Thursday, August 21, 2008

Amaranthus seed production

Cultivation of amaranthus for seed production is also very beneficial for farmers. Good quality plants can be selected & their seeds re used for further agriculture operations.

21 day old plants transplanted in rows

manuring done after transplanting

amaranthus as inter crop

Following is the seed production technique in amaranth practiced at Padval farms
Land preparation and technique
Since the plants do not occupy much space, it is not needed to specifically choose the land & work on it. The plant when it reaches 21 days must be uprooted form the raised beds & must be manually transplanted in a new area. In certain cases, raised seed beds are made & amaranth transplanted in pairs.
healthy amaranthus after fertilizer application

Spacing of 10 to 15 cm between plants is maintained. Plants can also be planted as intercrop between standing crops like chilly, okra, brinjal & others.
Since we need to choose only good plants for seeds, it is recommended to follow inter culture operations like weeding, fertilizer application, foliar sprays & pest management.
Since the quality & quantity of seeds directly depends on the amount of nutrients it receives, application of farmyard manure should be done 2 weeks after planting. The 3rd week, complex fertilizers NPK can be given as a foliar spray.
Since close spacing of amaranth can lead to high infestation of caterpillars & aphids which damage leaves & developing inflorescence, it is advised to follow the same pest management practice as mentioned in the older post.

seed development stage

It will take around 45 days for the development of the seed from the first day of transplanting. Harvesting the seeds is done, when the plant starts to age & slowly wither. The inflorescence will turn from green color to burnt yellow. The plant is then threshed using bamboo poles or sticks & the seeds separated from other plant matter. Sun drying the seeds for a few days is done. The dry seeds are then treated with captan to prevent insect damage & stored in air tight containers for further use.

Photos and content by Pritham 'Heavy metal farmer' denzil dsouza

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