Short-duration coriander

By Our Agriculture Correspondent

The new variety has attractive bold grains with higher essential oil content.

The new variety has attractive bold grains with higher essential oil content.  

SCIENTISTS AT the department of spices and plantation crops of the Horticultural College and Research Institute (HC&RI), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, have developed a high-yielding variety of coriander, which yields bold and attractive coloured grains with high essential oil content.

The new variety was released for commercial cultivation early this year at the TNAU.

Christened "CO (CR) 4", the coriander has a short duration (65-70 days). It can be cultivated under rainfed and irrigated conditions.

The new variety is a selection from the germplasm collections received from the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Lam, Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, and it has been found to be highly suitable for both the dry lands and black cotton soils of Tamil Nadu, according to the scientists, who developed this variety.

The plants of the new CO (CR) 4 variety grow up to a height of 35 cm, and have a distinguishing pink colouration at the basal portion of the main stem. They are semi-erect in growth habit with shorter internodes.

The plants flower in 30-35 days after sowing. They produce bold, oval grains, which are attractive straw yellow in colour. A thousand grains weigh about 18.6 g.

The variety has recorded an average yield of 587.2 kg grains per hectare in irrigated condition, and the rainfed crop has registered an average output of 539.4 kg grains per hectare.

The irrigated crop has recorded a 24.57 per cent more yield than the popular variety CO 3, and the rainfed crop has yielded 16.02 per cent more than that of CO 3.

Since this comes to harvest in about 70 days as compared to 85 to 105 days of CO 3, this variety has been found more suitable for crop rotation, mixed cropping and inter-cropping systems. It has been found to have field tolerance to wilt, powdery mildew and aphids.

It is suited for cultivation in June-July season (Adi pattam) and October-December season (Karthigai pattam). The fields should be thoroughly worked to bring it to a powdery tilth, and beds and channels of convenient size should be formed. A seed rate of 10-12 kg is recommended to cover a hectare under irrigated condition. The dry crop may need a seed rate of 20 to 25 kg per hectare. An espacement of 20 cm x 15 cm should be maintained to a get a uniform stand of the crop. In the case of dry crop, pre-sowing seed hardening treatment with potassium dihydrogen phosphate at 10 g per litre of water for 16 hours should be done.

Seeds should be treated with Azospirillum at 600 g per hectare, and treatment with Trichoderma viride at 4 g per kg should be done to prevent the incidence of wilt disease.

The variety responds well to organic nutrients, and sound cultural practices. About 10 kg nitrogen, 40 kg phosphorus and 20 kg potash should be applied per hectare as basal dressing, and 10 kg nitrogen should be applied as top dressing on the 30th day after sowing.

Adequate care should be taken to prevent the incidence of pests and diseases by adopting suitable integrated pest and disease management strategies.

The plants can be pulled out when about three-quarter of the grains turn straw yellow in colour. They should be dried in clean threshing floor, and beaten with sticks to separate the grains. The grains should be cleaned by winnowing and dried for extended storage.

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