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Mustard Cultivation Guide – Climate, Land Preparation, Varieties, Fertilisers, Sowing and Harvesting

P. Godha Hiranmayee
P. Godha Hiranmayee

India is the 4th largest contributor of oilseeds & Rapeseed and mustard contributes about 28 percent in total oilseeds production. After soybean and palm oil, mustard is 3rd important oilseed in world. Seeds of mustard and its oil is used for cooking purpose. Indian Mustard (Rai) is a major rabi oilseed crop and is grown as a commercial crop.  


Plants are tall 90-200cm, erect & branched. Leaves are stalked, broad and pinnatifid. The fruits (pods) are slender & only 2 to 6.5cm long, strongly ascending or erect with short & stout beaks. The color of the seed is brown or dark drown. Seed coat is rough. 


It requires cool temperature & dry harvest period (20℃ optimum) 

Rainfall:  350-550mm 

It is a Long day plant. Neither tolerant to dry spell nor dripping 

Mustard Varieties:

Pusa Agrani, Pusa Jaikisan, Geeta, Kranti, Jagannadh, Jawahar Mustard 2, Vasundhara, Varuna, Vardhan, M-27. 

M-27 is high oil yielding variety 


It can be grown in wide range of soils as alluvial, medium loam, sandy loam or heavy loam soils. 

Land preparation: 

Field should be well prepared by first ploughing deep with soil turning plough followed by two cross cultivations. Every ploughing should be followed by a light rolling & planking so that soil is finely pulverized and levelled. Weeds & stubbles have to be removed from the field. 

Seeds & Sowing: 

Seed treatment: Seed should be treated with Thiram or Captan @2.5 g per kg of seed. 

Seed should be soaked in water before sowing so that you can observe good seed germination. This is best done by wrapping the seed with moist gunny sack. 

Seed Rate:  

Pure crop: 5-6 kg seed should be sown in rows at a depth of 2.5-3.0 cm in case of a pure crop 

The seed can be mixed with equal quantity of sand for uniform distribution at sowing 

Mixed crop: 1.5-2.0 kg seed per hectare is sufficient in mixed cropping. Sowing could be done either behind local plough or through seed drill. The seeds are sown in rows 1.8-2.4 meters apart in the main crop. It is grown as a mixed crop with wheat, barley during winter season. 

Depth of sowing: 3-4cm 

Spacing: 30×10cm, 45×15cm 

Time of sowing: 2nd week of October to 2nd week of November 

Thinning of the plants should be done at 20-25 days after sowing to maintain a plant to plant distance 10-15cm. 

Manures & Fertilizers: 

12-15 tons FYM/ha should be applied. 

Nitrogen required is 30-60kg/ha for dry land and 100-120 kg/ha under irrigated conditions. It has to be applied through Ammonium Sulphate. So, that plant can get both Nitrogen & Sulphur. 

Phosphorus required is 20kg/ha for rainfed and 50 kg/ha for irrigated crop. It has to be applied from Single Super Phosphate (SSP). So, that plant can get both Phosphorous & Sulphur. 

Potassium 20kg/ha is applied only for highly k deficient soils. 

Half of N at sowing & the remaining at first irrigation. Whole P& K to be applied at the time of sowing. 

Micro nutrients: 

In rice fallows, 25 kg ZnSO4 applied to rice is sufficient for succeeding brassica crop. Application of 2kg Boran/ha is sufficient to meet the requirement especially on saline soils.


1st Irrigation: when the flowering has sufficiently advanced 

2nd Irrigation: At fruiting stage 

Weed control: 

2-3 Manual weeding’s are necessary 

First weeding along with thinning and remaining weeding at 14 days interval.  

PPI (Pre-Plant Application) of Fluchloralin @ 0.5-0.75kg/ha is also effective. 


Harvesting is done after 110-180 days. When the crop is ripe, the leaves become yellow, the plants are uprooted or harvested with the help of sickles. 


Threshing can easily be done by beating with sticks. The pods easily shatter and give away seeds. The seeds should be dried for 2/3 days before they are stored. 

Mustard Yield

Average yield is 1.7 tons/ha 

Uses of Mustard: 

It is used as condiment. 

The young plants are used as vegetables. 

Mustard oil is used for softening leather. 

It is used in preparation of hair oils, medicines, soap making, greases etc. 

Oil cake is used as cattle feed & manure. 

Cost of Mustard Cultivation


Cost per Acre (Rs) 

Land Preparation 


Tractor Ploughing (2/3 ploughings) 


Human Labor (1) 


Seed cost 


Sowing (2) 






Manual weeding/ chemical spray 


Plant protection measures 


Miscellaneous activities 


Harvesting (2) 


Drying & Threshing 


Cost of Transport 




(_) Indicates the no. of labor  

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