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Safflower: Crop Stage-wise IPM

Management Activity


Common cultural practices:
• Deep summer ploughing to control juveniles and adults of nematodes, and resting
stages of insect pests.
• Follow crop rotation with non-host crops
• Destroy the alternate host plants
• Sow the ecological engineering plants
• Sow sorghum/maize/bajra in 4 rows all around the main crop as a guard/barrier crop
Nutrients • Nutrients should be applied based on the soil test report and recommendations
for the particular agro-climatic zone.
• In preceding kharif season, grow soybean/ mungbean/ cowpea etc. pulse crops.
• Generally, safflower crop remove 25 – 30 Kg N, 12-15 Kg P2O5, 15-20 Kg K2O and 10-
15 Kg S per acre.
• Add well decomposed FYM @ 4 t/ acre or vermicompost @ 2 t/ acre treated with
Trichoderma spp. and VAM.
• Incorporate treated FYM at the time of field preparation at 2 to 3 weeks before
sowing and vermicompost at 1 week before sowing.
• Application of sulphur @ 6-18 Kg/acre significantly increases yield
Weeds • Summer deep ploughing
• In kharif fallow fields, check the weed growth by harrowing during monsoon rains.
• At the time of field preparation, adopt stale seed bed technique to minimize the
weeds menace in the field

Seed sowing*

Nutrients Common cultural practices:
• Use resistant/tolerant varieties
• Use healthy, certified, weed seed free seeds
• Timely sowing should be done.
• Nitrogen is applied in two splits - ½ as basal and ½ at flowering.
• At the time of sowing, apply 15-20 Kg N and 12-15 Kg P2O5, 12-15 Kg K2O and 10-15
Kg S/ acre.
• Under rainfed conditions, entire fertilizers are applied by drilling at sowing.
• Under irrigated conditions, ½ N and whole P, K & S fertilizers are applied at sowing.
• Based on soil test for micronutrient, the deficient micronutrient should be applied
in soil at sowing.
• Biofertilizers: Seed/seedling treatment with Azotobacter and phosphorous
solubilizing bacteria (PSB) cultures @ 250 g each /acre seed.
Weeds • Adopt the recommended agronomic practices such as timely sowing, line sowing,
proper spacing, gap filling etc.
• Intercropping with chick pea/wheat/linseed/coriander may be adopted for
better utilization of inter row space and suppressing the weeds as per regional
recommended agronomic practices.

Vegetative stage

Common cultural practices:
• Field sanitation and rogueing
• Judicious use of fertilizers
• Collect and destroy crop debris
• Provide irrigation at critical stages of the crop
• Avoid water logging
• Enhance parasitic activity by avoiding chemical spray, when 1-2 larval parasitoids
are observed
Common mechanical practices:
• Collect and destroy disease infected and insect infested plant parts
• Collection and destruction of eggs and early stage larvae
• Handpick the older larvae during early stages of the crop
• Handpick the gregarious caterpillars and the cocoons which are found on stem
and destroy them in kerosene mixed water
• Use yellow sticky traps @ 4-5 trap/acre
• Use light trap @ 1/acre and operate between 6 pm and 10 pm
• Install pheromone traps @ 4-5/acre for monitoring adult moths activity (replace
the lures with fresh lures after every 2-3 weeks)
• Erect bird perches @ 20/acre for encouraging predatory birds such as King crow,
common mynah etc.
• Set up bonfire during evening hours at 7-8 pm
Common biological practices:
• Conserve natural enemies through ecological engineering
• Augmentative release of natural enemies
• Apply second dose (top dressing) of N i.e. 15-20 Kg N/ acre at 35 days after sowing
• Micronutrient deficiency should be corrected by foliar spray of particular
micronutrient i.e. foliar application of zinc 3 ppm + copper 1 ppm + boron 0.5 ppm
Weeds • Use the black plastic mulch to suppress the weeds germination and growth
between the rows.
• Practice one or two had tool weeding/hoeing at 25 to 30 and 45 to 50 days after
sowing depending on the length of rosette period and the severity of weed
Gram pod borer/capsule borer Cultural control:
• Growing intercrops such as cowpea, onion, maize, coriander, urd bean etc.
• Rotate the safflower crop with a non-host cereal crop such as wheat or barley,
cucurbit, or cruciferous vegetable
• Grow repellant plants: Ocimum/Basil
• Plant ovipositional trap crops such as marigold for Helicoverpa
• Intercropping with non-host crop like wheat or barley
• Avoid chickpea as intercrop
Biological control:
• Inundatively release Trichogramma pretiosum @ 40,000/acre 4-5 times from flower
initiation stage at weekly intervals
• Application of NPV @ 100 LE/acre in combination with jaggery 1 Kg, sandovit 100
ml or Robin Blue 50 g thrice at 10-15 days interval on observing the eggs or first
instar larvae in the evening hours
• Apply entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) @ 100 crore infective juveniles of
Steinernema feltiae/acre
Safflower caterpillar Cultural control:
• Intercropping with non-host crop such as wheat
• Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Safflower bud fly • Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Safflower aphid Cultural control:
• If the attack is observed in the border rows take control measures
• Intercultural operations such as harrowing and hoeing reduce weeds such as
Parthenium hysterophorus in safflower field which serve as alternate hosts for
safflower aphids
• Intercropping with sorghum, wheat and coriander reduces aphid infestation
• Intercropping with niger should be avoided
Biological control:
• Release of Chrysoperla larva @ 2-3/plant or 70,000/acre
• Spray neem oil emulsion @ 0.25%
• Spray NSKE 4%
Chemical control:
• Spray acephate 75% SP @ 312 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or dimethoate 30%
EC @ 264 ml in 200-400 l of water/acre or phenthoate 2% DP @ 8,000 g/acre or
quinalphos 1.5% DP @ 8,000 g/acre
Alternaria leaf blight • Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Cultural control:
• Avoid growing in low-lying and flooding areas
• Do not delay irrigation until the crop exhibits moisture stress symptoms
Cercospora leaf spot • Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Cultural control:
• Avoid growing in low-lying and flooding areas
• Avoid continuous cropping/follow crop rotation
Powdery mildew • Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Cultural control:
• Do not plant spineless genotypes (more susceptible)
Rust • Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Cultural control:
• Avoid growing in low-lying areas and flooding under irrigation
• Do not delay irrigation until the crop exhibits moisture stress symptoms
Ramularia leaf spot, root rot
and wilt
• Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Cultural control:
• Same as rust disease

Reproductive stage

Nutrients • Under rainfed conditions, spray cycocel @ 500 ppm using 200 l per acre water at
flower initiation to get higher seed yields
Weeds • Left over weeds should be removed from the field by manual weeding before they
flowering or shedding their seeds to avoid further spread of weed seeds
Insects and diseases • Same as in vegetative stage
• Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Head rot and wilt • Follow common cultural, mechanical and biological practices
Cultural control:
• Don’t pileup the soil around the stem during rains
• Follow crop rotation in heavily infested soils
Bird damage Cultural control:
• Cultivate safflower in large contiguous blocks
• Safeguard the crop through bird scaring objects
Note: The pesticide dosages and spray fluid volumes are based on high volume sprayer.
*Apply Trichoderma viride/harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens as seed/seedlings/planting material, nursery treatment and soil application (if commercial products are used, check for label claim. However, biopesticides produced by farmers for own consumption in their fields, registration is not required).

Source: NIPHM and Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage

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