Planting

 

 

Soil

Jute is grown in wide range of soil types, mainly alluviums, latrerite, and calcareous with soil texture varying from sandy loam to clay loam. Basically, the soil should be well-drained, and its pH should preferably be in the range of 5.5–6.5. White jute is relatively more tolerant to waterlogging especially at later stages of crop growth, therefore, this species may be preferred in areas prone to late flooding. Conversely, tossa jute does not tolerate waterlogging and is usually grown on higher lands. In general, both the species is more sensitive to waterlogging during early stage of crop growth. In India and Bangladesh, , which are major jute growing countries, 1976.9 and 1210.8 thousand acres areas were grown under jute and allied fibres during 2010/11 (as per FAO/ IJSG).

Land preparation

 

Land is prepared carefully in order to make a fine seed bed for emergence and establishment of a good plant stand. Bullock- or tractor-driven ploughs are generally used. It is necessary to plough 3 to 5 times for the fine tilth followed by removal of stubbles and weeds, and leveling the surface, using a leveler, in order to ensure uniform aeration and avoid water stagnation in pockets during the crop growth. This is also important to make the subsoil free of compact region in order to enable the tap root of jute to grow vertically downwards and also deep lateral roots to grow fast enough without hindrance.

 

Sowing

Jute is an annual herbaceous dicotyledonous plant that grows to a height of 1.5–4.5 m. The stems are about 1–2 cm in diameter with few branching habits. It is a short-day plant and in tropical areas flowers three to four months after sowing towards the end of the monsoon. It grows well in a hot and humid climate with temperature in the range of 24˚C-37˚C or even higher and day-length in excess of 12 hours. It requires a rainfall in the range of 1000 to 1500 mm, depending on soil characteristics and ground water status, spread evenly over four months of the growing season. Because of its thermosensitive property it requires an appropriate  time for sowing matching with the temperature and day-length required for optimum growth and development. Soil temperature needs to be 15˚C or above for favourable seedling growth. Under favourable hydro-thermal condition of soils emergence of seedlings may take place 3–6 days after sowing.

 

There is an optimum time of sowing for each location depending upon the onset of pre-monsoon rain and the varieties to be grown. Taking the major areas of production into account in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal, sowing of jute ranges from late February to May. Sowing should be done preferably in lines (with the help of Multi-row manually operated Seed Drill, developed recently by CRIJAF.

 

If broadcast, which is still in vogue, the thinning of plants may be done at a later stage.

Nutrients and fertilizers

As with most high biomass crops, jute has a high demand for plant nutrients, especially of the macronutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

 

A good crop of tossa jute yielding 3.1 t ha-1 of dry fibre takes on an average of 65 kg N, 52 kg P2O5 , 163 kg K2O, 128 kg CaO, and 33 kg MgO ha-1.

 

White jute, on the other hand, yielding 2.0 t ha-1 of dry fibre takes on an average 84 kg nitrogen, 37 kg P2O5, 117 kg K2O, 120 kg CaO, and 49 kg MgO ha-1 during growth period.

 

The critical limits for soil available P, S and Zn were worked out as 24 kg P2O5 ha-1, 8.5 ppm SO4-S and 0.5 ppm Zn, respectively. Nitrogen, however, remains as the main cotributing nutrient to boost fibre yield. Nearly 18-21 kg extra jute fibre may be obtained by the application of 1 kg ha-1of S in S-deficient soils as worked out in India. It has been found that, on an average, 15 tonnes of green jute leaves per hectare are added to the soil enriching its fertility level during the growing period.  

 

Integrated nutrient management is a strategy that incorporates both organic and inorganic sources to achieve higher yield, and what is more important, for sustainability in production for the entire cropping system. Jute is generally succeeded by exhaustive crops like rice and vegetables often causing gradual process of decline in soil organic matter content if not approppriately supplemented through organics in the form of FYM/ crop residues/ biofertilisers, and/ or by inclusion of legume in the cropping system.

Interculture

Raking, thinning and weeding are generally practised in all jute fields, which should be best practised under optimum soil moisture conditions.

 

Raking helps uprooting the weeds and thinning for removing excess jute plants to bring down the population to 30-45 per sq m.  Raking is followed by hand weeding. Small hand-held wheel hoes or scrappers may also be used for weeding. Usually one raking between two to three weeks following sowing followed by two to three weedings at an interval of fifteen to twenty days is done. With subsequent crop growth and canopy development weed growth is checked.

 

Irrigation         

One pre-sowing  irrigation (if necessary) + 2 to 3 additional irrigations at later stages are recommended for better crop growth and higher yield.  

 

Drainage         

Appropriate drainage facility may be arranged in order to avoid stagnation of water in the event of high rainfall during the crop growth period.

Disease and pest management

Jute is subjected to attack by a number of diseases and pests at different stages of growth and development. Losses of 10 percent by plant diseases and 12 percent by insects are on record in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

 

Recommendations of pesticides and fungicides against diseases and pests are available. It is recommended to adopt need-based protection measures. Many farmers adopt crop rotation practices with a view to minimizing crop losses due to diseases and insect pests (Ghose, 1957).

 

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