Castor Cultivation Practices

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 18 Dec 2018 | read

CASTOR (Ricinus communis)Image title



A. Rainfed
1.Adipattam (Jun-July)
All districtsVariety:TMV 5, TMV 6
 Hybrid:TMVCH 1, YRCH 1
B. Irrigated
1.Vaigasi pattam (May - June)
All distirictsHybrid:YRCH 1
2.Karthigaipattam (Nov - Dec)
All districtsHybrid:YRCH 1
3.Panguni pattam (March- Apr)
All districtsHybrid:YRCH 1
C. Gardenland (border)
All districtsVariety:CO 1


ParticularsCO 1TMV 5TMV 6Hybrid TMVCH 1Hybrid YRCH 1
ParentagePureline selection from AnamalaiDerivative of SA 2 X S 248/2Derivative of VP 1 X RC 962LRES 17 X TMV 5DPC 9 X TMV 5
Duration (days)perennial120160160 -170150-160
Yield (kg/ha)     
Rainfed (mixed- 500600 
Rainfed (pure crop)2.5 kg/tree/year85095013002000
Irrigated (pure crop)----3000
Oil content (%)575051.951.749
Special features
Stem colourPinkish greenRoseRedRedLight red
Bloom (waxy coat)No bloomTripleDoubleTripleTriple
Receme / capsuleBold, sparse setting, non dehiscentSpiny, non dehiscent, resistant to leaf hopperMedium, lengthy, spiny capsuleSemi compact, spiny capsuleSpiny, non dehiscent, resistant to leaf hopper
SuitabilityBund crop and fit for raising in vacant areasPure and mixed cropPure and mixed cropPure and mixed cropPure and mixed crop

Image title

Castor YRCH1

 1. Preparation of the field

      Plough two-three times with country or mould board plough.

2. Application of Organic Manures

      Spread 12.5 t/ha of FYM or compost evenly on the main field before last ploughing and incorporate in to soil by working a country plough. Apply 30 kg sulphur/ ha through gypsum at the time of last ploughing for higher castor yield.

NOTE: Do not leave FYM or compost exposed to sunlight as nutrients will be lost.


      Adopt a seed rate of 10 kg/ha for varieties and 5 kg/ha for hybrid.


 Adopt the following spacing.

 Rainfed situationIrrigated situation
Varieties90 cm x 60 cm90 cm x 90 cm
Hybrids120 cm x 90 cm150 cm x 120 cm

In irrigated conditions, for clay soils wider spacing of 150 x 150 cm can also be adopted. For TMV 5 short duration variety 60 x 30 cm may be adopted.


Apply NPK fertilizers basally as per soil test recommendations as far as possible. 
If soil test recommendations are not available, follow the blanket recommendation as follows

 Recommended  NPK kg/ ha
Rainfed conditions
Varieties45 : 15 : 15 NPK kg / ha
Hybrids60 : 30 : 30 NPK kg / ha
Irrigated condition
Varieties60 : 30 : 30 NPK kg / ha
Hybrids90 : 45 : 45 NPK kg / ha
  • In rainfed situations apply 100% P & 50% N&K basally & remaining quantity may be applied in one or two top dressings based on the soil moisture availability.
  • In irrigated situations apply 100% P & 50% N&K as basal & remaining quantity N&K may be applied in two equal splits at 30th & 60th DAS.
  • Apply 12.5 kg ZnSO4 ha-1 (if the soil available Zn is


  • Treat the seeds with Carbendazim @ 2 g/kg of seed.
  • Soak the seeds in water for 20 hours.
  • In rainfed situations, seed priming with 1% Kcl for 3 hours and sowing a week before onset of monsoon is recommended.


  • Sow the seeds adopting the recommended spacing.
  • Place the seeds at depth 4 - 6 cm.
  • Put one seed in each hole.


Gap fill on the 15th day of sowing and simultaneously thinning may be done leaving one healthy plant.


Apply pre emergence herbicide Pendimethalin @ 3 lit/ha or Fluchloralin @ 2 lit/ha on 3 DAS followed by hand weeding twice on 20th & 40th DAS.


      Raise one row of castor for every six rows of groundnut. In the case of late receipt of monsoon blackgram + castor at 6:1 ratio is recommended. Or Intercropping of castor with Blackgram or Greengram in 1:2 ratio is recommended for rainfed situation. Intercropping of castor with onion in 1:2 ratio by adopting 1.5 m x 1.0 m spacing is recommended for irrigated situation.


