Organic Mulberry farming For Sustainable Silk Production

Mulberry Farming Process and Profit Guide

Hi Friends, today we are going to learn commercial mulberry farming in the following article.

Mulberry Tree Facts And Identification

Mulberry fruits are the sweeter and hanging fruits which belongs to the genus of deciduous trees that can be grown in every corner of the world. Basically, these deciduous fruit plants are able to grow in almost all types of climate condition in a very large variety of weather conditions.

mulberry farming

They firstly founded or originated in China, after which spread all over the world in short time. Mulberries are mostly known for their unique flavor along with the impressive composition of nutrients in them. Nowadays, almost all the variety of mulberry are supposed to be the native to that region, in which they are found or grown because they are popular throughout the world.

The fruits of mulberry that is berry, grows quickly when are younger and gradually slower at the time of color changing from green or white to pink and red. The growth rate of berries at color attaining to dark purple or even totally black is very very low. These berries are being used in numbers of edible items such as sherbets, jams, fruit tarts, pies, jellies, teas, wines, and cordials because of their sweet and tarter flavor. Also, their flavors vary according to the growing area with the variety. The black mulberry and the American mulberry are most powerful flavor among all the variety or cultivar.

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Basically. there are three species of mulberry deciduous trees on the basis of their size.

  • White mulberry
  • Black mulberry
  • Red mulberry

The White mulberry is able to grow up to 80 feet and more than it in height and is available in many variable forms including pyramidal and drooping shape.

The Red mulberries are able to grow up to 70 feet in height whereas the white is the smallest one which is able to grow up to 30 feet tallness. The white species requires training at their young age otherwise they lead to be a shrub. These fruit tree plants have a very long economical life such as black mulberry is able to bear fruits for about 100 yrs whereas the red one uses to bearing fruits for more than 75 yrs.

Presently, the business of growing mulberry or commercial mulberry farming is being done for producing extraordinary sweet berries and leaves production. Especially for leaves. Leaves of the mulberry tree plant are the excellent food source for silkworms. So, to obtain the raw food for the silkworm production or silkworm farming.

Mulberry | Scientific Name Or Botanical Name

silkworm and mulberry farming

The scientific name or botanical name of mulberries alters on the basis of species of them. The most common species of them are Morus australis and Morus nigra. But, there are numbers of other delicious varieties of this fruit tree plant is present in the world in the different portion of the world.

In general, the¬†scientific name or botanical name of mulberry is “Morus”¬†which varies according to the species.

Health Benefits of Mulberry

Mulberries are the excellent source of organic compounds, minerals, and vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous, phytonutrients, anthocyanins, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, lutein, polyphenolic compounds along with notable amount of dietary fiber

The following is a list of some of the health benefits of eating mulberries.

  • Mulberry berries¬†contain dietary fiber which is helpful for the good health of digestive system.
  • The presence of high level of Iron content in the mulberries is beneficial in significantly boosting the red blood production in the body.
  • The¬†Resveratrol present in mulberries is helpful in a good circulation of blood.¬†Resveratrol is specific flavonoid that found only in the¬†dark-skinned berries such as grapes
  • The high content of vitamin A,¬†vitamin C,¬†anthocyanins,¬†and various other phytonutrient and polyphenolic compounds in the berries are¬†beneficial in preventing us from many kinds of cancers.
  • Mulberries are also helpful in improving the eye vision.
  • The vitamin C along with minerals and vitamins present in the berries is helpful in boosting the immunity and keeping the illness away.
  • Mulberries are also an excellent source of Vitamin K, calcium, Phosphorous, magnesium, and iron which is good for the bone health.
  • Mulberries are also a good anti-aging agent and prevent us from premature aging.
  • The vitamin A and Vitamin E present in them is helpful in keeping hair healthy and shiny.

Are Mulberries Edible?

If anyone asks you “are mulberries edible?” then reply “yes” because of all like other fruits, mulberries are full of minerals, vitamins, organic compounds and dietary fibers. All of them are beneficial for us in keeping us healthy and happy by keeping the illness far away from us…

Climate Conditions & Soil Required For Mulberry Farming

Mulberries are able to grow in a wide range of climate conditions and weather, but of these, all are not suitable for commercial cultivation. For Commercial mulberry cultivation, they grow their best in climate conditions support well. Mulberries require full sun and adequate space. Thes trees plants can withstand wind up to some extent. Basically, Mulberries favors a warmer atmosphere with deep and loamy soil

Mulberry are able to grow on almost all types of soil, throughout the different portion of the world. So, Mulberry Cultivation is possible over a wide range of soils but to attain the optimum plant growth, a soil ranging from loamy to clayed loamy soils is to grow mulberries

Also, these fruit plant crop can withstand slightly acidic soil conditions. But, not less than 5 pH value. If you have such soil and you are planning mulberry farming then please correct it before plantation. Application of lime or Dolomite is beneficial in attaining the desired pH. And for alkaline soils, applying Gypsum is the best way for correcting pH or soil alkalinity.

