Dill (Anethum graveolens), a non-conventional seed spice crop has been identified as potential crop for cultivation on saline black soils having salinity up to 6 dS m-1 in rabi season with the residual soil moisture. It has multiple uses viz., pot herb, leafy vegetable, seeds used as condiments and seed oil for aromatic and medicinal purposes. The herb contains Vitamin-C as high as 121.4 mg/100g. The oil of dill seeds and its emulsion in water (Dill water) are considered to be aromatic, carminative and effective in colic pains and possesses anti-pyretic and anti-helmenthic properties. The crop gives fairly good yield on saline black soils having salinity of 4-6 dS m-1. The crop responds well to saline water irrigation. Three critical stages for saline water irrigation have been noticed ie., vegetative, flowering and seed formation stage. A substantial increase in yield can be obtained by using saline ground water in conjunction with best available surface water. Under saline water irrigation, crop would yield net returns of Rs. 16500/- ha-1 with Rs. 6000/- per hectare as cost of cultivation. The benefit: cost ratio works out to be 2.75. Non-conventional crop like dill can be grown using residual moisture resulting in 2.6 q/ha seed yield with net returns of Rs. 8000/-. This crop forms an ideal option for the state in general and the region in particular, which by and large faces water scarcity problems. This crop thus would help farmers of the region to go for the second crop in rabi season on lands, which hitherto remain fallow due to water and salinity constraints. Thus dill crop can be taken up using residual moisture and/or with saline ground water. The green harvest can be used as leafy vegetable, an additional source of income.
Acharya Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology 1