      Observe the crop considering the average duration of the variety.

  • One or more capsules show sign of drying.
  • Cut the matured racemes without damaging the secondaries.
  • Dry the capsule in the sun without heaping it in the shade.
  • Use castor sheller to separate the seeds or beat the dried capsule with wooden planks, winnow and collect the seeds.

Crop Protection

Pest of Castor

Serpentine leaf miner: Liriomyza trifolii

Symptoms of damage:

  • Drying and dropping of leaves 

Identification of the pest:

  • Larva: minute, orange yellowish in colour and apodous
  • Adult: pale yellow colour fly 


  • Spray neem seed kernal extract (NSKE) 5% or triazophos @2.5ml/litre of water

Leaf mining damageImage title

Leaf miner - AdultImage title

Castor Semilooper:  Achaea janata, Paralelliaalgira

Image title

Symptoms of damage:

  • Damage to complete defoliation 

Identification of the pest: 

Achoea janata:

  • Larva: semilooper with varying shades of colour with black head. Abdomen has a red spot on the third abdominal segment and red tubercules in the anal region
  • Adult: pale reddish brown moth with hind wing having white spot in the middle and three large white spots on the outer margin 

Paralellia algira:

  • Larva: semilooper, olive grey colour with numerous longitudinal lines
  • Adult: Forewings are white in colour with suffused band beyond it, Hind wing has white median band, the outer margin grey at centre


  • Spray any one of the following insecticides thrice from flowering at three weeks interval
    • Malathion 50 EC 2.0 l/ha
    • Carbaryl 50 WP 2.0 kg/ha in 1000 l of water
    •  Apply neem seed kernel extract 5%+Neem oil 2%

Castor Slug: Parasa lepida

Image title

Symptoms of damage:

  • Feed gregariously on the leaves of castor and later spread over to the entire plant
  • Cause defoliation, leaving only the midrib and veins

Identification of the pest:

  • Larva: slug like, ventrally flat, greenish body with white lines and four rows of spiny scoli tipped red or black
  • Adult: green moth with brown band at the base of the forewing 


  • The pest should be kept in check by picking the gregarious caterpillars and the cocoons that are found on tree trunks and destroying them
  • Spray chlorpyriphos or quinalphos @ 2 ml/litre of water if pest attack is more

Tussock caterpillar: Orgyia (=Notolophus )postica

Symptoms of damage:

  • Cause defoliation 

Identification of the pest:

  • Larva: Head is brown in colour. Prothorax with a pair of long pencils of hairs pointing forward. Abdomen- laterally first two segments have tufts of yellowish hair. Long brown hairs from the 8th segment onwards
  • Adult: Male moth with brown coloured with stout abdomen. Female apterous water


  • To control early stage larvae, spray neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% or spray chlorpyriphos 2.5ml or monocrotophos or quinolphos 2ml or neem oil 5ml/ litre of water

Hairy caterpillars: Euproctis fraterna

Symptoms of damage:

  • Cause - defoliation 

Identification of the pest:

Euproctis fraterna:

  • Larva: Reddish brown hairy caterpillar, head red in colour surrounded by white hairs. Abdomen has tufts of hairs all over the body and a long pre anal tuft.
  • Adult: yellow moth with pale transverse lines and black spots on the forewing

Porthesia scintillans:

  • Larva: Larva has yellowish brown head with middle red and lateral yellowish stripes on the body. There are tufts of black hairs on the segments between the true legs and prolegs.
  • Adult: Small, yellow moth with reddish tinge and two lighter lines and spots on the border.  

Dasychira mendosa:

  • Larva: Greyish brown with dark prothoracic and pre-anal tufts, Prolegs crimson coloured
  • Adult: Bigger, yellowish brown moth with bulged abdomen.  


  • To control early stage larvae, spray neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% or spray chlorpyriphos 2.5 ml quinolphos 2ml or neem oil 5ml/ litre of water

Woolly bear: Pericalliaricini 

Symptoms of damage:

  • Cause defoliation 

Identification of the pest:

  • Larva: black with brown head having long brown hairs 
  • Adult: grey coloured moth. Hind wings are pinkish with dark spots 


  • To control early stage larvae, spray neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% or spray chlorpyriphos 2.5ml or quinolphos 2ml or neem oil 5ml/ litre of water

Castor spiny caterpillar: Ergolis merione

Symptoms of damage:

  • Cause defoliation 

Identification of the pest:

