Jute is generally harvested when the plants are at early pod stage. The harvest index remains more or less constant over 60–105 day period following sowing. However, it reaches its peak during 110-120 day period following sowing. The fibre remains weak if it is harvested before flowering. On the other hand, the fibre becomes coarse and lacks lustre if harvesting is delayed beyond 120-day age.


The plants are usually cut close to the ground by hand. A curved, sickle type knife is used to cut the plants. The plants are then sorted out according to height and diameter. The assorted plants are tied into bundles. Each bundle weighs    8-10 kg. The bundles are kept standing in the field for 3–4 days for defoliation.


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