Tamil Nadu is an important castor growing state in India, with an area of 15000 hectare. Major castor producing districts are Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Dharmapuri and Perambalur.

In Tamil Nadu major seasons for castor cultivation are June-July and November-December. The productivity of castor hybrid as pure crop under rainfed ecosystem is 1800 kg/ha and 3000 kg/ha as pure crop under irrigated ecosystem. Popular castor hybrids in Tamil Nadu are YRCH 1, DCH 519 and GCH 4. In the area of recurring drought and irrigation water deficit, castor augurs well for drought prone areas and areas of limited irrigation possibilities. Salem district is a one of major producer of Castor in the state.

Castor Outline

Almost all the castor beans are goes to oil extraction domestic and international market. by huge factories and small scale industries association like small scale industries alone is involved in oil extraction in Salem and Erode. Price fluctuation and middle mans are major drawback for tribal farmers. In Salem district tribal population of 1,03,921 numbers even in with accounts for 3.45% of the district population (Census of India, 2001).

India stands 1st in area (8 lakh ha) and production (12.5 lakh tonnes) in the world. India is largest producer of castor seed and constitutes about 64% of total global production. However, castor yields are among the lowest in the rainfed areas. As it is predominantly grown in marginalized soils with little or no inputs further due to recurrent droughts and uncertain monsoon castor farmers are generally reluctant to invest in high production technology. In recent times, though good market prices have encouraged quite a good number of farmers to pursue castor cultivation with better investment and care.

One of the important inputs of improved castor production technology is better seed and its timely availability which determines the output. Castor hybrids evolved by national and state level research institute have shown good yield potential even under rainfed conditions but their availability to meet the requirement needs a decentralized system of seed production. Though it is easier for farmer to produce true to type seeds of good quality high yielding varieties of castor, producing hybrid castor seeds by farmers has remained a challenge. Despite this, a decentralized system of hybrid seed production is necessary to increase the overall production and productivity of rainfed castor.

Field View


Highly Pistillate / Compact Spike





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All India




State wise Area, Production and Productivity of castor In India


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Package of Practices for Castor Hybrid Yrch 1

Soil and climate : Deep, well drained, red and alluvial soils without salinity and sodicity are highly suitable for castor cultivation.  Saline and sodic soils affect germination resulting in poor plant stand and optimum plant population could not be maintained resulting in yield loss. Water logged soils/ soils with poor drainage are not suitable for castor cultivation which results in wilt disease.  A well distributed annual rainfall of 750mm is favourable for castor cultivation.

  • Rainfed       -   June – July     
  • Irrigated      -   June – July and November - December         
  • Seed rate    :   5kg / ha
  • Spacing       :   Rainfed  90 x 60cm,   Irrigated 120 x 90cm

Seed treatment : Treat the seeds with Thiram or carbendazim @ 2kg / kg of seeds or with Trichoderma viride @ 4g/kg of seeds.  Treat the seed 24 hours prior to sowing. Soaking the seeds with water for 10 hours enhances the germination.
Sowing : Sowing of one seed/hill.  Place the seeds at a depth of 4-6cm.
Importance of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) : For both rainfed and irrigated castor 12.5 tons of FYM and 10 packets each of Azospirillum and Phospobacteria / ha is recommended. The fertilizers should be applied based on soil test recommendation.  When soil test recommendation is not available, blanket recommendation can be followed.
For irrigated hybrid castor fertilizer dose of 60:30:30 kg NPK/ha is recommended. 30:30:30kg NPK/ha is to be applied basally.  The balance quantity of 30kg N/ha is to be applied as top dressing at 30 and 60 DAS in two equal spilts.  For rainfed hybrid castor 45:15:15 kg NPK/ha is recommended.  30:15:15 kg NPK/ha is to be applied basally.  The balance quantity of 15 kg N/ha is to be applied as top dressing after receipt of rainfall during 40-60 days.
Micronutrients : For rainfed hybrid castor basal applications 12.5 kg ZnSo4 and 25.0 kg FeSo4 /ha is recommended for Zn and Fe deficient soils.
Irrigation : Irrigations to be given during sowing and life irrigation.  Depending on soil type, irrigation should be given once in 10 or 15 days interval.  However care,   should be taken to avoid water logging for longer period.
Thinning and gap filling : Gap filling on the 10th day of sowing.  Thinning to be done to retain one healthy seedling.
Weed management : Pre- emergence application of Alachlor @ 1.25ai/ha, Pendimethalin 3.25lit ai/ha, and Fluchloralin 2.0lit ai/ha,within 3 days after sowing effectively controls the weeds.  Two handweedings on 20th and 40 days after sowing is recommended.  This alleviates the adverse effects of weeds on water and nutrient competition with the crop.

