Fennel Cultivation for good income, know the advanced techniques
Lucknow Fennel gets good price
Fennel is such a wonderful and aromatic spice that it is not only widely used in various dishes and pickles, but it is also eaten raw by chewing. In India, fennel cultivation is mainly done in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Due to such diverse uses and its Ayurvedic and medicinal properties, fennel is also in great demand in the market. Like all spices, fennel is also a cash crop and its advanced varieties earn between a quarter to two and a half times more than the input cost.
Fennel is a crop of both Rabi and Kharif
Fennel cultivation can be done in both Rabi and Kharif season. However, fennel is mainly a crop of temperate climate. That is, dry and cool weather is most suitable for fennel cultivation, because mild warm environment is best at the time of sowing and ripening of the crop. The specialty of fennel cultivation is that it can be cultivated in all types of land except sandy soil, provided the amount of germs is sufficient in it.
The maximum yield of fennel is found in sandy loam, calcareous loam and black soil with proper drainage. Loamy soil is better for fennel cultivation than heavy and clay soil. Sowing of fennel can be done in any way. That is, whether it is sprinkler method or row sowing or by preparing plants in the nursery and transplanting them. Harvesting time is of great importance in fennel cultivation, because fennel seeds come in bunches and all the bunches of the same plant do not ripen at the same time. That’s why harvesting of fennel cannot be done simultaneously.
Why is Lucknow fennel expensive?
Fennel flowers are pinkish-white in colour. A month after the flowers bloom, greenish thin grains or seeds of fennel start appearing in them. These greenish grains mature in about two to three weeks. This is the youth period of donations. If the seeds of fennel are cut at this time, then it fetches a higher price, because it is a fine state of fennel. It is considered very good to chew it. This stage of fennel is called Lucknow fennel.
While the colour of Lucknow fennel is light green, the colour of spice fennel seeds is yellow. Lucknow fennel is costlier than the fennel used as a spice. Because the size and weight of the grains of the best quality of chewing fennel are almost half as compared to its fully developed state. If advanced farming is done, 10 to 15 quintals per hectare of fully developed spice fennel with green grains is obtained. While the yield of fine Lucknow fennel is easily available from 5 to 7.5 quintals per hectare.
Lucknowi fennel dries in the shade
For the production of Lucknowi fennel, bunches of green fennel seeds are harvested and dried by spreading them in a clean and shady place. So that the colour of green grains does not turn yellow. The grains should be turned frequently while drying, otherwise there is a risk of mould. For better production of spice fennel, the crop should not be allowed to turn yellow after over-ripening. As soon as the colour of the grains starts turning from green to yellow, its bunches should be broken.
The yellowing stage of fennel seeds signifies their maturity. This stage starts about two months after flowering. However, all the bunches of seeds on any plant do not turn yellow at once, that is why the fennel crop has to be plucked three to four times. Fully ripe i.e. yellow fennel seeds should only be used as seeds for the next crop.
Choose only advanced varieties of fennel
Fennel is considered a long duration crop. For its sowing, first week of October to November in autumn is considered good. Dry and moderately cool weather from January to March is very beneficial for the yield and quality of fennel. It is necessary to protect the plants from frost at the time of flowering. The outbreak of diseases on fennel can also increase due to prolonged cloudy days or high humidity during cold days.
While advanced varieties of fennel ripen in 140 to 160 days, some varieties also take 200 to 225 days. Such as S7-2, PF-35, Gujarat Fennel-1 and CO-1. This gives a yield of 10-15 quintals per hectare. Therefore, in order to make fennel farming more profitable, farmers should especially take care of varieties that give more yield in less time. For example, such varieties are ready by ripening in 200-225 days.
Early maturing and high yielding varieties
According to the experts of Jodhpur Agricultural University, varieties named RF 125, RF 143 and RF 101 have proved to be very beneficial for the fennel farmers. These have been developed between the years 2005 to 2007 and made accessible to the farmers.
