bulet.jpg (4991 bytes) Introduction
bulet.jpg (4805 bytes) Requirement
bulet.jpg (4991 bytes) Varieties
bulet.jpg (4805 bytes) Cultivation
bulet.jpg (4805 bytes) Sowing
bulet.jpg (4805 bytes)


Pests and diseases

Harvesting and yield






Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is cultivated for its seeds, which yield oil and for the extraction of a dye. The oil content varies from 24-36%. The cold-pressed oil is used for culinary purposes, or for making soap. The oil obtained by dry hot distillation is black and sticky and is used only for greasing well ropes and leather goods exposed to water. In the manufacture of paints, varnishes and linoleum safflower oil is used. The decorticated seed cake is used as concentrated cattle feed, undecorticated seed cake is sometimes used as manure.


  • Climate

The crop is grown during rabi primarily as a rainfed crop. At all stages of growth of the crop, excessive rainfall or humidity increases damage from fungal diseases. Water-logging due to poor drainage or prolonged rains can cause substantial fall in seed-yield.

  • Soil

It is cultivated on all types of soil, including sandy soil, but it thrives best on water-retentive black soils and alluvial loams. The crop is fairly resistant to saline conditions.


'A.1', 'A-300', 'No.7', 'N.62.8', 'Nag-7', 'Tara', 'K-1', 'Manjira, (C 438), Bhima, Girna and Sharda.
Safflower is grown mostly as a mixture with wheat, barley, gram and rabi jowar, three rows of safflower being planted after every nine, 12 or more rows of the main crop. As a pure crop, it is rotated with wheat, gram, cotton and rabi jowar.
In general, the pure crop is given one or two weedings, combined with hoeings on the 20th and the 45th day after sowing. When growth in strips, a row spacing of 45cm is adopted.


The application of 20-40kg of nitrogen (N) per hectare results in a substantial increase in yield. The mixed crop shares the preparatory tillage, manuring and cultivation given to the main crop. When the plants have developed the central flowering head, they are topped to promote branching, flowering and seed production.
Pests and diseases

The safflower aphid (Dactynotus carthami), thrips (Frankliniella sulphurea) and the safflower budfly (Acanthiphilus helianthi Rossi) are the serious pests of this crop. Spraying the crop with 0.1% Fenithion, 0.03% Dimethoate and 0.07% Endosulfan is recommended for controlling. The growing of resistant varieties is recommended to avoid damage from these diseases.

Harvesting and yield
The crop matures in 4 or 5 months after sowing. The ripe plants are either cut or pulled out, stacked for a few days to dry, threshed by beating with sticks, and the resulting material is winnowed to obtain clean seeds. The average yield of the pure crop is 400-500 kg of seed per hectare, whereas that of a mixed crop is about 100kg.