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Cultivation of Jatropha

 

Cultivation of Jatropha is uncomplicated since it can be grown in tropical and subtropical regions. The plant has the capacity to grow on wasteland and also on any type of topography. The plant can blossom even on stony poor soil. Jatropha can be brought up as monoculture, mixed cropping and even can be grown as a live fence. Being a perennial crop the jatropha plant can yield for about 50 years. The tree can grow well on hot weather with little rain.

The plant achieves its complete germination after 9 days from the day of sowing seeds. Adding manures at the time of germination will result in negative effects but adding manures after germination will give the best results. After 9 to 12 months the crops starts yield and the effective yielding is obtained only after 2 to 3 years.

The plants should be left appropriate space in between them depending on the soil type and nutrients. This is very important for mowing the grass and also for mechanical harvesting. In general 6*6, 8*8, and 10*10 spacing can be practiced for better results.

The flowers are seen only at the end of the stem (terminally) so plants that produce many branches can give large amount of fruits. The plant can give a yield of about 0.8 to 1 kg per meter when it is planted in the edges. Average seed production is 3.5 tons per hectare. This can range from 0.4 tons/hectare during the first yield and goes to 5 tons/hectare in the next three years.

Jatropha can grow in medium to dry regions with the annual rainfall raging from 200 to 1000 mm. It can grow at an altitude of about 0 to 500 m with the average temperature 20 degree C. But it can grow on higher altitudes withstanding little frost. The frost will affect only the young plants and severe frost can defoliate the plant and can destroy the trees.

The plants should be left appropriate space in between them depending on the soil type and nutrients. This is very important for mowing the grass and also for mechanical harvesting. In general 6*6, 8*8, and 10*10 spacing can be practiced for better results.

But the main factors the affect the jatropha yield is as follows:

  Climate

  Crop density

  Genotype

  Inter-cropping

  Irrigation

  Quality of the soil

  Use of fertilizer

  Use of pesticide

  Weeding

In order to get the maximum yield use of inorganic fertilizers should be avoided. But nitrogen can be added during the first few weeks and during the active growing time. In case of pest problems low impact pest treatment strategies will help the most. If possible make arrangement for drip irrigation frequently in summer, little in monsoon and only fortnight in winter. Expose the plant to maximum sunlight and use the method of intercropping in the first 2 to 3 years.

Also see the key factors that are important in planting the jatropha plant: Important factors

Jatropha can be grown on all the regions that lie in the tropical and sub tropical zones. They can withstand any extremes of temperature. Know about their growing climate and regions.

Here are some of the guidelines that help you to make the best yield from the jatropha plant. Guidelines