Jute is a cash crop, and those crops are produced for commercial purposes rather than just for growing or eating. In the least developing and developing countries, cash crops are cultivated more because the demand for cash crops in developed countries is high and these countries can easily export these products. On the other hand, jute is a “fiber crop”. Jute, popularly known as “Golden Fiber,” is a natural fiber. The stem of the herbaceous annual plant ‘Corchorus’ is used to make jute fiber, Fibers produced from its secondary phloem and it is grown for the fibers which are used to make rope, paper, cloth, sac, etc. jute comes under the Tiliaceae family and its scientific name is Corchorus spp. Fruits of the jute are called capsules and have the yellow color of the flower. It ranked 2nd in the fiber crop after the cotton and also came 2nd in the cash crop after the sugarcane. Corchorus contains more than 40 species distributed in the tropical regions of the world. In Nepal, cultivated in Morang, Sunsari, Jhapa, Siraha, and Dhanusha district and the Jute Research Centre located in Itahari (Sunsari district) Nepal is the fifth-largest producer of raw jute in the world. Morang district leads in raw jute output, followed by Sunsari, Jhapa, Saptari, Siraha, and Ilam, according to Statistical Information of Nepalese Agriculture, 2075/76.
Generally, there are two types of jute found in Nepal.
- Corchorus capsularis
- Corchorus olitorius
The primary center of origin of C. capsularis is Indo-Burma or South-China or Nepal and C. olitorius is Africa and the secondary center may be India or the Indo-Burma region(Kundu, 1951). Corchorus capsularis can be cultivated in both upland and lowland but Corchorus olitorius is mostly cultivated in upland.
- Corchorus capsularis has dark green leaves but Corchorus olitorius has light green leaves.
- Corchorus capsularis is shorter than the olitorius
- Corchorus capsularis leaf is bitter than the olitorius
- Corchorus capsularis have Fibers is white but Corchorus olitorius have golden color fiber
- Corchorus capsularis have Flowers that are small than the Corchorus olitorius
- Corchorus capsularis have coarse fiber and called white jute but Corchorus olitorius have fine, soft, lustrous fiber and called Tossa jute
- Corchorus capsularis have fruit round shapes and seeds that are dark in color, but Corchorus olitorius has elongated fruit and bluish-green color seeds.
Fig: Differences between Corchorus capsularis and Corchorus olitorius
Some recommended variety of Nepal
- Itahari-1(White Jute)- C.capsularis
- Itahari-2 ( Sunaula Pat/ T-86)- C. olitorius
- Temperature: The temperature for the growth and development of jute is 25 to 30 degree Celsius and during the vegetative phase temperature should never be lower than 16-18 degrees Celsius. The warm and humid climate is favorable for jute production and plant cease their growth when the temperature is greater than 40 degrees Celsius and less than 20 degrees Celsius
- Light: they are short-day plants but the long photoperiod induces vegetative growth in jute. C. olitorius is more responsive to the short photoperiod than the c. capsularis.
- Moisture: moisture is very important for jute cultivation. Jute requires a minimum of 1000 mm/year rainfall. In tropics and subtopic areas crops require 1300-1800 mm rainfall per year so only under the irrigation jute can be cultivated in dry areas. C. capillaries are tolerant to waterlogged conditions but the younger stages of jute plants are very sensitive to water stagnation. For better growth and fiber 60-90% humidity is required.
- Soil: jute can be cultivated in all soil types, but loamy alluvial soils are most preferable. Jute requires 6-7.5 PH soil for better cultivation.
- Field Preparation: jute have very small tiny seeds, so to germinate and the emergence of the seed. The soil must be fragile, loose, well-aerated, and very fine. Plowing and cross harrowing should be done 5-6 times before planting. In alkaline and acidic soil, we should apply lime or other things which can make the PH between 6- 7.5.
- Seed treatment: seed should be treated with the Agrosan GN Or cerasan, thirum, bevistin, vitavax, etc to save against the seed-borne pathogen, fungi, and other harmful microorganisms.
- Sowing time: the best sowing time for the capsularis is March to April and for olitorius is April to May. If olitorius is sown in early March, premature flowering occurs, which reduces jute yield and quality.
- Seed rate, method of sowing
- Spacing and Thinning
Line sowing preferred over broadcasting causes it to yield more than that of broadcasting. Row to row spacing for capsularis is 30 cm and 20 cm for olitorius and continuous sowing. Sowing depth for the jute is 3-5 cm. 2 thinning is required for the jute 1st when the plant attains 10 cm height and 2nd when plants attain 15 cm height.
FYM should incorporate 1 month before sowing in the amount of 10 T/ha. Jute is very related to nitrogen. N has the best response in terms of improving both vegetative growth and fiber output. Because N fertilizer is leached off during heavy rains, top-dress with ammonium sulfate as a source of N. After weeding and thinning, N is usually used as a topdressing.
The capsularis require 60-80 kg N per ha and olitorius require 40-60 kg N per ha. Nitrogen should apply in split dose, ½ as basal, ¼ at DAS, and ¼ at 60 DAS.
Phosphorus aids in the prevention of lodging improves fiber quality and improves N usage efficiency. Excess N can degrade fiber quality, although the presence of P2O5 in the right ratio can help to reduce N content in fiber and preserve high quality and 20-40 kg P2O5/ha before or at the time of sowing. The K requirement is high (40-60 kg K2O/ ha). K reduces the incidence of root rot and stem rot.
- Water Management:
Germination and the knee-high stage are crucial for moisture. Jute yields are higher under irrigated conditions, although waterlogging has a detrimental impact. Drought tolerance is higher in Capsularis jute than in Olitorius. For jute seed to germinate, it must have a moisture content of 22 percent. Early jute fiber output is increased by one pre-sowing irrigation and three post-sowing irrigations.
Weed management: weed is a very serious problem in jute cultivation. Among the most common weeds are Amaranthus sp., Cynodon dactylon, Digitaria sp., Cyperus rotundus, Corchorus trilocularis, Digera arvensis, and others.20-35 DAS are critical periods for weed-crop competition (30-70 percent yield reduction). So for the management of weed, we should apply the mulching technique, we should do solarization of soil, hand weeding then if weed is not controlled chemical herbicide can be applied. 1st weeding and thinning at 15-20 DAS (7-10 cm plant height) to maintain 3-4 cm between plants. Second wedding at 35-40 DAS (12-15 cm plant height) with trimming to keep spacing between plants at 5-7 cm. Butachlor 50 percent EC @ 1 to 1.5 kg ai/ha has been proven to be beneficial when used at jute sowing or within 48 hours of sowing, followed by one hand weeding/wheel hoeing.