Cultivation of Plantago (Isabgol)
Botanical Name : Plantago ovata
Family : Plantaginaceae
Grows well in sandy loam to loamy soils at pH 7.2 to 8.5 but avoid soils with poor drainage.
Isabgol is a rabi crop; and needs cool and dry weather during growth period.
By ploughing and harrowing bring the soil to tine tilth.
For good germination fresh seeds should be used @ 4 kg per hectare after treatment with Mercuric compounds @ 3 mg/kg. Since the seeds are small and lightin weight, they should be mixed withSufficient quantity of fine sand.
Improved Varieties: G1, G2, Nikarika.
Generally November to December^ However^ sowing in the iirst weekof December is ideal. Early sowing with high seed rate makes the crop susceptible to downy mildew. Line sowing (20-22 cm between rows) is preferred rather than broadcasting.
Immediately after sowing light irrigation is essential. Seed germination takes place within 6-7 days. If the germination is poor second irrigation is given. Last irrigation is given when the maximum spikes milk stage. Crop requires 6-7 irrigations.
Weeding: 1-2 hand wee&ngs. Keep the crop weed free during early vegetative growth.
50 kg N + 25 kg P2Q.5 per hectare is recommended. N is given in 2 splits. Second dose of N should be given 30 days after sowing.
Downy mildew at the lime of spike initiation, intensity is-irijgh where there is humid weather conditon. Bowny mildew can be controlled using Bordeaux mixture 6:3: 100 or Dithane M – 45/ Z -78 @ 2.0 to 2.5 gm. / I.
White grubs, tersties damage the crop by cutting the roots. Use Lindane 65 % @ 125 kg / ha.
For aphids use ofeietoate 0.2 %.
Crop will be ready in March or April (100- 130 days) duration). When the crop is mature and husk turns yellowish and spikes turnbrownish seeds are shed. .
When the spikes are pressed lightly. Crop should be harvested when there is dry atmosphere by cutting the plants 15 cm above the ground late in the morning. The produce is. threshed and seeds are separated.
Dried-harvested material is bundled in cloth and threshed preferable in the early morning for easy separation of spikes. Yield : 800 to 1000 kg seeds per ha.
Marketing and Processing:
Marketing takes place through Commission Agents or Processing Mills. During processing seed is passed through series of six grinding mills to separate out the husk from the seed. The total recovery of husk is around 30 %. The husk from last 2 grindings is of superior quality. The dehusked grain is sold as animal or bird feed. Isabgol processing factories are located at Sidhpur, Patanungha and Palampur in Gujarat.