Introduction: -Jowar which is also famous by the name Sorghum is one of the basic important food and part of fodder cereal crop cultivated across India. It becomes beneficial as it can be cultivated in both Kharif as well as Rabi season. It stands 5th most important Cereal crop in the world after Rice, Wheat, Maize and Barley. Its gaining importance as livestock feed due to the nutritional content present in it. Jowar or Sorghum apart from being used as food and feed for livestock, it is also used as Ethanol production, producing grain alcohol, starch production, production of adhesives and paper. It has the capacity of extreme drought and tolerance due to which it gains popularity. The nutritional value of Sorghum is just like that of corn if compared. Hence, it can be used as green fodder, dry fodder, hay or silage.
If getting into health benefits, Jowar is packed with calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, protein and fiber. It provides good antioxidants. It is a good source of Vitamin B such as thiamin and riboflavin. It helps a lot in maintaining our heart healthy. Also, Jowar helps in losing weight.
The leading Jowar producing states in India includes Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, UP, Rajasthan and Haryana.
Varieties of Sorghum: –
The commercial-Hybrid varieties that are recommended for cultivation in India include
- PC-6, 9, 23 HC-171, 260 (Early to medium duration) whose expected yield lies in between 30 to 50 tons/ha.
- P. Chari- 1 & 2 whose yield throws between 30 to 45 tons/ha.
- HC-136, Raj. Chari- 1 & 2 and this yield between 35 to 50 tons/ha.
- CO-27 which yields approximately between 40 to 65 tons/ha.
- SSG-988, 898, 855 which highly yields between 70 to 100 tons/ha.
Jowar, known in different languages
Great Millet/Sorghum (English)
Juar (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi)
Cholam (Tamil, Malayalam)
Climatic conditions for Jowar Farming: –
Jowar being a tropical crop thrives well within temperature 25 ͦC and 32 ͦC becoming unsuitable if the temperature goes below 16 ͦC. This crop requires rainfall about 40 cm annually. Being extreme drought and tolerant crop it is prescribed for dry regions. Jowar cultivation is not suitable for the areas where there is prolonged dry conditions and too much of moist is there.
Soil Requirement for Jowar Farming: –
Jowar crop has the adaptability for a wide range of soil but grows well in sandy, loamy soil having good drainage. The pH value of soil ranges between 6 to 7.5 and this range is ideal for its cultivation and better growth. The main field should be made to fine tilth by plowing and leveling for in order to make weed free sowing.
Land Preparation in Jowar Farming: –
The rocky field should be avoided in order to have perfect farming. 1 to 2 ploughings should be done followed by 2 crosswise harrowing so that the required good seedbed is prepared. Water lagging is not tolerated by Sorghum or Jowar crop therefore well drainage should be prepared in the field.
The rate of Seed and Sowing in Jowar Farming: –
The required rate of seed for Jowar farming is 35 to 40 kg/ha.
For Jowar farming, seed broadcasting should be avoided. Sowing of seeds should be done by drilling thereby keeping row to row distance of 25 cm. It should be noted that the seeds should not be sown keeping 2 to 3 cm depth.
Manures and Fertilizers used in Jowar Farming: –
10 to 15 tons of Farm Yard Manure should be added to the farmland in order to make the soil rich in micronutrients. Basal application in the ratio 60 kg N: 40 kg P2O5: 40 kg KTO should be applied at the time of sowing. After 1 month of sowing, the top dressing should be applied using 35kg N/ha. In case of low rainfall and rainfed areas, 60 to 65 kg N/ha should be applied at the sowing time. 45 to 60 kg of Sulphur should be added per hectare to the soil which is Sulphur deficient thereby improving not only biomass but also quality. The manures and fertilizers should be applied at the time of soil preparation. In order to detect any nutrient deficiencies, a soil test should be done accordingly.
Irrigation/Water Supply in Jowar Farming: –
The irrigation of Jowar depends upon the season in which the seeds are sown. If the crop is sown in monsoon period (July), it requires 1 to 3 irrigation depending on the rain. For the crops grown in summer, irrigation should be done 6 to 7 times thereby considering high temperature. Referring to South India, the Rabi season crops require 4 to 5 irrigation.
Weed Control in Jowar Farming: –
In order to control the weeds in Jowar farming, weeding along with mulching should be adapted in order to give 1 hoeing when the crop reaches 3 weeks after sowing. Atrazine at the rate of 0.50 kg/ha in 650 liters of water should be used as a pre-emergence application so as to control the weeds effectively.
Diseases and Insects in Jowar Farming: –
It is prone to many insects and diseases.
Insects such as Stem borer, Shoot fly, and Sorghum midge are most famous in Jowar farming. In order to control these insects, carbofuran/malathion at the rate of 125 ml/ha should be sprayed. For Sorghum midge, Endosulphan at the rate of 0.075 is sprayed and used.
Diseases such as Sooty stripe, Anthracnose and Zonate leaf spot are the famous one found in Jowar farming.
In order to prevent the Jowar crop from any of the above diseases, seed treatment becomes necessary and hence the seeds are treated with Thiram at the rate of 3 grams/kg seed which takes care of almost all diseases. Carbendazim at the rate of 5 grams/liter of water is sprayed in order to control anthracnose disease in its early stages. The crops sown in summer are very prone to shoot fly hence Carbofuran 3G at the rate of 3 to 4 kg/ha should be applied at the sowing time in order to avoid them. Preventing the crop from Stem borers, it should be sown in July season. Also, Endosulphan spray at the rate of 0.05 % can be used keeping an interval of 10 to 14 days.
Harvesting of Jowar Farming: –
Single cut variety crops get matured and ready for cultivation within 65 to 75 days after sowing whereas multi cut varieties can be harvested within 45 to 50 days for the first time while the subsequent cuts should be carried keeping 1 month of the interval.
The quality yield of Jowar depends upon its variety and farm management. If everything goes well then the expected yield goes up to 1000 kg/ha.