General Pests : Leaf eating caterpillars (semilooper, prodenia and hairy caterpillars), and capsule borer cause considerable damage in castor.
Leaf eating caterpillars :The incidence of semilooper, Achaca janata and Prodenia, Spodoptera litura is more during August- September.  Semiloopers feed on the leaf tissues, make holes and feed on the entire leaf leaving the midrib.  Early instar larvae of prodenia remain below the leaves in clusters and the leaves are reduced to papery structure. Late instar larvae feed on the entire leaf.
Integrated Pest Management

  • Collect the egg mass and larvae of prodenia along with affected leaves and destroy
  • To control early instar larvae spraying of Neem seed kernal extract 5% or neem oil 3% with sticker (1ml/l) is recommended.
  • Spraying of NPV 250 LE with sticking agent is recommended to control prodenia
  • To control late instar larvae, spraying of chlorpyriphos 20EC 1000ml/ha is recommended.

Capsule borer, (Conogethes punctiferalis)
Capsule borer incidence starts from flowering stage and the pest attacks both the flowers and capsules and forms web like structure. The larvae bore the young seeds, feed the seeds and forms galleries made of silk and frass.
Integrated Pest Management

  • Spraying of NSKE 5% or neem oil 3% twice at 15 days interval during flowering stage is recommended.
  • Spraying of Profenophos 50 EC @ 750ml / ha is recommended.

Botrytis : (Botrytis ricini)
An yield loss upto 80% occurs due to botrytis disease.  It affects mainly the capsules. When there is heavy rains during the seed development stage, the botrytis incidence will be more.  The fungus is seen as a powdery mass over the affected spikes.  The disease is spread through air and if control measures are not taken in time, the spread of the disease will be more.

  • Three staggered harvest on 90th, 120th and at the end of the crop stage  (150-160 days)
  • The harvested spike should be sun dried and dried capsules can be shelled in the sheller.

Seed Treatment


Drip Field


Salient Features

  • Average yield 1861 kg/ha under rainfed ecosystem and oil content 49 per cent.
  • Early duration of 150-160 days (15 days earlier than TMVCH 1 and 30 days earlier than GCH 4).
  • Semi dwarf highly branching and high yielding.
  • Proportion of female flower on the spike is more than 95 per cent.
  • Resistant to lodging.
  • Non shattering type.
  • Fertilizer responsive.
  • Suitable for rainfed and areas of limited irrigation potential because of its short duration.
  • Less time lag between any two order of spike, hence more number of spike is produced in short period.
  • Compact plant type suitable for intercropping system also.
  • Because of its earliness, it escapes botrytis in early sown conditions during kharif in Tamil Nadu.  It recorded the score of 5 in the 0-9 scale with only 11 to 25 % of capsule affected under normal epiphytotic conditions.
  • Low leaf hopper (Hopper burn 11 – 25 per cent) and whitefly (1 in 0-5 scale) incidence.
  • Moderately tolerant to capsule borer with an incidence of less than 20 per cent during peak infestation level.
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