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Fennel Seeds Cultivation; Know about Climate Requirement, Popular Varieties, Fertilizer Requirements, Harvesting & Economics

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

Fennel or Saunf in our country belongs to the Apiacae family. This seed is native to Europe and is generally utilized for preparing spice. Fennel is utilized for enhancing meat dishes, soups etc. and has great nutritional value attached to it in the form of fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Its leaves are utilized for decorating dishes additionally in servings of mixed salads.  

Fennel has therapeutic properties like it is utilized for proper digestion, treating diarrhea, throat pain, migraine and so on. India is the top producer of fennel and is grown as a Rabi crop. Some of the top fennel producing states in India include Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Haryana among many others. 

Popular varieties of fennel seed: 

Top varieties include: 

- The local 

- RF 101 

- Gujrat Fennel 

- RF 35 

- CO 1  

Climatic Requirements: 

The best temperature range for fennel cultivation is between 15 to 25 degree Celsius. 50 to 75 mm rainfall is optimum for fennel cultivation. Harvesting temperature ranges between 18 to 25 degree Celsius. 

Soil Requirements: 

All soil types with adequate amounts of organic matter are reasonable for fennel cultivation. Proper drainage should be maintained for best outcome and sandy topsoil and loam soils are the best among all the counterparts. Shallow soils should be taken up for fennel development. PH of soil ought to be in range of 6.5 to 8. 

Preparation of land: 

Couple of proper ploughings should be applied in case of medium soil followed by planking for a leveled and uniform bed. If the soil is heavy in nature, the number of ploughings should be increased to 4 to 5 times. 

Seed rate and Sowing:  

4 kilo per acre of land, seed rate should be followed. 

Ideal sowing time for fennel seed ranges between mid September to October. To acquire great yield, stay away from delay in planting. 

Spacing of 18 inches should be maintained between rows and 4 inches between crops. 

Depth for sowing of seeds should be maintained at 1.2 to 1.6 inches and normal sowing method is followed. 

Fertilizer Requirements: 

Mix 5-7 quintal of farmyard manure or commonly called cow dung into the soil while preparing the land. 45 kilos of urea should be applied in 3 uniform amounts to fulfill the deficiency of nitrogen in the soil. After applying the base layer of urea, follow a pattern of 30 days in between for the next application of the same. Other fertilizer should be applied if any deficiency is observed in the soil. 

Controlling weed in Fennel crop: 

Hoeing is effective in controlling weed and is to be done by the end of 1 month of sowing. Another way is to apply 1 liter of Pendimethalin per acre of land. 

Irrigation system: 

Apply irrigation before sowing and also apply a couple of splashes of irrigation after sowing for better germination. Once that is done, the crop should be irrigated at a uniform interval of 14 to 21 days. Water logging or stagnation should be avoided in the flowering and formation of the seed stage of the crop. 

Pest and Disease control: 

Pest such as aphids etc, can be controlled using Methyl demeton. Diseases like Powdery mildew, Fusarium wilt etc. can be controlled by using wet sulphur. Spray the same to the crop for maximum effect. 

Crop Harvesting and Yield: 

Harvesting can be done by the end of 180 days into the cultivation cycle, which falls by the end of either April or May. Start harvesting by plucking the umbels when they change from green to slight yellow. After plucking is done, dry in the sun for 2 days followed by 10 days in the shade. 

You can expect a yield of 8 quintals of dry seeds per acre of land cultivation. 


Cost incurred by the farmer include: 

- Preparation of the land: 5000 rupees 

- For manure and pesticides: 8000 rupees 

- Protection of the crop: 5000 rupees 

- Irrigation expenses: 5000 rupees 

- Labour expenses: 15000 rupees 

- Miscellaneous: 8000 rupees 

Total incurred cost: 46000 rupees 

Net income: 

Farmgate price per kilo: 90 rupees (depends on the variety) 

For 1 quintal, farm gate price is 9000 rupees,  

For 1 acre cultivation: 8 quintals is 72000 rupees 

So profit comes to 72000 - 46000 = 26000 rupees per acre (Note: Can vary depending on market and variety). 

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