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    Frequenly Asked Questions  
  Q. What is the difference between tossa and white jute?  
  A.
Commonly it can be differentiated by its leaf character like in tossa jute the leaves are drooping, bigger in size, yellowish green with less serration whereas in white jute the leaves are straight, relatively smaller in size, dark green in colour with deep serration.
 
  Q. What are the latest improved varieties for tosa and white jute?  
  A. Tossa Jute: JRO-632, JRO-878,JRO-7835, JRO-524, JRO-3690, JRO-66, JRO-8432, JRO-128 White Jute: JRC-321, JRC-212, JRC-7447, Padma, JRC-698  
  Q. Which one is the best quality jute variety regarding fibre fineness?  
  A. JRC-321 under white jute and JRO-878 under tossa jute.  
  Q. How to differentiate tossa and white jute after retting?  
  A. Properly retted tossa jute fibre is golden yellow in colour whereas in case of white jute it is white in colour.  
  Q. Whether growing jute for seed purpose is economically viable?  
  A. Economically viable but it depends upon the place of production like less humid tract of agroecosystems.  
  Q. How and where certified seeds of jute are available?  
  A. It is available from any government registered seed merchants.  
  Q. Which one is the suitable variety of jute under low land condition?  
  A. JRC-321 and Padma.  
  Q. Whether pruning helps in higher seed production?  
  A. Yes  
  Q. Which soil type is suitable for jute cultivation?  
  A. Neutral loamy soil rich in organic matter. The soil should have sufficient drainage facility.  
  Q. From where one can get the seed drill , wheel hoe or bast fibre extractor? What are their approximate cost?  
  A. Seed drill : Rs………, Wheel hoe : Rs…….and Extractor : Rs. 10,000/- only.  
  Q. What is the economic benefit of bast fibre extractor in comparison to traditional method?  
  A. Conventional approach is cost-prohibitive consuming more than 30 percent of the total cultivation cost.  
  Q. Can the extractor be operated without electricity?  
  A. Yes  
  Q. If yes, what are the possibilities?  
  A. 1.5 H.P Kerosene engine  
  Q. How many persons are required to operate and what is the output?  
  A. Two persons are required for operation and this machine can handle 400 to 500 kg whole plants in an hour.  
  Q. How many persons are required to carry it from one place to the other?  
  A. Its weighing 100 kg  
  Q. Why line sowing of jute is better than broadcast sowing?  
  A. In line sowing method plant population can be regulated conveniently, cultural operations become easier and higher yield can be achieved.  
  Q. Whether jute seed can be produced in fibre producing areas?  
  A. There is no problem in producing jute seeds in conventional jute fibre producing areas except some areas of Assam where rainfall is excessively high (>2000 mm). In case of seed production, farmers however, will have to forgo aman paddy and the cropping system needs to be remodeled including a pre-kharif crop, preferable sesame or green gram.  
  Q. Whether seeds need to be graded and why?  
  A. Grading of jute seed is necessary to discard the smaller seeds which exhibit poor emergence and subsequent vigour.  
  Q. How to control weeds in jute field?  
  A. Post-emergence application of Quizalofop ethyl (Trade name: Targa Super) @ 1.5-2.0 ml of formulation at 15-21 days after emergence can control grassy weeds in jute. In line-sown crop use of organic mulch in between rows can also control weeds.   
  Q. What measures can be taken to save jute from drought?  
  A. Use pre-soaked (4 hours) and duly dried seeds at planting, substitute fertilizers with organic sources to improve the organic matter content, use organic mulches in between rows, adopt minimal tillage and adopt foliar feeding of dilute urea solution.  
  Q. What is the optimum sowing time of jute for fibre and seed crop?  
  A. For fibre crop optimum sowing time is April and for seed crop the optimum sowing time is May.  
  Q. What should be the optimum spacing for fibre and seed crop?  
  A. For fibre crop 30 cm between rows and 7.5 cm between plants. A closure spacing of 20 cm improves fibre quality. For seed crop 30 cm between rows and 15 cm between plants for production of more number of pod bearing branches.  
  Q. What should be the ideal crop rotation including jute?  
  A. One legume crop (such as pulses) should be included in the rotation to improve the soil health. In light soil, growing of green manure is advocated prior to sowing of jute.  
  Q. How water logging can be avoided?  
  A. Provision of 30 cm surface drain in fibre crop and in seed crop ridge sowing is helpful.  
    Retting  
  Q. What is the optimum age of harvesting of jute crop for proper retting?  
  A. 100 to 120 days.  
  Q. Is retting a chemical reaction?  
  A. No, Retting is a bio-chemical reaction. Initially few chemical reactions occurs, later on various retting microbes with the synthesis of various enzymes ret the jute plants for good quality fibre.  
  Q. Is it advisable to use banana plants and mud as covering or jak materials for retting?  
  A. No, because, tannic acid of banana plants and ferrous iron content of mud impart black colour to the jute fibre, which is also known as “Shyamla” resulting deterioration of fibre quality.  
  Q. What type of jak materials farmers’ should use for proper retting?  
  A. Farmers should use water hyacinth, coconut leaves, dhaincha plants as jak materials and then proper immersion farmers can use plastic bags full of sand/mud/brick etc, wooden logs & cemented poles. Following this, fibres do not get black colour and quality also improved.  
