How to farm sesame seed
There are two types of sesame seeds used for farming. The white seeds which are mostly used in the bakery industry and the brown or mixed sesame seeds suitable for oil production. If you are looking to start farming sesame, it is important for you to choose which seed you would prefer because mixing them may lead to uneven quality of produce.
These seeds that have become so sought after and a source of income thrive is hot climatic areas. It needs a constant temperature of higher than 0° C. During germination, the seeds need a temperature between 15-16° C anything below that will hinder the seeds from germinating. Moisture is also vital in having healthy sesame plants but this does not stop it from thriving in drought areas. Best productions are obtained on fertile soils, with medium texture and deeper groundwater.
For high yields you need to look out for the following soil characteristics.
- Well drained, but not water logged;
- Avoid valley bottoms and depressions
- Preferably fertile lands with sandy loam soil that is free from concretions
- Growing sesame in rotation, following crops such as sorghum, corn, cotton, millet or growing it as a mixed crop with millet sorghum and other cereals works well.
How to plant sesame
Sesame grows slowly in the early stages this being the case; the soil must be free of weeds. With 70% of the nutrients being consumed after the flowering period fertilization during vegetation is necessary.
Soil preparation is another important stage when planting sesame. Basic soil preparation techniques which include weeding that can be done manually, using machines or herbicide; ploughing which should be carried out after the first rainfall to ensure the soil is soft enough; and harrowing aims at creating a loose, graded and leveled ground.
Sowing of sesame is done later after soil preparation. This is done using specialized machinery. It is suitable to have a distance of 35-45 cm between the rows and 2-3 cm deep. For one hectare, you are advised to use 7-8 kilograms of seeds. After sowing, you are supposed to roll slightly and weed as needed.
Your fertilizer of choice should be rich in nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Compost and farm manure are also recommended for fertilization.
Watch out for root and stem diseases and cultural damage caused by water-logging and high humidity
Sesame is ready for harvesting between 90 to 130 days after planting. The seeds are considered ready when the fruit at the base are ripe, get the color specific to the variety, and the leaves at the base of the stem have fallen.
On small scale farming, sesame is harvested with the sickle and bounded into bundles, where it continues to dry without losing its quality. After drying, the bundles collapse to the ground. On large scale harvesting takes place in two phases. First, it’s cut with a windrower and left in the swaths which, after drying, are collected with a combine harvester.
With all these tips, you are set to start sesame farming and thrive.