Scientific Name: Sesamum Indicum L.
Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is the oldest indigenous oilseed crop, with longest history of cultivation in India. Sesame or gingelli is commonly known as til (Hindi, Punjabi, Assamese, Bengali,Marathi), tal (Gujarati), nuvvulu, manchi nuvvulu (Telugu), ellu (Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada),tila/pitratarpana (Sanskrit) and in different parts of India.
Sesame seed (contain 50% oil, 25% protein and 15% carbohydrate) is used in baking, candy making and other food industries. It is an integral part of rituals, religion and culture. The oil can be used in the manufacture of soaps, paints, perfumes, pharmaceuticals and insecticides.
• This crop is grown in around all parts of the country.
• More than 85% of production comes from West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh.
Sesame is grown in almost all the states in large or small areas. It can be cultivated up to the latitude of 1600m (India 1200 m). Sesame plant needs fairly high temperature during its life cycle. Normally the optimum temperature required during its life cycle is between 25-350C. If the temperature is more than 400C with hot winds the oil content reduces. If the temperature goes beyond 450C or less than 150C there is a severe reduction in yield.
One or two ploughings followed by harrowing are recommended for pulverization and fine tilth required for good germination and plant stand. Keep the field weed free and perfectly levelled to avoid water logging to which sesame is highly sensitive.
A seed rate of 5 kg/ha is needed to achieve the required plant stand. Wherever seed drill is used, the seed rate may be reduced to 2.5 to 3 kg/ha from 5 kg/ha. For easy interculture and to realize higher yield adopt line sowing.
In order to facilitate easy seeding and even distribution increase the bulk by mixing the seed with either sand or dry soil or well sieved farmyard manure in 1:20 ratio. Use seed drill or deshi plough with suitable attachment for line sowing. The optimum depth for seed placement is 2.5 cm. Avoid deep seeding as it adversely affects germination and plant stand.
Sesame is grown in all the crop growing seasons viz, kharif, late kharif, rabi and summer. It is grown in more than one season in some part and in different seasons in other parts of the country.
Sesame can be grown on a wide range of soils, however well drained light to medium textured soils are preferred. It does best on sandy loams with adequate moisture. The optimum pH range is 5.5 to 8.0. Acidic or alkaline soils are not suitable.
For the prevention of seed borne diseases, use treated seed with Thiram 2 g/kg + Carbendazim 1 g/kg or Trichoderma viride 5 g/kg seed. Wherever bacterial leaf spot disease is a problem, soak the seed for 30 minutes in 0.025% solution of
Agrimycin-100 prior to seeding.
Manures and Fertilizers
For improving soil physical conditions and to obtain higher yield, apply about 5 tonnes/ha of well decomposed farm yard manure before the last ploughing and incorporate it thoroughly in to the soil. Sesame responds well to inorganic fertilizers. The dose of fertilizers would however, vary depending on the variety, season, soil fertility status, previous crop, rainfall and soil moisture.
Weeding and Interculture
The critical crop weed competition period in sesame is up to 40 DAS. The crop is very sensitive to weed competition during the first 20-25 days. Two weedings, one after 15-20 days of sowing and other at 30-35 days after sowing are required
to keep the field weed free and for moisture and nutrients available to the crop. Preplant incorporation of 1 kg a.i./ha fluchloralin or pre emergence application of 1 kg a.i./ ha Pendimethalin effectively check weed growth.
Harvesting and threshing
The best time of harvesting is when the leaves turn yellow and start drooping while the bottom capsules are lemon yellow. Do not postpone harvesting and allow the crop to dry completely in the field because such practice leads to losses due to shattering. Usually the crop is threshed by gentle beating of well dried plants with sticks.
A well harvested crop can yield 1200 – 1500kg/ha under irrigation and 800 -1000 kg/ha under rainfed conditions.