Turnip is a well-known vegetable for all of us. There are many classifications of vegetables but for the ease of common understanding for a rational person, it is classified under roots vegetables. Because its edible portion is an enlarged root portion that is consumed. Just like radish and carrot, it is also a short durational crop. It is consumed not also as a root as well turnip greens are also used in cooking (Shaljam gosht), for salad and different farmers use the turnip greens as a fodder for animals. Medicinally turnip and turnip greens are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Turnip pronounced in Urdu as Shaljam. In this article, I will discuss the production technology of turnip and how it could be useful as a cash crop due to short durational crop. There are the following outlines under which the whole article will be discussed,
- Variety selection of turnip
- Seed quantity and sowing time
- Land preparation
- Fertilizer and irrigation
- Plant protection
- Yield and profit
Selection of a variety of turnip (Shaljam)
There are different varieties that are easily available in the market, but I will mention here that there are two different types used which are European type and Asiatic type. European types are also called temperate types and sweeter in taste than Asiatic types and grow under lower temperature like Purple Top, White Globe, etc. Asiatic types are also called tropical types, which can be grown in higher temperatures than temperate ones but their taste is pungent and less tropical. In our climate in Pakistan, hotter climate persists more so Asiatic types are more common like Desired.
Note: Pakistani farmers cultivate turnip (Shaljam) two times a year, one is early season and the other is late season. In the early season tropical types are used to cultivate but for the late season like in December and January temperate types are used. Turnip seed rate in Pakistan ranges from 1.5-2 kg per acre, but this is recommended when there is a normal season like in December and January whereas in case of early seeding in August and September seed rate should be higher in quantity than recommended quantity due to less germination percentage in turnip (Shaljam).
Just like radish and carrot, land leveling for land preparation in the turnip. Well, rotten Farmyard manure is fed up and recommended as well. Land should be plowed deeply so that air and soil interaction should be optimized. After that, the seed is broadcasted generally and followed by plowing and then allowed to grow.
Fertilizer and irrigation
All the cultural practices are the same just like in radish and carrot. Fertilizer requirement is very less it is suggested that apply one bag of DAP and half bag with each irrigation after plant emergence and half bag after twenty days. Irrigation interval depends on the soil condition. In the case of early-season sowing in August and September when temperatures are higher then irrigation interval should be less otherwise when the crop is grown in December and January then irrigation interval can be up to a week.
Turnip or Shaljam is suggested by experts due to a short durational crop as well as a cash crop. In the case of orchards, the turnip is the best-suited intercrop. In August and September, due to higher temperature and humidity as well fungal attack is possible but there is another issue is reported by farmers that is an attack of pest could be possible. So, for this purpose, apply the suggested insecticides as per the condition. In the late season, negligible chances of attack of any pest and disease attack. It is claimed by farmers that they have no doubt that turnip is more successful among all vegetables and gives more profit with less cost of production.
Harvesting and yield
Earlier crops grow early within two months and ready to sell out for the market. Late varieties matured in three months. Turnip and turnip greens both are harvested as a product. There is a rough estimate that average production ranges between 10,000-20,000 kg per acre. It was estimated that the cost of production remains between 25-30 thousand rupees and it can give a 1.5-2 lakh of output income approximately.
- Turnip (Shaljam) is a short durational cash and intercrop winter root vegetables.
- There are two different kinds of varieties are named as temperate types useful for lower temperature and tropical types can be grown early in a season under relatively higher temperature.
- Seed quantity should be more when turnip is grown earlier in a season due to less percentage of germination.
- Turnip greens are also used for cooking purposes, have a very important medicinal importance due to their enriched quantity of minerals and vitamins.
- Fertilizer requirements are less in turnip crops. Application of well-rotten farmyard manure is most recommended.
- Turnip crops need less care for pest and disease attack and it may be vulnerable when the crop is grown earlier in a season with pest, so suggested insecticides spray should be applied as per the condition.
- Turnip (Shaljam) is 2-3 months and give quick money with an extra profit margin.
I hope you will be cleared about the turnip cultivation with its production technology and medicinal importance of turnip greens. Feel free to comment below regarding the topic and stay tuned!