Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries

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Ginger requires a warm and humid climate. The plant thrives well from sea level to an altitude of 1,500 m in the Himalayas, the optimum elevation being between 300 and 900 m (). A well-distributed rainfall (150 to 300 cm) during the growing season and dry spells during land preparation as well as before harvest are required for large-scale cultivation of the crop. In areas receiving less rainfall, the crop needs regular irrigation. Ginger can be grown in a wide range of well-drained soils of at least 30 cm depth, ranging from heavy laterite loams to clayey loam. Laterite loams containing not more than 30 percent sand or 20 percent clay and free from gravel have given higher yields (). Panigrahi and Patro (1985) studied the performance of five ginger cultivars in three soil types in Orissa, India, and reported that in a sandy loam red soil, the cultivar Thingpuri gave the highest yield of 22 t/ha. Cho et al. (1987) recorded higher ginger yield in an alluvial plain area than in hilly or mountain foothill areas. Yield was high in soils having more than 1 m depth and with good drainage, and was negatively correlated with ploughing depth and soil moisture content. Liu and Gao (1987) studied the arsenic content in red Read more [...]

Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries: Maturity and Harvest

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Harvest maturity varies according to the end use. If the rhizomes are for vegetable use or for the preparation of such products as ginger preserves and candy, harvesting should be done 4 to 5 months after planting. For dry ginger production and for distillation of oil or solvent extraction of oleoresin, harvesting is done 8 to 9 months after planting. Harvesting is delayed at higher elevations, in cooler climates, and under irrigation. Maturity studies were conducted in four cultivars at seven stages starting from 165 to 270 days after planting. Dry ginger recovery was highly correlated with crop duration. Dry ginger recovery was highest at 270 days after planting, and a dry recovery around 20 percent is essential to obtain an attractive marketable product. The percentage of oleoresin, oil, and fiber contents was highest at 165 days after planting, whereas the yield per hectare of oleoresin and oil varied with cultivars, and the highest was found at 270, 195, 225, and 225 days after planting in cultivars Rio de Janeiro, Maran, Kuruppampady, and Wynad local, respectively. For vegetable purposes, the crop could be harvested from 6 months onward () Jayachandran et al. (1980) noted highest yield of green ginger/plant Read more [...]

Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries: Intercropping and Rotation

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Ginger is grown as a pure crop as well as an intercrop or in rotation with other crops. In Kerala it is grown as an undercrop in coconut and arecanut gardens, in coffee estates, and in rice fallows. In irrigated areas, ginger is grown in rotation with chilies, vegetables, groundnut, ragi, and maize. In Kerala as well as in Sri Lanka ginger forms a component of the homestead farming, and is grown mixed with a variety of crops. Ginger is a very successful crop component in intercropping and multicropping systems. It is intercropped with vegetables (such as cabbage, beans, cucumber, and lady's finger), pulses (such as pigeon pea and black gram), cereals (maize and finger millet), oil seeds (castor, soybean, and sunflower) and with crops such as tobacco, pineapple, tapioca, taro, Discoria, and Amorphophallus. It can also be grown as a mixed crop with castor, finger millet, maize, and red gram. Chilies-ginger — mixed cropping is prevalent in many areas. Nizam and Jayachandran (1977) in Kerala, studied the effect of seed rhizome size and varieties on the quality of ginger under open conditions and as an intercrop. Three sizes of seed rhizomes (5, 10, and 15 g) of ginger cultivars Kuruppampady, Maran, Nedu-mangadu, and Read more [...]

Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries: Mulching

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Mulching of beds with green leaves is an important and essential operation in ginger cultivation. The effect of mulching on growth and yield of ginger has already been established from various studies. Mulching is essential for weed control, for moisture conservation and to protect the beds from the beating action of rain. Heavy mulch can change the physical and chemical environment of the soil underneath, resulting in the increased availability of P and K. Mulching increased the germination and growth of plants in terms of height and number of tillers. Weed growth in the control plots was much higher than the plots mulched. Applications of leaf mulch immediately after planting and 6 weeks after using a total of 20 t/ha of green leaves resulted in 200 percent increase in yield over the nonmulched crop, and this was found sufficient in the ginger-growing areas of the higher elevations of Western Ghats, South India. In the plains, mulching the crop with 30 t/ha of green leaves has been recommended. Immediately after planting, the beds should be mulched with 15 t/ha of green leaves, which is repeated with 7.5 t/ha each at 2 and 4 months after planting. Mulching is done coinciding with weeding, top dressing, and earthing Read more [...]

Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries: Nutrient Requirements

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For ginger crop, the requirement of nitrogen (N) is the most critical among the major nutrients. Although the nutrient is directly available to the plant in nitrate form, it is easily lost by leaching. Under tropical conditions, the loss by leaching and denitrification is very high. At the same time, the nitrate N moves upward with the capillary rise of water during drought. Ammonium ions perform better than nitrates under heavy leaching situations. Unlike N, phosphorus, (P), is highly immobile in the soil because of its reaction with iron and aluminum hydroxides. Therefore, the amount of phosphatic fertilizer needed for the crop is relatively high. For a short-duration, quick-growing crop like ginger, fertilizer containing a high proportion of water-soluble P205 is needed for a better yield (). When ginger is grown as a homestead crop, potassium, (K), nutrition plays an important role. Only under high rates of K application can the crop be grown successfully under shade conditions (). Secondary nutrients are also essential for the healthy growth of ginger. However, deficiency of secondary nutrients is less general. Since very large quantities of FYM and leaf mulch are applied to a ginger crop, the micronutrient Read more [...]

Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries: Shade

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The crop prefers light shade for good growth, but shade is not absolutely necessary. Jayachandran et al. (1991) investigated the effect of shade on the yield of ginger cv. Rio de Janeiro by growing plants under no shade (open) and 25, 50, and 75 percent shade. Shade was provided by coconut leaves spread on a pandal (shelter). At harvest (8 months after planting), the fresh rhizome yield was highest under 25 percent shade and lowest under 75 percent shade (20,093 and 10,778 kg/ha, respectively). The yield under open conditions was similar to that under 50 percent shade. Dry ginger recovery was highest under 25 percent shade (2,733 kg/ha). Screening of ginger for shade tolerance was done with six cultivars (Maran, Kurup-pampadi, Himachal, Rio de Janeiro, Nedumangad, and Amballore local) under four shade levels (0, 25, 50, and 75 percent) (). This study confirmed the shade-loving nature of ginger, registering a significantly higher yield under different shade levels than under open, with 25 percent shade recording the highest value. The quality of ginger rhizomes improved when grown under shade. Based on the rhizome yield, the cultivars adapted to each of the shade levels were identified as Kuruppampadi and Himachal Read more [...]

Ginger Production in India and Other South Asian Countries: Seeds and Seed Rate

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In ginger, rhizomes are used for planting. The rate of seed rhizome varies from 900 to 1,500 kg/ha. For selection and preservation of seeds, the following method is recommended in Kerala, India (KAU, 1993). Mark healthy and disease-free plants in the field when the crop is 6 to 8 months old and still green. Select the best rhizomes free from pests and diseases from the marked plants. Harvest them separately and handle seed rhizomes carefully to avoid damage to buds. Soak the selected rhizomes for 30 minutes in a solution of Mancozeb and Malathion to give a final concentration of 0.3 percent for the former and 0.1 percent for the latter. Dry the treated rhizomes in shade by spreading on a floor and then store in pits lined with sand or sawdust. It is advisable to spread layers of leaves of Glycosmis pentaphylla. Pits are covered with coconut fronds. Examine the stored rhizomes at monthly intervals and remove the rhizomes that show signs of rotting. This will help to keep the inoculum level low. Also treat the seed rhizomes in the same manner before planting. Randhawa and Nadpuri (1970) suggested the seed rate of 1,250 kg/ha. For plains and lower altitudes, 1,500 to 1,800 kg, and at higher altitudes, (>1000 m) 2,000 Read more [...]

Cultivation in Europe

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Echinacea (Asteraceae), a North American genus of 11 recognized taxa, is of great contemporary economic and scientific interest. Three species — Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, and Echinacea pallida — show potential pharmacological activity and have economical value all over the world (). Echinacea is a relatively new genus in Europe. First, these species were introduced as decorative plants and later, from about 1930 to 1960, they became very popular as medicinal plants. As evidence of their medicinal value became clear, supplies derived from wild native American plants did not meet the increased demand. Thus, research efforts today are directed at establishing the best methods for cultivating Echinacea species in Europe and North America. More than 15 countries now have cultivation and production facilities. From the several Echinacea species, the most studied and well known is the purple coneflower (E. purpurea), the species that has been most fully domesticated thus far. Several articles and books have been written on the biological activity, chemistry, and medicinal effects and uses of Echinacea (), but the literature is sparse concerning cultivation and agrotechnical issues for the genus. Read more [...]

Cultivation in Europe: Agrotechnical Research of Echinacea

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Germany Research on Echinacea in Freising focused on the detailed cultivation technology of E. purpurea and E. angustifolia. The first basic production technology for these two species was published by Bomme in 1986. Fertilization studies were completed by Bomme-Wurzinger (1990), and Bomme-Nast (1998). Between 1986 and 1988, 10 E. purpurea cultivars were compared (). In 1999, one paper was published dealing with the seed treatments of three Echinacea species, and focused on direct drilling in the field (). Another research team led by Franke has been working on the technology for growing E. pallida since 1993 (). E. pallida was also the object of the third research team in Thyringia, where the main agronomic elements have been studied (). Switzerland To meet the demand for industrial raw material, agronomic research started in the first half of the 1980s. Seed biology and basic agronomic procedures were studied by Smith-Jochum and Albrecht (). The studies focused on all three species. Optimization of the harvest in conjunction with the growth and plant phenology was studied by Heinzer et al. (1988). Identification of the three species, seed biology, and seed chemical profiles were reported by Schulthess et al. Read more [...]

Europe: Different Cultivation and Production Forms of Echinacea

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Decorative Perennial Echinacea was introduced in Europe and cultivated first as a decorative perennial. Among the Echinacea species, E. purpurea is by far the best-known species. E. pallida and E. angustifolia have less ornamental value in Europe because their ligules have drooping characteristics. As a perennial plant, its ornamental use is based on the large decorative and long-lasting inflorescens. Each plant has 10 to 30 flower stems and the large flowers are 6 to 18 cm in diameter, with 4- to 6-cm long ligules. Their color ranges from white to rose pink to red violet. After the flowering period, the dried elevated cones with ripened seeds have decorative value in the autumn garden as well. Echinacea species are also used in perennial plant borders (). Cut Flower In our Finnish cut-flower study, the longevity of the flowers in the field was 31 to 50 days and their full aesthetic flowering lasted indoors at room temperature for 10 to 12 days. The flower stems after cutting must be placed immediately, and remain continuously, in water to preserve longevity (). Nectar Production According to a study carried out in Ukraine (), one E. purpurea plant, in years 2 and 3, developed 17 and 30 flowers, respectively. Read more [...]