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Aberrant weather: Safflower

Delayed rains

It is more profitable to go for safflower whenever there are late rains in October/ November.

In several single cropped rabi areas, the occurrence of prolonged dry weather conditions immediately after planting coupled with insufficient moisture at seedling time result in poor and uneven plant stand and / of near failure of early sown rabi crops. In such cases, scrap the early sown rabi crop and resow with safflower taking advantage of favourable rains in October / early November.

Aberrant weather - Extended monsoon

Whenever favourable rains are received immediately after harvest of kharif crops sometime in later September/ October and soil moisture is adequate for second crop, take full advantage of the situation and raise two crops in place of single crop by planting safflower immediately after harvest of kharif cereals, legumes and others.

Several light and medium textured soils in the potential safflower growing areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh which are normally cropped in kharif can be put to productive use by taking safflower either as contingent crop after harvest of kharif crops or as a compensatory crop in the event of total failure of kharif crops whenever near/ above normal seasonal conditions prevail in rabi. In case plantings are delayed and/ or soil depth is limited, use higher seed rate than normal to curtail excessive vegetative growth of safflower.

insufficient rainfall or stored soil moisture

Whenever stored soil moisture is inadequate and post sowing rains far and few, give either pre-planting irrigation from run-off water collected in dugout ponds or any other source or alternatively one life saving irrigation at elongation/ flowering or earlier if crop shows symptoms of moisture stress.

In situations where water levels in wells/ tanks are limited, when favourable and timely rains are received in rabi, plant safflower in place of other high water requiring crops like wheat to achieve efficient use of scarce water resources over a longer command area and obtain higher returns per unit area and unit amount of water.

No rainfall after sowing of crop

Cultivation of crop across slope and soil mulching upto flowering stage improves the soil moisture status and thereby seed yield. Spray cycocel @ 500 ppm at flower initiation to get higher seed yield and returns from the crop.

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