HomeCropMustard: Planting And Package Of Practices

Mustard: Planting And Package Of Practices

Being second in significance to groundnut in terms of both area and production, mustard occupies a predominant position in the country. In Northern India, the oil is used for human consumption. Additionally, it is used to make medications and oils for hair growth. It is used with mineral oils for lubrication in the soap industry. Green feed for cattle may be found in green stems and leaves. It can also be fed to cattle in the form of oil cake. 

Mustard Crop at a Glance

Botanical Name: Brassica juncea

Common Name: Sarason (Hindi), Rai (Punjabi), Katuku (Tamil), Kaduk (Malayalam), Avalu (Telugu).

Crop Season:  Rabi season

Crop type: Field crop

Soil Requirements

In general, mustard thrives well in a wide range of soils especially in medium to heavy soils. Sandy loam soil is the most ideal textural classification for the cultivation of mustard.

Climatic Requirements

Mustard crop thrives well in dry and chilled environmental conditions, as a result, it is referred to as a Rabi crop. Temperatures ranging between 10°C to 25°C and an annual rainfall between 625 to 1000 mm are suitable for optimum growth of mustard. Moreover, it is highly sensitive to frost damage.

Package of Practices for Mustard

Land preparation for Mustard

The crop needs a seed bed that is clean, well-pulverized, fine and wet. If the field has less moisture than is necessary for this sort of tilth, pre-sowing irrigation should be provided. When working in an irrigated ecology, the first ploughing should be done with a soil-turning plough, and later three to four harrowing followed by planking. In rainfed regions, disc harrowing should be done after each productive rainfall during the monsoon and planking should always come after each harrowing to prevent clod development and moisture loss.

Sowing time

The optimum sowing time for mustard ranges between 10th October to 25th October. The planting period for rice fallows, on the other hand, typically stretches from the first week of November to the 15th of December. The temperature shouldn’t get over 32˚C when sowing. In rainfed situations, it is advisable to postpone sowing if the temperature is higher than 32 ˚C

Seed rate and Spacing

In general, mustard seeds should be sown in lines at a spacing of 45cm × 15cm with an optimum seed rate of 3.5-5 kg/ha. Seed can be either mixed with sand or ash and used for sowing. In saline environments, using the ridge-furrow approach is advantageous. After three weeks of seeding, thinning is required to maintain the ideal plant population.

Seed Treatment

White rust and downy mildew can cause yield losses in mustard, which can be minimised by seed treatment with Ridomil Gold (Metalaxyl 4% + Mancozeb 64%) at 6 gm/kg seed. Similarly, Trichoderma @ 5gm/kg seed was also used for the suppression of soil-borne diseases. However, treating seeds with Confidor (Imidacloprid 17.8% SL) at a rate of  1 ml/lit water for 1 kg of seeds helps to prevent many seed-borne insect infestations.

Irrigation Schedule

A mustard crop needs 190 to 400 mm of irrigation water. At critical periods, the crop is extremely vulnerable to water stress. The most critical stages of irrigation in mustard are the pre-flowering stage and siliquae formation stage.

Manures and Fertilizers

To avoid unnecessary fertilizer consumption and boost profitability, the fertilizer should be administered based on the results of a soil test. Application of available N, P, and K at rates of 80:40:40 kg/ha for timely sowing and 100:50:50 kg/ha for late sowing, as well as sulphur at rates of 40 kg/ha, zinc sulphate at rates of 25 kg/ha, and borax at rates of 10 kg/ha were recommended. In Irrigated environments, apply half of the nitrogen as a basal dosage and the remaining half during the first irrigation at 30 to 45 days after sowing. In rainfed, apply the full dose of recommended nutrients at the time of planting.

Intercultivation Practices

It is advised to mechanically weed twice using a hand hoe at 15-20 and 35–40 days following sowing. Similarly, pre-emergence application of pendimethalin at a rate of 1 kg/ha was relatively successful. Crop rotation and spot application or protected herbicide spray of paraquat @ 2.5 ml/lit water, respectively are advised for the successful control of Orobanche.

