazim may help in suppressing the pathogen and reducing disease severity. Fungicides containing active ingredients such as captan or carbendazim can be used as seed treatments.
  • Leaf Spot: Fungicides containing active ingredients such as chlorothalonil, mancozeb, copper-based fungicides, or triazole fungicides (e.g., tebuconazole) can be effective against fungal pathogens causing leaf spots.
  • Powdery Mildew: Fungicides containing active ingredients such as sulfur, triazole fungicides (e.g., tebuconazole), or strobilurin fungicides (e.g., azoxystrobin) can be used.
  • Gray Mold:Fungicides containing active ingredients such as boscalid, iprodione, pyraclostrobin, or captan can be used. Follow the instructions provided on the product labels regarding dosage, application timing, and safety precautions.
  • Bacterial Leaf Blight:Copper-based bactericides can be used to control bacterial leaf blight in castor. Copper compounds, such as copper hydroxide or copper oxychloride, can be effective in reducing bacterial populations and suppressing disease spread.
  • Anthracnose: Applying fungicides can be an effective method to control anthracnose in castor plants. Fungicides containing active ingredients such as thiophanate-methyl, azoxystrobin, or mancozeb can be used.

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Why Camel Milk is good for Human Health

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide
Various Major Diseases attacks on Castor crop

17. Harvesting:

  • Harvesting of Castor should be done when the capsule shows signs of ripening.
  • When about half of the pods in the bunch are ripe and the rest turn yellow, this is a sign of cutting the bunch.
  • Castor crop takes around 135-180 days to reach the complete harvesting stage.
  • When all the nests are removed, spread them loosely and dry them properly in the heat of the sun.
  • The seeds is separated, cleaned, and make ready for sale by bullocks or threshers.

18. Yield/hectare:

  • Irrigated crop: 3500 kg/ha and
  • Non-irrigated crop: 1200 to 1500 kg/ha
  • However, yield depends on variety of Castors, soil types, and weather conditions prevails.

Castor Cultivation | Farming Guide

Why Camel Milk is good for Human Health

2. What is the importance of castor crop in country’s economy?

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