Method of Jatropha cultivation should be chosen on the basis of maximum survival rates and intended utilization of plantation
1. For quick establishment of hedges and plantation for erosion control, directly planted cuttings are best.
2. For long-lived plantations for vegetative oil production, plants propagated by seeds are better.
3. With better rainfall conditions, the plantations could also be established by direct seeding.
Direct seeding, pre-cultivation of seedlings, easily propagates the Jatropha transplanting of spontaneous wild plants and direct planting of cuttings. Seed should be collected when capsules split open. Use of fresh seeds improves germination. Intervals of pre-soaking and drying, or partial removal of the testa, are more successful than pre-soaking alone. With good moisture conditions, germination takes 10 days. The seed shell splits, the radicula emerges and 4 small peripheral roots are formed. Soon after development of the 1st leaves, the cotyledons wither and fall off.
Jatropha can withstand severe heat. Likes heating and doing well in warmer areas. In colder areas, it can survive light frost after shedding but not for prolonged periods. The older the tree the better it will withstand the climatic variances & extremes. Black frost will almost certainly kill young plants and severely damage older plants
Quality of the soil
Best in sandy well-drained soils. Can withstand very poor soils and grow in saline conditions All the actors in the Jatropha sector suggest, anyway, using organic fertilizer enhances growth thus helps obtain higher yield.
It handles dryness very well and this plant can possibly live almost entirely of humidity in the air. Differences are expressed in what is optimum rainfall as some readings say 600 mm and some say 800 mm whilst some areas in India report good crops with rainfall of 1380 mm. Under irrigation 1500 mm is given.
500 - 600 mm of rainfall is the limit. Below it, the production depends on the local water condition in the ground. It will also stand for long periods without water - up to 2 years – and then grow again when rains occur again.
Standard cultural practices are timely weeding (4 times a year), proper fertilization, surface ploughing and pruning. With these management practices a yield around 15-20 kg of fruit per tree can be obtained even if the plants did not reach full maturity.
Use of fertilizer
Although Jatropha is adapted to low fertility sites and alkaline soils, better yields seem to be obtained on poor quality soils if fertilizers containing small amounts of calcium, magnesium, and Sulfur are used. It is recommended that 1 kg of farmyard manure/ plus 100 g of Neem waste for every seedling, with a recommendation of 2500 plants per ha this comes up to 2.5 t organic fertilizer per ha.
Besides,it after transplantation and the establishment of the plant fertilizer such as N, P and K should be applied. Twenty gram urea + 120 g SSP and 16 g MoP should be applied annually. The possibility to return the press-cake (or part of it) to Jatropha fields should be carefully considered.
References recommend spacing for hedgerows or soil conservation is 15cm - 25cm x 15cm-25cm in one or two rows respectively and 2m x 1.5m to 3m x 3mm for plantations. Thus there will be between 4,000 to 6,700 plants per km for a single hedgerow and double that when two rows are planted.
Satisfactory planting widths are 2 x 2 m, 2.5 x 2.5 m, and 3 x 3 m. This is equivalent to crop densities of 2500, 1600 and 1111 plants/ha, respectively.
Distance of 2m x2m should be maintained for commercial production
Wider spacing is reported to give larger yields of fruit.
Pruning – 1st prune
The plants need to produce side shoots for maximum sprouting and maximum flowers and seed. Between 90 and 120 Days top of all plants at 25 Cm. Cut the top off cleanly and cut top to produce 8 – 12 side branches.
It is considered good practice. In order to facilitate the harvesting, it is suggested to keep the tree less than 2 meters.
Specific intolerance with other crops is not detected. On the contrary the shade from this plant can be exploited by shade-loving herbal plants; vegetables such red and green peppers, tomatoes, etc.
It appears very difficult to estimate unequivocally the yield of a plant that is able to grow in very different conditions.
Yield is a function of water, nutrients, heat and the age of the plant and other. Many different methods of establishment, farming and harvesting are possible. Yield can be enhanced with right balance of cost, yield, labor and finally cost per meter
Seed production ranges from about 2 tons per hectare per year to over 12.5t/ha/year, after five years of growth. Although not clearly specified, this range in production may be attributable to low and high rainfall areas.
Thiis information is from Q & A forum of http://www.agricultureinformation.com
If you need more information on the same, do mail us & if you are posting questions on 'Comments' section, kindly unblock your profile so that we can reply you by email. Thanks.