Crop Protection (Pests and Diseases)

Pests of Mustard crop

a) Mustard Aphid (Lipaphis erysmi)


  • Both nymphs and adults suck sap from leaves and floral parts causing curling and distortion of leaves
  • In severe cases, leaves appear sick and blighted in appearance leading to occurrence of sooty mold.


  • Spray Rogor (Dimethoate 30% EC) at the rate of  1.5 ml/lit water during flowering stage

b) Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella)


  • Leaf epidermal tissues were scraped off by young larvae resulting in whitish patches
  • During early stages, the leaves showed withered appearance
  • As an infestation progresses, leaves may be entirely eaten
  •  It also penetrates pods and feeds on the growing seeds


  • To control the larval growth apply Proclaim (Emamectin Benzoate 5%SG) at 80gm/acre

c) Leaf webber (Crocidolomia binotalis)


  • Young larvae that have just hatched initially consume the chlorophyll in young leaves before moving on to older leaves, buds, and pods where they form webbings and reside.
  •  Defoliation occurs on severely damaged plants.
  • The seeds in the pods are consumed.


  • Spray Tatafen (Fenvalerate 20 EC) at the rate of  2.5 ml/Lit of water

d) Painted bug (Bargrada hilaris cruciferarum)


  • The infested plants wilt and wither
  •  Resinous gum like substance was excreted from adult bugs that spoils the siliqua


  • Spraying with Ampligo (Chlorantraniliprole 10 % + Lambda cyhalothrin 5% ZC) at 0.4 ml/Lit of water is effective.

e) Mustard Sawfly (Athalia lugens)


  • The larva feeds on the leaves, boring holes and later turning the leaves skeletonized.
  • Under extreme cases, defoliation occurs


  • Spray the crop with Ekalux (Quinolphos 25 EC) at the rate of 2 ml/L of water 

Diseases of Mustard crop

a) White rust (Albugo candida)


  • Whitish coloured pustules appear on under surface of leaves
  • These outgrowths coalesce to form patches on the leaf
  • Formation of stag head is the characteristic symptom of this disease


  • Spray Contaf (Hexaconazole 5 % SC) at 2 ml/Lit water or Tilt (Propiconazole 25% EC) at 2 ml/Lit of water

b) Powdery mildew (Erysiphe cruciferarum)


  • On both sides of lower leaves, white circular spots will be observed
  • All the parts of mustard plant especially leaves, stems and fruit are affected
  •  The affected fruit of mustard produced small and wrinkled


  • Spray the crop with Merivon (Fluxapyroxad 250 G/L + Pyraclostrobin 250 G/L SC) at the rate of 0.4 ml/L of water or Luna (Fluopyram 17.7% + Tebuconazole 17.7% SC) at 1 ml/Lit of water.

c) Alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria brassicae)


  •  Small gray spots appear on leaves, stem and siliqua
  • The spots enlarge and show a target board shaped center


  • Spray Sparsh (Mancozeb 75% WP) at 2 gm/Lit of water on the foliage usually at ten days interval.
  •  In extreme cases, spray Nativo (Tebuconazole + Trifloxystrobin 75 WG) at 1 gm/Lit of water.

 Harvesting and threshing

Crop has to be harvested when 75% of the pods have become a golden yellow colour. To reduce shattering losses, the crop should ideally be harvested early in the morning when the pods are still wet from the previous night’s dew. When harvesting mustard plants, bundle them together and dry them in the sun for 5–6 days. The mustard plants should be beaten with a stick to thresh them.


Expect a yield of 400 kg/ha on average. Depending on the cultivar and management practices adopted, the yield may reach upto 1000 kg/ha.


Pusa mehek, Varuna, NRC HB-101, RH 749, Giriraj


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