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How To Start Commercial Eucalyptus Farming Business

    The eucalyptus tree has tremendous commercial business potential. That is why the eucalyptus plantation is a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs. However, commercial farming demands an adequate area of land and investment for agricultural inputs including labor, irrigation, and saplings. Here in this post, we intend to explore how to start a commercial eucalyptus farming business.

    The scientific name of the principal species of eucalyptus is Eucalyptus globulus. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It is an evergreen tree. The other popular regional names are Safeda, gum tree, red iron tree, and Nilgiri. Basically, it is native to Australia and New Zealand.

    The tree consists of over 500 species of trees. Additionally, it grows under a wide range of climatic and edaphic conditions in its natural habitat. This is the one reason for the successful introduction of Eucalyptus into so many other countries in the world.

    In India, some of the major eucalyptus-growing states are Punjab, Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Tamilnadu.

    Economic Importance of Eucalyptus Farming

    Basically, eucalyptus farming is beneficial both for the small farmers for-profit and subsistence and by large conglomerates for industrial wood supply. Certain species of eucalyptus yield valuable essential oils, whilst some also provide an excellent source of nectar for honeybees. Actually, eucalyptus trees are a rich source of fuelwood, poles, timber, lumber, biomass, and essential oil.

    The wood yields a brownish pulp useful in the manufacture of wrapping paper and cardboard. Additionally, you can obtain good quality white pulp from the wood by sulfate and soda process. Also, you can mix it with spruce and other long fiber pulp, blue-gum pulp for producing high-grade pulp. In addition, you can prepare high alpha cellulose pulp by sulfite process which in turn prepares viscose rayon, an important synthetic fiber.

    Health Benefits of Eucalyptus

    • First of all, eucalyptus helps in treating sinus and allergies
    • Eucalyptus essential oil has antiseptic qualities because of its germicidal quality.
    • Also, it is effective for treating a number of respiratory problems including colds, coughs, runny noses, sore throats, asthma, nasal congestions, and bronchitis.
    • Eucalyptus essential oil is very effective against cavities, dental plaque, gingivitis, and other dental infections owing to its germicidal properties.
    • Additionally, the oil is also a bug-repellent and natural pesticide.

    Things to Consider in Commercial Eucalyptus Farming

    • Firstly, it must be remembered, eucalyptus plantation is a long-term business. And you can only go for the first harvest after six years.
    • Therefore, you must have the financial preparation accordingly.
    • Choose the species carefully. Determine the specific reason for growing eucalyptus and select the species accordingly.
    • Generally, the tree doesn’t demand adequate irrigation. However, you must have the preparation for irrigation in case of any drought situation.
    • Before harvest, identify the customer for your product.

    Best Varieties for Eucalyptus Farming

    Some of the profitable commercial varieties are E Citriodora, E globules, E hybrid, eucalyptus Camaldulensis, FRI 4, and 5. In addition, clone varieties are also very popular. Some of the potential clone varieties are 3, 7, 271, 288, 316, 411, 413, and 2045.

    Agro Climatic Condition For Eucalyptus Farming

    Eucalyptus is versatile, fast-growing, and strongly coppicing tree possessing a wide range of soil and climatic adaptability. Additionally, the species is also moderately salt-tolerant and relatively fire-resistant. The species grows under a wide range of climatic/soil conditions from warm to hot, sub-humid to humid, and from good to degraded soils. However, it requires 4 cm to 40 cm of annual rainfall. Usually, you can grow eucalyptus within a temperature range of 0°C to 45°C.

    Suitable Soil For Eucalyptus Farming

    You can grow eucalyptus in light, medium, and heavy soils. However, it thrives well in deep, rich, and well-drained loamy soil with sufficient moisture. Even, you can grow the hybrid species in alkaline and saline soils. PH balance 6 to 7.5 is just perfect for growing eucalyptus commercially.

    Read: How To Start A Soil Testing Service Business

    Commercial Eucalyptus Farming – Basic Steps

    Raising Saplings

    You can raise saplings in two ways. Either you can propagate it from seeds or through vegetative propagation by cuttings (clonal propagation). Under nursery conditions, you can sow the seeds on raised beds under shade. You can achieve rapid and complete germination under moist, warm (25 – 35 0C) conditions in presence of light.

    Transplantation

    The next step is transplantation. According to the requirement of species, you have to prepare the field for transplantation. Additionally, maintain proper spacing and nutrients contained in the soil. Eucalyptus is intolerant to shade and does not compete well with grasses for water and nutrients, thus 2-3 hand weeding and soil working in the initial stages are essential.

    Irrigation

    Generally, eucalyptus plantation doesn’t demand any regular irrigation. However, protective irrigation is essential. In case of monsoon failure, you must provide protective irrigation.

    Manuring

    Owing to its fast growth, Eucalyptus is a heavy feeder and requires supplements in form of organic and chemical fertilizers in successive years. The deficiency of Nitrogen in soils is a limiting factor for growth and can reduce the yield by 60%. For maintaining soil fertility, it is advisable to raise Eucalyptus trees with legumes as an intercrop.

    Also Read: Most Profitable Agriculture Business Ideas

    Plant Protection

    You must have the proper arrangements for plant protection to save the plants from potential pests and diseases. One of the most serious diseases of E. Tereticornis is canker caused by the fungus, Corticium Salmonicolour known as pink disease. Other fungal pathogens to cause damage include, Ganoderma Lucidium, Endothia Gyrosa, and Cylindrocladium spp.

    Harvesting & Yield

    You can go for the first harvest after 5 years post-growing. On average, a single tree can yield up to 500 Kg of timber. However, a proper distance between the trees ensures higher yield in the eucalyptus farming business.

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