  • Larva: green coloured, spiny caterpillar with yellow stripe on the dorsal region
  • Adult: brown butterfly with black wavy lines on the wings


  • To control early stage larvae, spray neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% or spray chlorpyriphos 2.5ml or quinolphos 2ml or neem oil 5ml/ litre of water

Red hairy caterpillar: Amsactaalbistriga, A. mooreii

Symptoms of damage:Image title

  • These hairy caterpillars scrap the under surface of the leaf when they are in neonate stage
  • Later the scrapped patches of the leaves looks like thin papery
  • Fully grown larvae devour the entire foliage, flowers and growing points

Identification of the pest:

  • Larvae: hairy caterpillar reddish brown with black band on either end having long reddish brown hairs all over the body
  • Adult:  moth with white wings 

Amsacta albistriga:

  • Forewing- white with brownish streak all over and yellowish streak along the anterior margin and head
  • Hind wing- white with black markings 

Amsacta moorei:

  • Forewing - white with brownish streak all over and reddish streak along the anterior margin and head 


  • Collection and destruction of egg masses and hand picking of larvae
  • The barnyard millet (Echinochloea frumentacea) may act as strong barrier
  • Summer ploughing and poison baiting
  • Erection of light traps soon after the monsoon for 20-45 days, collecting and killing of adult moths are found to be very effective
  • The dispersing larvae of hairy caterpillar from one field to another can be checked by digging trenches across the direction of their march, and prompt destruction of larvae
  • Vegetative traps utilizing Jatropha (wild castor) or Ipomea prevent the migration of the grown up larvae
  • Prepare small balls with10 kg rice bran+1 kg jaggery+1 liter quinolphos broad-cost in the fields preferably in the evening times
  • Dusting of carbaryl or quinolphos @ 25-30 kg/ha would be effective in the control of young larvae
  • Use of 200 ml dichlorovos 100 EC dissolved in 400 litres of water/ha may be used to control grown up caterpillars
  • Spray QuinalPhos or dimethoate 2ml, 2 ml/lit of water

Tobacco caterpillar: Spodoptera litura

Symptoms of damage:Image title

  • The early instar larvae feed gregariously on the under surface of the leaf leading to skeletonization of the leaves
  • Sometimes the feeding is so heavy that only petioles and branches are left behind. In case of severe attack cause complete defoliation

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg: Egg masses appear golden brown
  • Larva: Pale greenish with dark markings, gregarious in the early stages
  • Adult: Forewings are brown colour with wavy white markings, Hind wings- white colour with a brown patch along the margin 


  • Collect and destroy the egg masses and caterpillars in the early stages of infestation
  • Plough the field so as to expose the pupae to predators and parasitoids
  • Monitoring the pest with pheromone traps (4-5/acre) helps in timely treatment
  • To control early stage larvae, spray neem seed kernel extract (NSKE) 5% or chlorpyriphos 2.5ml 2ml or quinolphos 2ml or neem oil 5ml/ litre of water
  • As the grown up larvae move down to soil to hide during day time, poison bait (1 litre of 1kg carbaryl+10kg of rice bran+1 kg jaggery+1 litre of water to make the bait in to pellets for one hectare) placement at base of the plants helps in killing the larvae

Bihar Hairy Caterpillar: Spilosom aobliqua

Symptoms of damage:

  • Young larvae feed gregariously mostly on the under surface of the leaves
  • A caterpillar of later stages defoliates the field completely 

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg: Laid in clusters of 50-100 on the lower side of leaves
  • Larvae: Orange coloured with broad transverse band with tufts of yellow hairs that are dark at both ends
  • Pupa: Forms a thin silken cocoon by interwoven shed hairs of the larvae
  • Adult: Crimson coloured moth with black dots and a red abdomen. Wings are pinkish with numerous black spots 


  • Collection and destruction of eggs and early stage larvae
  • Spray NSKE 5% to kill early stage larvae
  • If grownup larvae are seen, spray quinalphos, chlorpyriphos @ 2ml/litre of water

Capsule Borer: Conogethes (=Dichocrosis) punctiferalis

Symptoms of damageImage title

  • Capsule with bore holes
  • Damaged capsules webbed together
  • Peduncle and capsules showing galleries made of silk and frass


Identification of the pest

  • Larva: pale greenish with pinkish tinge and fine hairs with dark head and prothoracic shield
  • Adult: yellowish with black spot


  • Spray any one of the following insecticides, thrice from flowering at three weeks interval
    • Malathion 50 EC 2.0 l/ha
    • Carbaryl 50 WP 2.0 kg/ha in 1000 l of water

Jassids: Empoasca flavescens

Symptoms of damage:Image title

  • Leaf margins become yellow
  • Curling of leaf edges and leaves turn red or brown
  • Leaves dry up and shed 

Identification of the pest:

  • Nymph: green coloured
  • Adult: green wedge shaped insect 


  • Seed treatment with imidacloprid or carbosulfan protects the crop from all sucking pests including jassids for about a month.
  • Spray dimethoate (0.05%). Repeat spray if required after a fortnight.

