Biomass & Bioenergy, Vol.48, 191-202, 2013
Agro-technology of Jatropha curcas for diverse environmental conditions in India
Jatropha curcas has been widely planted without knowing its standard package of practice for optimizing the yield. Therefore, a standardized agro-technology of Jatropha is required. With this purpose, in this study an elite accession of Jatropha was planted at seven sites in India, covering a range of edapho-climatic conditions. Three experimental trials (spacing, pruning and irrigation and fertilizer) were carried out wherein its growth and yield performance were assessed for five years (2007-2012) at all the sites. The growth characters like plant height and number of branches showed significant variations among the sites and the effects of treatments were not uniform across the sites, indicating that site-specific package of practices should be followed instead of adopting the general recommendations. The seed yield was disappointing to recommend it randomly for large scale plantations on degraded lands in India. But results from the multi-location trials have shown good prospects at semi-arid (Bhavnagar) and drylands (Hyderabad); where plants in close spacing (2 x 2 m) produced significantly higher seed yield per unit area upto 1.4 t ha(-1) (Bhavnagar) in comparison to wide spacing. Pruning showed a negative effect on seed yield during initial five years. We found that the following prescription was sufficient to optimize the yield on India's degraded soils: irrigation at a 30 day interval, and for each planting hole 2 kg of Farm Yard Manure (organic manure) and nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium at 10 g, 20 g, and 10 g, respectively. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.