Climate for Jute & Mesta


Jute

Jute (both the species: Corchorus olitorius and C. capsularis) is a “short-day” (long night) plant, and therefore starts flowering when the day lengthis less than 11.5 hours. When jute is grown as a fibre crop, its vegetative growth is favourable while flowering is an unexpected physiological development that deteriorates yield and fibre quality. And therefore jute for its natural fibresis grown in summer season (pre-kharif)when the length of day generally remains more than 12 hours.For proper growth and development, jute requires a humid tropical to warm subtropical climate, and about 500 mm of well distributed rainfall. As jute is cultivated for its bastfibre, high biomass accumulation is expected during its 110-120 days growth period. Warm and humid condition in long day is congenial for high biomass production of jute. This congenial condition is created by alternate bright sunshine and rainy days.

Two extreme climatic phenomena, viz. drought and water logging reduce the production of jute biomass and fibreproductivity. Water logging in jute field induce the generation of adventitious roots from the basal portion of the stem and thereby reduce the fibre quality. Moreover the young plants cannot withstand waterlogging; therefore, it is necessary to adjust the sowing in such a way that plants attain a height of about 1 m before the heavy and constant rain starts. Weeding with “CRIJAF nail weeder” at 2-3 days after emergence in moist field condition, and/or 15-20 days after sowing is of sowing at 25-30 days after sowing enhance the crop yield. The plants thrive best in damp heat where the humidity ranges between 55 to 95%. The most ideal temperature of the crop is between 24 to 37°C, however, the optimum is 34°C. A temperature below 20°C is harmful for the crops and it restricts the growth of the plants completely however they may flower and set in to fruits.Anthesis occurs 1-2 hours after sunrise in case of C. olitorius, while an hour or less before sunrise in C. capsularis.


Mesta

Like jute, warm and humid climate are best suited for mesta crops. The crop can grow in temperature range of 20°C to 40°C but optimum temperature for its growth is 30 to 34°C. The crop can grow in high rainfall areas to the tune of even 500mm rainfall during its growth period. However, a rainfall of about 125 to 150 mm per month distributed well is required during the growth period. For good yield alternate rain and bright sunshine is required. Mesta being a rainfed crop,the land gets prepared by receiving the pre-monsoon showers. Land is ploughed with pre monsoon showers followed by laddering to obtain fine tilth.