  Q. What is the proper temperature for retting?  
  A. The required temperature for proper retting is 340C.  
  Q. What type of water is best for retting?  
  A. Retting is best carried out in slow moving clean water of canal, river etc with low salts, iron and calcium content.  
  Q. What are the natural activators that accelerate retting process?  
  A. Inclusion of dhaincha (Sesbania aculeate), sunnhemp (Crotelaria juncea) plants & gliricidia leaves as natural activators in 1: 10 ratio inserted in jak before steeping in water reduced the retting period by 3 to 5 days.  
    Entomology  
  Q. What are the major pests on jute?  
  A. Semilooper Anomis sabulifera Guenee, stem-weevil Apion corchori Marshall, yellow mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks), hairy caterpillar Spilosoma obliqua Walker and the leaf eating caterpillar Spodoptera exigua Hübner are the major pests of jute.  
  Q. What is the optimum time of sowing jute in order to reduce the pest incidence?  
  A. Optimum time of sowing is a part of IPM. It was observed that the incidence of major pests was more on early sown crop than on late sown crop except semilooper. The optimal date of sowing is the 4th week of March for JRO 524, whereas 2nd week of April was reported to be optimum for other varieties in order to minimize the pest incidence.  
  Q. Are there any resistant varieties against the major pests on jute?  
  A. There is no variety that is completely resistant to major pests of jute. However, JRO 524 and JRC 212 were reported to be least susceptible to the yellow mite.  
  Q. What is the nature of damage caused by the semilooper?  
  A. The jute-semilooper has been reported to occur in all the jute-growing tracts and is the most important foliage pest of the crop. Top leaves with leaf-buds and shoot apex are liable to damage. Damage starts in all cases from unopened leaves or buds, which represent the most susceptible portion. It was observed that, 81 per cent damage was limited to seven fully opened leaves from top and up to 95 per cent down to the 9th leaf. The repeated damage by this pest checks crop growth and induces profuse branching, resulting in ultimate reduction in fibre yield.  
  Q. What is the favourable climate for the outbreak of semilooper in jute?  
  A. Pre-monsoon rains followed by drought conditions favour the outbreaks of this pest in epidemic forms.  
  Q. How to manage the semilooper on jute?  
  A. Bacillus thuringiensis was reported to be effective against the jute semilooper. It may be recommended @ 1Kg ha-1. Whenever the damage by semilooper reaches 15% then any contact insecticide such as endosulfan 0.075% (35%EC @ 2.0 ml/lit.) or fenvalerate 0.02% (20%EC @ 1.0 ml/lit) or cypermethrin 0.03% (25% EC @ 1.2 ml/lit) or carbaryl 0.1% (50%WP @ 2g/lit.) may be applied.  
  Q. How to differentiate the symptom of damage caused by the yellow mite and red mite?  
  A. Yellow mite sucks the sap from under surface of leaves and hence, the leaves curl downward, whereas red mite infested leaves shows light green dots in the upper surface of leaves as the mite sucks from the under surface of leaves.  
  Q. How to manage the yellow mite population on jute?  
  A. JRO 524 and JRC 212 may be recommended in the yellow mite endemic areas. Whenever the population crosses the ETL of 110 mites per leaf then endosulfan 0.04% (35%EC @ 1.0 ml/lit.) or dicofol 0.04% (18.7% EC @ 2.0 ml/lit.) may be applied to reduce the mite population below the ETL. Recently fenazaquin 0.02% (10%EC @ 2.0 ml/lit.) has been proved to be effective in managing the yellow mite.  
  Q. How to manage the damage caused by the Bihar hairy caterpillar?  
  A. The adult moth lays eggs in groups on the under surface of the leaf. Upon hatching the larvae scrap the chlorophyll content gregariously. This is the most crucial stage for the management of the hairy caterpillar. Otherwise the larvae disperse to the entire field and then very difficult to manage. Hence, it is recommended to hand pick the leaves along with the larvae (which are gregarious) and dip them in insecticidal solution (may be endosulfan/ carbaryl/ cypermethrin/quinalphos) or kerosene. It will reduce the pest population to a greater extent.  
  Q. How to manage the damage caused by the Bihar hairy caterpillar during later stages of its life cycle?  
  A. Lambda cyhalothrin 0.003% (5% EC @ 0.6ml/lit.) or indoxacarb 0.02% (14.5%SC @ 1.0 to 1.4 ml/lit.) or endosulfan 0.075% (35%EC @ 2 ml/lit.) may be sprayed to reduce the pest population to a greater extent.  
  Q. What is the nature of damage caused by the stem weevil and how to manage the pest?  
  A. The stem weevil, A. corchori affects more the quality of fibre than it does the yield. The white jute C. capsularis is more susceptible to stem-weevil infestation starting from seedling stage to harvest. Adults feed very little on the apical leaves and the rest of the life stages are passed well hidden inside the stem. This pest hence, always escapes from the contact of the insecticides. The grub tunnels inside the stem by feeding the internal tissues. Endosulfan was reported to be effective against this pest or the application of systemic insecticide carbofuran @ 1 Kg a.i. ha-1(3%G @33.33kg/ha) will take care of the pest.  

Central Research Institute for Jute & Allied Fibres, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Barrackpore, Kolkata 700120, West Bengal (India)

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