New Disease Resistant Castor Seed to Yield 1800 Kg / hectare


  • The new HCH-6 seeds have been developed by scientists at UAHS, Shivammoga
  • Yield in the case of traditional varieties said to be declining by the year owing to disease
  • Farm trial of new varieties have been completed and the hybrid castor seeds could yield up to 30% higher output
  • They are awaiting official approval for release

Scientists at the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga (Karnataka), have developed disease-resistant varieties of castor seeds.

Castor seeds are widely cultivated in dry regions of Chitradurga, Davangere and Tumakuru districts. However, the yield of castor seed has been waning owing to fusarium wilt and white fly infection.

Scientists at zonal agricultural and horticultural research station of the university at Hiriyur have developed a disease-resistant and high-yield variety of castor seed named HCH (Hybrid Castor Hiriyur)-6, which is a fusion of DPC-9 and TMV-6 varieties. If cultivated as a solo crop, the yield of HCH-6 variety is said to be around 18 quintals a hectare of land, while it was around 13-14 quintals a ha in other existing varieties.

(A quintal equals 100 Kg)

As part of the farm trial, Lakshmanappa, a farmer from Holalkere in Chitradurga district, who had cultivated HCH-6 variety of castor in his land, said that the yield had increased by around 22 per cent and the plants were free from wilt infection.P. Narayanaswamy, Director of Research, UAHS, Shivamogga, said that KPR-1 paddy and HCH-6 castor seeds would be released after getting approval from the State-level Variety Release Committee and the Central Sub-committee on Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties. The seeds of both the varieties would be released by June, 2016, he said.

If indeed the castor seed yields could be increased to 1.8 tons/hectare, this could be a big boost to farmers, as the country’s average is hovering only about 1.3-1.4 T/hectare as mentioned earlier. And with the castor seeds seeing an overall upswing in prices in the past few years and hovering at about Rs 40/Kg (though 2015 saw slightly lower prices than 2014), such increases in yields could result in many more farmers taking up castor cultivation.

Source: The Hindu

New Disease-resistant Castor Seeds to be Released Soon

Scientists at zonal agricultural and horticultural research station of the University castor seedsat Hiriyur have developed a disease resistant and high yield variety of castor seed called HCH-6 (Hybrid Castor Hiriyur) which is a fusion of DPC-9 and TMV-6 varieties.

The yield of the variety is said to be around 18 quintals per hectare while it is around 13-14 quintals per hectare in other existing varieties.


Differential Longevity of Castor (Ricinus communis L.) Germplasm Conserved Under Uncontrolled Storage Conditions across Extended Periods

Scientists from India performed an experiment to analyse the differential longevity of castor germplasm conserved under uncontrolled storage conditions.  Seed longevity of 2961 castor accessions stored for <1-19 years under ambient conditions was investigated to analyse the loss in vigour by the castor seed and also castor seedsdetermine the genetic variability for seed longevity.

Results showed that castor seed retained 40% germination even after 19 years of storage. All the accessions maintained 100% germination for one year, but from the second year, differential germination percentage was observed among accessions stored for the same duration.


Steady Export Demand, Low Sowing in AP, Telangana to Support Castor Prices

Castor seeds are being sold at the rate of Rs. 4000/quintal in Andhra Pradesh andcastor seeds Telangana owing to steady export demand and increased acreage in the kharif season.

Earlier, during the sowing season, prices surged from Rs. 3900/quintal to Rs. 4200/quintal due to slow progress of sowing in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.


Effect of Period of Fermentation on Nutrients of Castor Oil Seed (Ricinus communis)

Scientists from Nigeria performed an experiment to analyse the effect of period of fermentation on the nutrients of castor oil seeds. Castor oil seed was dehulled, boiled anCastor-Oil-Seeds2d wrapped in a banana leaf. The wrapped seed was kept in a basket and allowed to ferment for four days. The package was unwrapped daily to remove 250g of fermenting cotyledon and dried at 60°C to terminate the fermentation process.

Results showed that the fermented castor oil seeds exhibited increase in moisture, crude protein, crude fibre, carbohydrate, potassium and zinc. The lysine content also significantly increased on the fourth day.


Evaluation of Eleven Genotypes of Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus communis L.) for the Production of Biodiesel

Scientists from Mexico conducted an experiment to evaluate the seed and oil production, yield and quality of biodiesel produced from eleven wild genotypes of castor castor seedsoil plant in Mexico. Seed and oil production was evaluated in experimental plots at field level and the quality of biodiesel produced was also evaluated.

Results showed that the seed production varied between 937.1 kg/ha and 56.3 kg/ha indicating the feasibility to produce castor oil in the north-east region of Mexico. Quality tests conducted for biodiesel showed some potential for use blended with petroleum diesel.


Supply Crunch Boosts Castor

Castor seed prices increased due to good export demand and tight supply from producing belt. On the Rajkot Commodity Exchange (RCX) castor September futures was up Rs 11 to Rs 4,146 a quintal.castor seeds

About 38,000-40,000 bags arrived in Gujarat and prices gained Rs 5 to Rs 795-805 per 20 kg. Around 1,000-1,100 bags arrived in Saurashtra and went for Rs 765-775. Castor oil was at Rs 815/10 kg.


Catalytic Pyrolysis of Castor Seed into Liquid Hydrocarbon Transportation Fuels

Scientists performed an experiment to analyze the effect of catalysis pyrolysis ofCastor seeds castor seed on the yield of oil. Catalytic pyrolysis was carried out at 400°C for different ratios of catalyst to biomass using zeolite as catalyst.

Results showed that compared to thermal pyrolysis of castor seed, catalytic pyrolysis decreased the yield of oil and that the bio oil contained compounds with carbon chain length in the range of C4-C24 that is similar to most of the fuels used.


BKS Seeks Support Price for Castor Seeds

BKS, an RSS affiliated farmers’ group have urged the centre to institute a minimum support price (MSP) of Rs. 60,000/tonne for castor seeds.Castor Seeds

The cost of cultivating castor is estimated at Rs. 6000 – 7000/quintal. In the last two months, the castor cultivation prices have dropped from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 3600/-. Such low prices export sales depress the castor seed prices and also affect the castor seed growers who are denied remunerative returns. The group has also sent a letter stating the estimates of farmers’ losses due to non-procurement of food grains and damage from rain.


Castor Cultivation and Yields in China

The table below provides the production rate of castor seed in china, during the years 2011-12 and 2012-13.

  Production (‘000 T) Area Harvested(‘000 Ha)        Yield  (T/H)
175 180 210 210 0.86 0.86

It can be seen from the above table that the yields of castor seeds in China are almost on par of those in India (which is about 1 T/ha/year. An earlier post showed how the yield is far lower in Brazil.

China is the second largest producer of castor. It contributes about 7-10% of the world‘s castor seeds production.  It uses about 60% of its castor oil for the production of Sebacic acid.

In 2011, China exported 0.13 million T of castor oil, which increased to 0.18 million T in 2012 and estimated to be 0.17 million T in 2013.