It is notable that very steep lands are not suitable for growing them on large scale. For excellent plant growth, the cultivation should be done on flat land, gently sloping, and undulating lands. It is also possible to grow them on the sloppy and sleepy lands, but it requires lots of care and management such as bench terracing, contour planting, contour drains, etc

Also, ensure the depth of soil since these tree plants are deep-rooted tree plant and require sufficiently deep soil, around more than 2 feet depth. These plant can be cultivated up to 4,000 feet height on the elevation with good plant growth. Above that, the cooler temp. lower down the plant growth and hence more cultivation period.

Land preparation for Mulberry Farming

Mulberry is one of those perennial crops which are able to give production in consecutive years after the good establishment of the crop or plants. Usually, a well settles mulberry plant crop bear fruits for about more than 15 yrs with optimum fruit and leaf production. Generally, flat and leveled lands are ideal for irrigated mulberry farming. But, cultivating them on sloppy and sleepy soil having more than 15 % slope, there is a need for some special tasks to be performed such as contour bunding and bench terracing.

While preparing land for commercial mulberry cultivation, give about 2 to 3 deep plowing, around 50 cm deep inside in order to proper loosening of the soil followed by two country plow. This will loosen the soil well and also bring the soil in fine tilth form, best suitable for cultivation. A pre weedling should be done to remove the weeds from the previous crop. Also, remove the extra material such as polybags, stone, bottles, etc from the field.

Apply about 25 tonnes of farmyard manure per hectare as the basal dose at the time of land preparation to increase the soil fertility and productivity. Give it at the last lowing or harrowing so that is thoroughly incorporate into the soil

Note: For mulberry farming, waterlogged soil, intensive pesticide usage soil, and tobacco grown soil are especially not suitable.

Selection of Variety in Mulberry Farming

Selection of variety in mulberry farming plays a vital role in the fruit and leaves production. The productivity and suitability of variety or cultivar depend on numbers of key factors such as the soil fertility, productivity of the soil, soil type, soil pH, climatic conditions, weather, and atmosphere. Each specific variety or cultivar has the different capacity of fruit and leaves production in accordance with the soil type and atmosphere, used for cultivation. The high fertile soil along with intensive irrigation facility enhance the production in a significant way.

organic farming of Mulberry

There are numbers of the commercial variety of mulberry are available, which are suitable for growing in different section throughout the world. However, to produce optimum, there is need of selecting a high yielding and fast growing variety or cultivar. The suitability of cultivar of mulberry for commercial cultivation varies according to the soil type and atmosphere. However, M 5, S 36, V 1 K 2, AR 12 are some high yielding and fast growing variety of mulberry. Especially, the S 36 and V 1. Both of them are capable of producing nutritive leaves, which is essential for silkworm rearing or silkworm farming. 

S 36

It has heart-shaped and thick leaves having glowing nature with light green color. The leaves of S 36 have high moisture content with excellent nutrient content.

When it comes to yield, on an average, by growing this variety about 20,000 Kg of mulberry leaf per year from one acre can be easily produced.

V 1

This cultivar firstly introduces in 1997 and become very popular in very short time. The leaves are oval and broad in shape with succulent, thick and dark green color leaves.

When it comes to yield, on an average, by growing this variety about 30,000 Kg of mulberry leaf per year from one acre can be easily produced.

AR 12 & M 5

For growing in alkaline soil, the AR 12 and M 5 cultivar is best suitable for optimum fruit and leaf production.

However, these fruit plants respond very well to the application of manure and fertilizers.

How to Start Mulberry Plantation?

mulberry cultivation

Method of Propagation

Mulberry plantation can be done mostly through the saplings and cuttings. However, saplings are the most convenient way of propagation in commercial mulberry cultivation because of faster and good establishment of them on the main field them the cuttings.

For plantation one sapling or two cutting should be planted by keeping the ideal spacing between them. Sapling should be planted in open pit whereas the cutting should be planted by exposing one or two buds.

How to Grow Mulberry Tree From Cutting

For growing mulberry tree from the cuttings, prepare the cuttings from a matured old shoot having an age of 6 months with diameter 1.5 (Approx). Cutting should have 20 cm lengths with 3 to 5 healthy buds on them. It will enhance the % of establishment on the field.

How to Grow Mulberry Tree From Saplings or Seedling

Prepare ideal nursery beds having dimension 1.5 m X 5 m. Land should be dug up to 40 to 45 cm and soil should be crushed a well. To increase the soil fertility, add about 20 kg of farmyard manure per each prepared bed and thoroughly mix it well. Also, add loamy and clayey soil to it to make the soil friable.

