Fenugreek Farming Business in India - A Complete Guide

Fenugreek is a member of the leguminous family. It is the most common vegetable grown throughout the country and is known as Methi in the local language. The leaves are used for vegetable purposes, and the seeds are used for flavouring. The leaves and seeds have medicinal value as well, as they help lower blood sugar and cholesterol. It is also used to make fodder. Rajasthan is a central fenugreek-growing state in India. Moreover, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab are the other massive fenugreek producing states.

Soil for Fenugreek Farming 

It can be grown in any organic-rich soil, but it produces the best results in well-drained loamy or sandy loam soils. It can withstand pH levels ranging from 5.3 to 8.2. After it, you should suitably prepare the ground with excellent farming equipements like Farmtrac 45 and others. 

Popular Varieties 

ML 150: It has dark green plant leaves and bears more pods. The seeds are bright, yellow, and eye-catching. It is also used to make fodder. It has a yield of 6.5 QTL/acre on average.

Kasuri, Methi No 47, CO 1, Hissar Sonali, Methi No 14 are other commercial varieties. Rajendra Kranti, Pusa early bunching

HM 219: A high-yielding variety with an average yield of 8-9 quarts per acre. Powdery mildew disease is not a problem for it.

Land Preparation 

Plough the land twice or three times to achieve a fine tilth. Following that, plank the ground to make it level and uniform. At the time of the last ploughing, add 10-15 tonnes of well-decomposed cow dung per acre. Finally, prepare flatbeds of 3x2m for sowing. So, complete land preparation tasks with advanced agricultural equipment like Farmtrac 60 and others.

Sowing 

Sowing is best done in the last week of October and the first week of November. A 22.5 cm line-to-line distance is used. Sow seeds at a depth of 3-4 cm in the bed. The broadcasting method is used for sowing.

Seeds

A seed rate of 12 kg/acre is used for sowing one acre of land. Fenugreek can be rotated with Kharif crops such as paddy, maise, green gramme, and fodder crops. Soak seeds in water for 8-12 hours before sowing. To protect seeds from soil-borne pests and diseases, apply Thiram at a rate of 4 gm/kg of seed or Carbendazim 50 per cent WP at a rate of 3 gm/kg of seed. Also, treat seeds with Azospirillum@300 gm/acre + Trichoderma Viride@20 gm/acre for 12 kilograms of seeds after chemical treatment.

Fertiliser 

Add 5 kg of nitrogen (12 kg of urea) and 8 kg of P2O5 (50 kg of superphosphate) per acre when sowing.

To achieve rapid growth 15-20 days after germination, apply a 20ml/10 Ltr spray of Triacontanol hormone. In addition, one spray of NPK(19:19:19) fertilizer@75 gm/15 Ltr of water after 20 days of sowing aids in good and faster crop growth. Spray Brassinolide at 50 mL/acre/150 Ltr water 40-50 days after sowing to increase yield. Moreover, after 10 days, apply the second spray. To protect the plant from frost damage, use two sprays of Thiourea @150 gm/acre/150 Ltr of water 45 and 65 days after planting.

Weed Control 

To keep the field weed-free, perform one or two hoeing operations. Take the first weeding 25-30 days after sowing and the second 30 days after the first. A pre-plant application of Fluchloralin@800 ml/acre is recommended for controlling weeds chemically or spray with Pendimethaline@1.3 ltr/acre, mixed in 200 ltr water within 1-2 days of sowing at proper soil moisture when the plant is about 4 inches tall.

Irrigation 

Rinse the seed before sowing to ensure rapid germination. For an optimum yield of fenugreek crop, three to four irrigations are required on the 30th, 75th, 85th, and 105th days after sowing. Water stress during the pod and seed development stages result in significant yield loss, so avoid it at this stage.

Plant Protection 

Aphid: To control an aphid infestation, spray Imidacloprid@3ml/10Ltr water or Thiamethoxam@4gm/10Ltr water.

Root rot: As a preventive measure, apply Neem Cake to the soil at a 60kg/acre rate to protect the crop from root rot. Seeds should also be treated with Trichoderma viride at a rate of 4gm/kg of seed rate. To control a root rot infestation in the field, drench the soil with Carbendazim @5gm/Ltr of water or Copper oxychloride @2gm/Ltr of water.

Powdery Mildew appears as a patchy, white powdery growth on the upper surface of the leaves. If an infestation is discovered, apply a water-soluble Sulphur spray at a 20gm/10Ltr of water rate. If necessary, repeat the spray at a 10-day interval. In addition, use a spray of Penconazole 10% EC (Topas) @200ml/acre in 200Ltr of water.

Harvesting 

Harvesting of the crop can begin 20-25 days after sowing for vegetable purposes, whereas harvesting of the crop begins 90-100 days after planting for grain purposes. Harvest for grain when the lower leaves turn yellow and begin to shed, and the pods turn a yellowish colour. Harvesting with a sickle is a good idea.

Post Harvest 

After harvesting, bundle the crops and allow them to dry in the sun for 6-7 days. Carry out threshing after proper drying, followed by cleaning and grading.

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