TURMERIC CULTIVATION

Curcuma longa, Zingiberaceae

Turmeric is popularly known as “Indian Saffron”. It is a sacred spice of India. It is principal ingredient in Indian culinary and used as flavouring and coloring agent. It is used in drug and cosmetic industry because of its anti-cancer and anti-viral property. It has special place in religious and ceremonial occasions.

Its leaves are long, broad and of bright green color and flowers are of pale yellow color. India is world largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric. In India, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka and Kerala are major producers of Turmeric.

Varieties and hybrids

Sugandham, BSR 2, Ranga, Rashmi, Rajendra Sonia, Krishna, Co 1, BSR 1, Roma, Swarna, Sudarshana, IISR Prabha, IISR Prathiba.

Soil and climate
It requires a temperature of 24-28 degrees and rainfall of 250cm. A friable well drained red loamy soil in wet or garden lands under tropical conditions is ideal.

Land Preparation

Prepared field by ploughing land, two – three times. After ploughing do planking operation. For turmeric planting, beds of 15cm height, 1m width and of convenient length are prepared. Keep distance of 50cm between beds.

Time of sowing
To get higher yield, complete rhizome sowing in field by April end. It is also raised by transplanting method, for that rhizome transplantation should be completed within first fortnight of June. For transplanting 35-45 days old seedling is used.  

Soil depth and spacing

Sow rhizomes in line and keep distance of 30 cm between the row and 20 cm between two plant. After rhizome planting, straw mulch@ 2.5 ton/acre is applied in field. Depth of soil should not exceed 3 cm. Direct sowing and transplanting method is used for planting.

Seed Rate
For sowing, select fresh and diseased free rhizomes (mother rhizomes as well as fingers) are used. Seed rate of 6-8 qtl is sufficient for sowing one acre land.

Seed treatment

Seed rhizomes dipped in  monocrotophos 36 WSC 1.5 ml/lit and 0.3% Copper oxychloride for 30 min

Manures and fertilizers

At the time of field preparation, apply well decomposed FYM @150 qtl/acre in soil. Apply N:P:K@10:10:10 kg/acre in form of Urea@25 kg/acre, SSP@60 kg/acre and MOP@16 kg/acre. Full dose of Potash and Phosphorus are applied at time of rhizome planting. Nitrogen dose is given in two equal splits. First half dose of N is given 75 days after planting and remaining half dose is given three month after planting. 

Micronutrient application
Apply 375 g each of Boron, Iron and Zinc, at rhizome development stage, as Borax, Ferrous sulphate, Zinc sulphate + 375 g of Urea in 250 lit of water/ha. Spray twice at 25 days interval.
The above micronutrients are dissolved in Super phosphate slurry (15 kg Super Phosphate is dissolved in 25 lit of water stored overnight and the supernatant solution is made upto 250 lit). In this solution, the micronutrients are added.

Inter cultivation
Onion, Coriander and Fenugreek can be planted as intercrop on the sides of the ridges 10 cm apart (250 kg seed Onion/ha). Redgram and Castor can also be planted at wider spacing.

Weed Management

Weeding can be done as and when necessary. The plants are earthed up at the time of 2nd and 4th top dressings. Apply Pendimethalin 30EC@800ml per acre or Metribuzin 70WP@400gm/acre in 200Ltr of water within 2-3 days after planting rhizomes. After weedicide application, cover field with green manure or paddy straw.  Earthing up operation is carried to enhanced root development. After 50-60 days of planting, carry out first earthing operation and next should be done after 40 days.

Irrigation

It is grown as rainfed crop so provide irrigation depending upon rainfall intensity and rainfall frequency. For light textured soil, in whole life cycle, 35-40 irrigations are required.
After planting, crop is mulched with green leaves@40-60 qtl/acre. Repeat mulching@30 qtl/acre after every fertilizer application. 

Harvesting

Turmeric is harvested when leaves of turmeric gets yellow and dry out completely, Remove rhizomes by digging. Clean the rhizomes  after harvesting. Then dry them in shades for 2-3days. It will make peel hard and easy for boiling. Depending upon variety, it takes 6-9months for harvesting.

Yield

Fresh rhizomes        :   25-30 t/ha
Cured rhizomes       :   5-6 t/ha

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