Introduction to Okra farming:
Okra/Bhendi (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a vegetable crop belongs to the family Malvaceae, where its fruits are eaten and fibrous stalks are used in papermaking. Fruits contain water 88%, carbohydrate 7.7%, fat 0.2%, protein 2.2%, fibre 1.2%, calcium 0.09%, and iron 0.0015%. It is most useful in fevers, catarrhal attack and irritable states of the urinary organs and it also has many medicinal properties. It is generally grown in tropical and warm regions of the country.
In this post, we will let you know about Okra farming tips, Okra cultivation guide, Okra farming package of practices, Insect pests and diseases of Okra farming, cultivation practices of Okra, production technology of okra, Okra farming in India, seed rate of okra, okra yield per hectare, list of local and hybrid Okra varieties.
Land requirement for Okra cultivation:
The land must be well fertile with high organic content. Highly free from volunteer plants with good drainage facilities is recommended. Good irrigation facilities are also needed.
Soil condition in Okra farming:
It is widely grown in a wide range of soils from sandy loam to clayey loam. Well-drained land with deep soil is ideal for its growth and development.
Climatic conditions for Okra cultivation:
Bhendi requires a long and warm growing season with light humidity. The best season for planting in May – June. Optimum temperature range for a proper establishment is 25-30 degree Celsius.
Land preparation in Okra cultivation:
Preparation of the land by 2 to 3 times ploughing with mouldboard plough to pulverize the soil and make it free from clods and also for the breakdown of organic matter present in the soil. Application of FYM 10 kg, neem cake 1 kg, superphosphate 100 during the last ploughing. Apply 2 kg/ha of Azospirillum and 2 kg/ha of Phosphobacteria by mixing with 50 kg of FYM and sand.
Seed rate in Okra Farming:
Okra seed rate for local varieties is about 8.0 kg/ha and for hybrids, it is about 2.0 kg/ha.
Seed treatment for Okra cultivation:
Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride @ 4 g / kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g / kg of seeds and with 400 g of Azospirillum using starch as a binder and allows to dry in shade for 20 minutes.
The seeds are also soaked in water for 24 hours before sowing for effective germination and growth. Soaking the seeds with 2.0% bavistin is also found to be effective before sowing.
Sowing the seeds in Okra farming:
Seeds can be sown at a spacing of 45 X 30 cm apart in ridges for optimum establishment. Sowing can be done with 3 seeds per hill and thinning can be with 2 plants per hill. Seeds are dibbled at 2-3 cm depth. The seeds take about 4 to 5 days for germination.
Gap filling and thinning in Okra farming:
Thinning and gap filling can be done one week after sowing to maintain optimum plant population and to prevent from crop competition.
Manures and fertilizers requirement in Okra cultivation:
For varieties, basal dose of FYM @ 25 t/ha, N @ 20 kg, P @ 50 kg and K @ 30 kg/ha as basal and 20 kg N/ha at 30 days after sowing is recommended.
For hybrids, basal dose of FYM @ 40 t / ha, N @ 100 kg, P @ 100 kg and K @ 100 kg/ha as basal and 100 kg N / ha 30 at days after sowing is recommended.
Irrigation in Okra farming:
Pre sowing irrigation is given for dry soils. Usually, 2 to 3 irrigation is given during summer months. Furrow method of irrigation at the proper time is the best one for bhendi.
Weed control/ Weed management in Okra field:
It is always recommended to keep weed-free for the first 20 to 25 days sowing. Spray Oxyflourfen at 0.15 kg active ingredient per hectare as a pre-emergence application on the third day after sowing. Herbicide application with one hand weeding on 30 days after sowing is recommended.
Plant protection in Okra farming:
Insect pests of Okra cultivation
Okra Fruit borer: Setting up of pheromone trap at 12 no. /ha for control. Collection and destruction of affected fruits and flowers. Release of egg parasite Trichogramma at 1.0 lakh/ha for highest damage. Dusting with carbaryl 10 % DP @ 25 kg /hais also effective.
Okra White fly: Install yellow sticky trap @ 12/ha. Remove alternate weed host Abutilon indicum. Spray insecticide like dimethoate 30EC @1.0 ml/l.
Okra Aphid: Application of phorate 10 % G @ 15 kg/ha for immediate control.
Leaf hopper in Okra: Seed treatment with imidacloprid 48%FS or 70 % WS @7g/kg or Thiamethoxam 70%WS @2.8g/kg of seed.
Ash weevil of Okra: Application of Carbofuran 3 G at 15 kg/ha at 15 days after planting of bhendi.
Red spider mite of Okra: Apply phorate 10 % G @15 kg /ha or any pesticide like dicofol 18.5 %SC @2.0 ml/liter of water.
Okra Thrips: Spraying of 36% DMTP wettable powder and 50% MEP emulsifiable concentrate (EC)or either soil application with granular formulation of 5% acephate and 5% monocrotophos is found effective.
Diseases of Okra cultivation:
Yellow mosaic virus of Okra: Spraying of systemic insecticides like Methyl demeton or Dimethoate @ 2 ml / l to kill the insect vector is found effective.
Powdery mildew: Dusting with Sulphur 25 kg / ha or spray Dinocap 2 ml / lit or Tridemorph 0.5 ml/lit or Carbendazim 1 g / lit immediately after the disease incidence and repeat after 15 days or four sprays of Triademephon at 10 days interval from 30 days after sowing is effective.
Leaf spot disease of Okra: Spraying Zineb or Mancozeb 2 g/ lit is found effective for control of this disease.
Damping off disease of Okra: Seed treatment with Trichoderma viride 4 g/ kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g / kg of seed 24 hours before sowing. Application of Pseudomonas fluorescens as soil treatment @ 2.5 kg/ha mixed with 50 kg of FYM and sand.
Harvesting in Okra cultivation:
Harvesting can be done at 45 days after sowing. Fruits are generally harvested in tender stage with are green at 1 – 2 days intervals for market purpose. It can be in alternate days for effective table purpose.
Yield from Okra farming: It generally yields about 12 to 15 t / ha. It starts yielding 60 days after sowing and continues up to 100 days.
Conclusion in Okra cultivation: Bhendi is usually a powerhouse of many valuable fibres, minerals, vitamins and many other essential nutrients.it also have much industrial value for its mucilage. Young mature fruits are of high importance.