GINGELLY (Sesamum indicum)
Climatic requirements
Gingelly can be grown as a rain fed and irrigated crop in both Maha and Yala. It requires a warm, dry climate with 500-600 mm of rainfall, including light rains in early stages of growth. The crop can tolerate a short period of drought but is intolerant of water logging.
Soils
Gingelly thrives best on sandy loams but is not exacting in its soil requirements. It performs reasonably well on poor soils if they are well-drained. Very sandy and alkaline soils are not suitable.
Land preparation
Soil should be worked to fine tilth.
Recommended varieties -

Variety

Seed colour

oil content (%)

Maturation time (days)

MI-1

Black

45

80-90

MI-2

Black

45

80-85

MI-3

White

48-49

85-90

Uma

White

50

70-75

Malee

Light brown

53

80-85


Seed rate
a) Broadcast : 7 kg/ha
b) Row-sown : 5 kg/ha
Time of planting
a) Yala : mid-March - early April
b) Maha : sow in early November, immediately after Maha paddy harvest, to use residual moisture
Planting and spacing
a) Spacing between rows should be 30 cm.
b) At the 3-4 leaf stage thin plants within the row to 15 cm.
Fertilizer use
Traditionally grown under chena, gingelly is not fertilized. However, fertilizer use will increase seed yield.
a) Basal - apply the following formulations and rates:
i) Urea - 50 kg/ha
ii) TSP - 120 kg/ha
iii) Muriate of potash - 60 kg/ha
b) Top dressing - apply 60 kg/ha of urea 4 weeks after planting
Weed control
Keep the crop free of weeds for at least 1 month. The first weeding should be done 2 weeks after planting in combination with thinning of excess plants. Weed again 4 weeks after planting.
Insect control:
1.Pod borer (Antigastra catalaunalis)
a. Acephate 75 WP, 1 Kg/ha in about 450 liter of water/ha
Disease control :
Phyllody (caused by a mycoplasma-like organism transmitted by plant hoppers)
a. symptom
i. Flower buds are changed to leaf buds
b. Control
i. Cultivation in the correct time
ii. Uproot and burn diseased plants
iii. Control plant hoppers with Acetamaprid 20% SP or Acephate 75% SP 10g/10l of water
Some new introductions are tolerant to plant hoppers and will be recommended in due course.
Harvest
a) Cut stems at the base when leaves turn yellow and the first pod turns brown.
b) Place bundles vertically with heads together for about 1 week to facilitate drying
c) Then place seeds on a tarpoline sheet and dry
Yield
Yields range from 600-1000 kg/ha and depends on the variety and the prevailing climatic condition

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