Agricultural Facts of Jute
Jute, a tropical fiber plant grows mainly in deltaic regions in sandy and clayey loams. It grows well on alluvial soil, in the flood planes, and deltas of rivers. It needs high levels of humidity and temperature during its period of growth. Heavy rainfall is essential for a good crop.
Sowing of Jute
Jute is sown between March and May. There are two methods of sowing: the seed are either broadcast or dropped into shallow furrows in well ploughed fields. Good quality seeds can produce 3.5 to 4 tons of Jute per hectare.
Growing of Jute
Constant weeding is necessary throughout the growing period for a better yield. In fact, even the plants are thinned out when they achieve the height of about 15 cm. Within 5 months, the Jute Plant achieves a height of about 3-4 meters.
Harvesting of Jute
The plants bloom at this stage and crop is ready for harvesting. They must be cut closely to the ground and can even be uprooted completely if the fields are well flooded.
Pre-Retting Process of Jute
The harvested plants must be dried for 2-3 days and their leaves removed. They are then tied into bundles of 20-25 cm diameters and immersed in soft-running water for 2-3 weeks. The stocks are checked on the 10th day. If the fibers slip out easily when the stock is pressed by the finger and thumb, the Pre-Retting Process is considered complete.
Traditional Water Retting of Jute
After the fibers are loosen from the stock by beating with a wooden mallet, they must be washed in clean water, wrung, and spread out in the sun to dry. The dry fibers are tied into bundles, sorted according to quality, and then pressed into bales of 180 kgs to be transported to manufacturers.
Recent Methods of Jute Retting
Recent methods, viz. Dry and Chemical Retting developed in the laboratory have immense possibilities in improvement in overall Retting Technology.
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