Commercial Crops: Oilseed crops & ground nuts (Part 2)

June 8, 2012
By Krishiworld

The major groundnut-producing countries of the world are India, China, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Burma and the USA. Out of the total area of 18.9 million hectares and the total production of 17.8 million tonnes in the world, these countries account for 69% of the area and 70% of the production. India occupies the position, both in regard to the area and the production, in the world.

About 7.5 million hectares is put under it annually and the production is about 6 million tonnes. 70% of the area and 75% of the production are concentrated in the four states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Orissa have irrigated area forms about 6% of the total groundnut area in India.

CLIMATE AND SOIL.groundnut is grown throughout the tropics and its cultivation is extended to the subtropical contries lying between 45 degrees N and 35 degrees S and upto an altitude of 1000 metres. The crop can be grown successfully in places receiving a minimum rainfall of 1,250 mm. The rainfall should be well distributed well during the flowering and pegging of the crop.The total amount required for presowing operations (preparatory cultivation) is 100 mm; for sowing, it is 150 mm and for flowering and pod development an evenly distributed rainfall of 400-500 mm is required. The groundnut crop, however, cannot stand frost, long and severe draught or water stagnation.

Groundnut is grown on wide variety of soil types. However, the crop does best on sandy loam and loamy soils and in the black soils with good drainage. Heavy and stiff clays are unsuitable for groundnut cultivation as the pod development is hampered in these soils.

ROTATION AND MIXED CROPPING. Generally, as a kharif crop, groundnut is grown year after year. In certain places, it is rotated with wheat, jowar, bajra, garden crops, such as potatoes, onions, chillies, garlic, ginger and turmeric. The yields of the cereal crops following groundnut are usually increased by about 25%.

Pulses, e.g. red gram (arhar), mash and moong are grown mixed with groundnut. In certain places, millets e.g. jowar and bajra, and castor are grown mixed with groundnut.

SEASON. Groundnut is raised mostly as a rainfed kharif crop, being sown from May to June, Depending on the monsoon rains. In some areas or where the mansoon is delayed, it is sown as late as August or early September. As an irrigated crop it is grown to limited between January and March and between May and July.

CULTIVATION. For a kharif crop, with one set of rains in May-June, the field is given two ploughings and the soil is pulvarised well to obtain a good tilth. The third ploughing may be given just before sowing. Harrows or tillers can be used for cultivation. When the soils are heavily infested with perennial weeds, e.g. Cynodon or Cyperus, very deep ploughing is needed. If a field is infested with white grubs, chemicals, such as Heptachl or chlordane, are drilled at the rate of 25 kg per ha before final horrowing. For the irrigated crop, beds of convenient size may be made, depending on the tropography of the land, the nature of the irrigation source and the mode of liftinfg water. Since groundnut is a deep rooted plant it uses up both moisture and nutrients in the deeper layers of the soil. Generally, the following fertilizer schedules are recommended, depending upon the soil fertility, the variety grown, and the quantum and distribution of rainfall.

Farmyard manure N P K
Rainfed crop 6.25 Tonnes 10-20 20-40 20-40 kg/ha
Irrigated crop 12.5 Tonnes 20-40 40-90 20-40 kg/ha 



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