White flies: Trialeurodes ricini

 Symptoms of damage:Image title

  • Water soaked spots on the leaves which become yellow and dry up
  • Leaves appear sickly and get coated with sooty mould
  • Stunted plant growth, shedding of fruiting bodies 

Identification of the pest:

  • Nymph: yellowish 


  • Whiteflies can be effectively attracted and controlled by yellow sticky traps, which are coated with grease/sticky oily materials
  • Spray triazophos (2.5 ml/l) or acephate (2 ml/l)
  • Spraying of any neem product (Neem oil 3% or NSKE 5%) with any sticky material

Thrips: Retithrips siriacus: Scirtothrips dorsalis

Symptoms of damage:Image title

  • Terminal leaves silvered
  • The injury results in development of dull yellowish-green patches on the upper leaf surface and brown necrotic areas of the lower surface
  • Under heavy infestation the leaves curl and plants get stunted

 Identification of the pest:

  • Nymph: Pinkish (Retithrips siriacus); yellowish (Scirtothrips dorsalis)
  • Adult: Black with fringed wings


  • Insecticides such as dimethoate, methyl-o-demeton at the rate of 2.0 ml/litre of water give control of thrips effectively

Diseases of Castor

Seedling Blight : Phytophthora colocasiae

SymptomImage title

Dead seedling

  • The disease first makes its appearance on both the surfaces of the cotyledonary leaves in the form of roundish patch of dull green colour which soon spreads to the point of attachment causing the leaf to rot and hang down.

Spot on older leaf    

  • The infection further spreads to the stem with the result that the seedling is killed either due to the destruction of growing point or by the collapse of stem.
  • The true leaves of seedlings and the very young leaves of older plants may also be affected; but ordinarily not much injury is caused.
  • The leaf spots turn yellow and then brown and concentric zones of lighter and darker brown colour are formed.
  • The disease spots coalesce at a later stage and cover almost the entire leaf.
  • The affected leaves shed prematurely. Under moist conditions, a very fine whitish haze is found on the under-surface of the leaf spots.
  • In case of mature plants also the disease may spread from young leaves to the stem through the petiole.


  • Ill drained, damp and low lying localities should be avoided for sowing castor.
  • Seed dressing with 4g Trichoderma viride formulation on 3g Metalaxyl per kg seed can reduce disease incidence.
  • Soil drenching with Copper oxychloride @3g /lit or Metalaxyl 2g/lit

Alternaria Blight : Alternaria ricini

SymptomImage title

Alterneria leaf spot with concentric rings. 

  • All the aerial parts of the plant, i.e., stem, leaves, inflorescence and capsules are liable to be attacked.
  • These may appear on any portion of the leaf and are irregular, scattered, and have concentric rings.
  • These are brown and later become covered with bluish-green or sooty growth.
  • When the attack is severe the spots coalesce and form big patches resulting in premature defoliation of the plant which gradually wilts away.
  • In one case the capsules, when half mature, wilt suddenly, turn brown and due to collapse of the pedicel the capsules fall or hand down.
  • They are smaller in size and have under-developed and wrinkled seeds with little oil content.


  • Seed treatment may be useful in combating the initial phase of the disease.
  • Use of healthy seed and treat the seed with Captan or Thiram @ 4g/kg seed or spray Mancozeb at 2.5g/lit concentration at an interval of 15days commencing from 90days of crop growth.

Cercospora Leaf Spot: Cercospora ricinella

SymptomImage title

Spots on leaf 

  • The disease appears as minute black or brown points surrounded by a pale green ring.
  • These spots are visible on both the surfaces of the leaf.
  • As the spots enlarge, the centre turns pale brown and then greyish-white surrounded by a deep brown band which may be narrow and sharp or broad and diffused.
  • The fructifications of the fungus appear as tiny black dots in the white centre.
  • The diseased spots often occur in great numbers scattered over the leaf and are roundish when young but may become irregularly angular when mature.
  • When the spots are close together, the intervening leaf tissue withers and large brown patches of dried leaf may result


  • Spraying with Mancozeb 0.25%
  • Spraying twice with Mancozeb 2.5g/lit at 10-15 day interval reduces the disease incidence.
  • Treat the seed with Thiram or Captan 4g/kg seed.