RF 125 (2006) – Plants of this variety are of short height. Their inflorescence is condensed, long and with attractive grains. This variety is early maturing. Its average yield is 17 quintals per hectare.
Organic Nutrient Management – 100% recommended for organic nutrient management in fennel, 5 kg per hectare quantity of biofertilizers such as azetobacter and phosphorus dissolving bacteria, 250 kg gypsum and 250 kg Tumba cake along with nitrogen and cow dung manure. should be put in the field. The remaining quantity of nitrogen should be used for crop protection with neem based product entomophagous fungus or biopesticide or botanical product or cowshed product and predator.
Seed quantity and sowing – For the cultivation of fennel, sowing is mostly done by sprinkling method. But sowing is also done in direct rows by planting method. In spraying method, 8 to 10 kg of healthy and improved variety of seed per hectare is sufficient, while in planting method, 3 to 4 kg of seed is enough. Before sowing, seed treatment should be done according to Carbendazim 2 grams per kilogram of seed.
In planting method, nursery is planted in 100 square meter area in July-August and plants are planted from mid-September to mid-October. Planting should be done in the afternoon when the heat subsides and irrigate immediately. For row sowing, seeds should be sown at a distance of 40-50 cm in the furrow at a depth of 2-3 cm behind the plough. Give second light irrigation after 7-8 days of direct sowing to facilitate germination.
Irrigation – Fennel crop requires regular irrigation. If there is less moisture in the field at the time of sowing, light irrigation should be done three to four days after sowing. So that the seeds can freeze properly. At the time of irrigation, keep in mind that the flow of water should not be fast, otherwise the seeds will get deposited on the edges of the field. In winter, irrigation should be done at an interval of 15-20 days. Keep in mind that there should be no shortage of water to the crop after flowering.
Weeding – Weeding is done when the fennel plants become 8-10 cm tall. At the time of weeding, remove the weak plants from the crowd of plants and plant them elsewhere. Their growth is good if there is a distance of 20 cm between the plants. At the time of flowering, apply light soil on the plants and keep removing weeds as needed. In fennel cultivation, weed control can also be done by spraying 1 kg pendimethalin active ingredient dissolved in 750 litres of water per hectare, 1 to 2 days after sowing.
Major Pests & Diseases
Moyla, Parnjivi (Thrips) and Spider (Baruthi) – Moyla insect sucks the juice from the tender part of the plant. This causes a lot of damage to the crop. Thrips insect is very small in size and eats by scraping the green matter from tender and young leaves. Due to this, spots appear on the leaves and the leaves turn yellow and dry up. Spider is a small insect which roams on the leaves and sucks its juice. Due to this the plant turns yellow.
To control these pests, one milliliter of Dimethoate 30 EC or Malathion 50 EC should be sprinkled per litre of water or 100 grams of Acetamaprid 20% SP should be prepared per hectare. If necessary, this spray should be repeated after 15 to 20 days.
Powdery Mildew – Initially white powder appears on the leaves and twigs which later spreads over the entire plant. For control, 20-25 kg of sulfur powder should be sprinkled per hectare or Dinocap LC should be sprayed by making a solution of 1 ml per litre of water. If necessary, this spraying should be repeated at an interval of 15 days.
Root and stem rot – Due to the outbreak of rot disease, the stem becomes soft from below and the root starts rotting. Small black fibres are visible on the roots. For control, the seed should be treated before sowing. It can be done by treating it with Carbendazim at the rate of 2 grams per kg of seed or the field should be treated with Captan at the rate of 2 grams per litre of water.
Harvesting and Storage
When the bunches of fennel are ripe, it should be harvested in the morning because the seeds fall less at this time. The seeds are separated by thrashing them with a light stick. They are dried in the shade. Seeds of all umbrellas do not ripen at the same time, so fennel has to be harvested 3-4 times. Then after cleaning the husk from the seeds properly, the finished produce should be taken to the market. Only the produce having good colour, fragrance and moisture gets good price in the market. The dried seeds should be kept in moisture-proof boxes or envelopes, so that the germination capacity of the seeds is not affected at the time of next sowing.
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