Plant the previously prepare cutting to each of the nursery bed at an ideal spacing of 10 cm X 15 cm. Keep only single bud open to the atmosphere such that the full length of the cutting is underground. For the better establishment, irrigate them twice a week. Add 25 kg of Nitrogen, Potash, and Phosphorous each when sprouting appears on the beds.  When the sapling become three months older, they are best suitable for cultivation. However, care should be taken while uprooting the sapling from the beds. Avoid planting any damaged plant.

Spacing in Mulberry Farming

The spacing in mulberry plantation depends on soil type, the facility of irrigation, slope and the variety along with intercultural activities used in the cultivation.

For planting on the heavy and black soil with heavy rainfall areas, the spacing should be 90 cm X 90 cm, with this, one can plant around more than 12000 plants in a hectare land. For plantation on hilly areas, the spacing should be 60 cm by 120 cm to obtain the planting density of 14000 plants per hectare.

Mulberry Plantation

The plantation with pit system is the best suitable for growing mulberries on the leveled and flat soil. Pit having 30 to 35 cm depth should be prepared. Left it for three to four weeks open for good pulverization of soil. Add well-rotted farmyard manure to it, about 35 % with soil. However, for the best establishment of the crop, plantation should be done in the monsoon season.

However, for planting mulberries in the sloppy and hilly areas, plant around 3 to 4 cuttings having 25 cm length per each pit at a distance 15 cm. Replace those cutting, which do not sprout in about one month of the plantation to maintain good planting density.

Irrigation in Mulberry Farming

irrigation in mulberry farming

Irrigation plays an important role in the berries and leaves production. These plants are very sensitive to the adequate water supply. So, provide water on the regular basis, once a week or at 10 days of interval. For irrigating with the traditional method, one channel of water is enough for two rows of plants and for the best utilization of water.

However, in case of water scarcity, drip irrigation should be adopted to obtain higher yield.

Application of Manure and Fertilizers in Mulberry Farming

The mulberry tree responds very well to the application of manure and fertilizers. So, add about 25 tonnes of farmyard manure as the basal dose at the time of land preparation to increase the soil fertility.

Also, add about 20 tonnes of farmyard manure at the time of 1st pruning and 3rd pruning per hectare, once a year. Also, the deficiency of all the micro and macronutrient deficiency should be corrected before the plantation carried out. The 1 kg of Nitrogen, 500 gm of Phosphorous, and 500 gm of Potassium should be applied to the base of each plant. Foliar spray of 1 % Boron, 0.5 % Urea, 0.1 % Zinc Sulphate is beneficial in improving the quality of leaf.

However, prepare a well-balanced schedule for the application of manure and fertilizers in the mulberry farming.

Pests and Diseases in Mulberry Farmingpest and diseases in mulberries

Mulberry tree | Pests

The following is the list of all the common pests and insects, found on the mulberry tree.

  • Pink Mealy Bug (Tukra)
  • Papaya Mealy Bug
  • Thrips
  • Whitefly
  • Jassid
  • Scale Insect
  • Mulberry Leaf Roller
  • Cut Worm
  • Bihar Hairy Caterpillar
  • Wingless grasshopper
  • Brasserie
  • Flacherie
  • Muscardine
  • Pebrine
  • Uzi fly
  • Dermestid beetles

Mulberry tree | Diseases

The following is the list of all the common diseases found on the mulberry tree.

  • Leaf spot
  • Leaf rust
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Fungal leaf blight
  • Bacterial leaf blight
  • Root-knot
  • Root rot

Harvesting in Mulberry Farming

Commercial mulberry farming or cultivation is mainly done to produce the tasteful fruits and nutritious leaves. Harvesting at proper maturity leads to higher yield in the cultivation. Carry out leaves picking at their correct stage of maturity. Harvesting of over mature leaves leads to loss of nutrition from the leaves. And, nutritiousness mulberry leaves are worthless for the silkworm farming or silkworm rearing business. An overmatured leaf also lost the green color turning yellow. For harvesting, manual picking of leaves is mostly adopted.

mulberry farming or cultivation

The fruits or berries of this plants are highly used for preparing numbers of edible items such as sherbets, jams, fruit tarts, pies, jellies, teas, wines, and cordials because of their sweet and tarter flavor so consult a processing co., if available to make extra income from this business farming.

Usually, around 5 to 6 harvesting should be done at an interval of two months for better yield. The first harvesting should be done after about 60 days from the first pruning. Whereas the 2nd and 3rd harvesting should be done at an interval of 50 days. Maintain the same routine for the 4th, 5th, 6th harvesting in accordance with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd harvesting respectively.

Yield in Mulberry Farming

The yield of mulberry cultivation depends on the soil type, facility of irrigation, application of manure and fertilizers, soil fertility, atmosphere, etc. However, on an average, more than 50 tonnes of leaves can be obtained from a hectare land.

Real Also: Silkworm Farming & Cultivation | Rearing Guide & Tips

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