Powdery Mildew: Leveillula taurica


Image title

Powdery mass covering entire leaf

  • It is characterised by typical mildew growth which is generally confined to the under-surface of the leaf.
  • When the infection is severe the upper-surface is also covered by the whitish growth of the fungus.
  • Light green patches, corresponding to the diseased areas on the under surface, are visible on the upper side especially when the leaves are held against light. 
  • Management
  • When weather is comparatively dry spray twice Wettable Sulphur 3g/lit at 15 days interval , starting from 3 months after sowing.
  • Spray 1ml Hexaconazole or 2ml Dinocap /lit of water at fortnight intervals. The variety Jwala is resistant to this disease.

Wilt : Fusarium oxysporum

  • Image titleLeaves are droop and drop off leaving behind only top leaves.
  • Diseased plants are sickly in appearance.
  • Wilting of plants, root degeneration, collar rot, drooping of leaves and necrosis of affected tissue and finally leading to death of plants.
  • Necrosis of leaves starts from margins spreading to interveinal areas and finally to the whole leaf.
  • Spilt open stem shows brownish discolouration and white cottony growth of mycelia much prominently in the pith of the stem. 


  • Selection of disease free seed.
  • Grow tolerant and resistant varieties like Jyothi, Jwala, GCH-4, DCH-30 and SHB 145.
  • Burning of crop debris
  • Green manuring and intercropping with red gram
  • Treat the seed with Thiram @ 3g/ kg or Carbendazim @ 2g/ kg seed or with 4g Trichoderma viride formulation.
  • Multiplication of 2.5 kg T.viride formulation by mixing in 50kg FYM, Sprinkling water and covering with polythene sheet for 15days and then applying between rows of the crops is helpful in reducing the incidence.

Post Harvest Technology 

Like pulses, oil seeds are rich in protein and in addition they contain a high level of fat. Hence they are not only good sources of protein but are concentrated source of energy. They do not contain an appreciable amount of carbohydrate but contain high level of B-vitamins. Groundnuts are particularly rich in thiamine and nicotinic acid. Oil seeds produced in the country are mostly used for oil extraction.


Gingelly seeds56351843532514505709
Groundnut roasted570226402327773703
Mustard seeds5418204042244907008
Safflower seeds35651326335182368235
Sunflower seeds6205205241182806705

In India oilseeds like groundnut, mustard, safflower, are more commonly grown for edible oil purpose.

Oil extraction: The oilseeds are cleaned, dehusked and oil is extracted by mechanical pressing, screw pressing, prepress solvent extraction and direct solvent extraction.

Protein isolate: After solvent extraction, it is treated with dilute sodium hydroxide at pH8. The proteins are separated by filtration and washing with water and then used for different purposes.


Groundnuts resemble other pulse in general nutritive value, except that they are rich in fat. Groundnuts are boiled or roasted and consumed. But the chief product is the oil, which can be used either as cooking oil or for making margarine and soap. The secondary product is the residue or cake left after the expression of the oil. It is also purified and used in supplementary mix. The major proteins of groundnut are arachin and conarachine which is lacking in lysine and methionine and its quality can be improved by either adding these amino acids or foods rich in the same.

Extraction of Sunflower Oil    

Both solvent extraction process and mechanical expression methods are in use for the extraction of oil from the sunflower oilseeds. In the expression of oil by the screw press, 60 to 70% of the oil from the meal is recovered. The operations and the processes followed for the mechanical extraction of oil using a screw press is outlined below. 
The oilseeds are cleaned to remove all foreign materials including stones, metals and dust from the seed.
Then dehulling of the clean seed is done to reduce the fibre content and increase the oil and the protein contents in the dehulled kernel.  
The kernels are then allowed to pass through the roller mills to reputre the seed and increase the oil recovery efficiency. 
The rolled flakes are then cooked by heat treatment for further increase in oil recovery.
The oil from the cooked, flaked is extracted by pressing the cooked flakes in the expellers. The oil is then filtered to remove the seed particles. 
The sizes of the deoiled cakes are reduced and then these are bagged for storage.
The crude oil is refined for the production of edible grade oil.