Plantation Saddle

Plantation Saddle

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Rare Vintage Plantation Saddle - Rare Fancy Mustard Quilted Seat w/ Perfect Tree

Rare Vintage Plantation Saddle – Rare Fancy Mustard Quilted Seat w/ Perfect Tree


Toklat 100% Wool Saddle Pad Tucker Equitation / Plantation - Shimable

Toklat 100% Wool Saddle Pad Tucker Equitation / Plantation – Shimable



17″ Australian Stock Poley Saddle Horn Horse Tack Aussie Black


Buena Vista Style Plantation Saddle With 18 Inch Seat

Buena Vista Style Plantation Saddle With 18 Inch Seat


TN Saddlery 17

TN Saddlery 17″ Gaited Western Endurance Plantation style Saddle



17″ All Leather Plantation Saddle Set ~ New FREE SHIPPING IN LOWER 48


TN Saddlery 15

TN Saddlery 15″ Gaited Western Endurance Plantation style Saddle


Ortho-Flex II System Stitchdown (Plantation Style) Orthoflex 17

Ortho-Flex II System Stitchdown (Plantation Style) Orthoflex 17″ Brown Leather


MESACE Imported Columbiana Plantation Saddle, 17.5 inch w slippered stirrups.

MESACE Imported Columbiana Plantation Saddle, 17.5 inch w slippered stirrups.





Tucker Gen II Bayou Plantation Trail Saddle - 17.5

Tucker Gen II Bayou Plantation Trail Saddle – 17.5″ seat, Black, Wide Tree





TN Saddlery 16

TN Saddlery 16″ Gaited Western Endurance Plantation style Saddle


Antique Equestrian Western Plantation Saddle Civil War Era 1800's Oak Stirrups

Antique Equestrian Western Plantation Saddle Civil War Era 1800’s Oak Stirrups


John Fike Saddle Co. Planation Saddle 19

John Fike Saddle Co. Planation Saddle 19″ Custom Made Havanna Quilted Seat


Henry Miller Buena Vista saddle

Henry Miller Buena Vista saddle


Jatropha curcas: The Green Gold?

Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd recently signed an agreement with the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd to undertake Jatropha plantation over 50,000 hectares of land in the districts of Jhansi and Lalitpur in Uttar Pradesh. The company said that alternate fuel sources will have to be exploited to meet the growing fuel demands of India in particular and the world at large.

Jatropha, or the wonder weed as it is popularly called, shot into prominence some 7-8 years back for its astounding abilities to survive drought conditions, thrive on acrid land and yet yield amazing quantities of fuel that could be put to use without any processing.

It wasn’t long before a mad rush to buy waste lands across the world broke out.

The search for an alternate fuel has strengthened in the last few years amidst growing concerns based on the rapidly drying up conventional sources of energy. Various experiments are underway around the world to find an alternative for the time when we would have exhausted all fossil fuels.Nuclear fuels, hydrogen, nitrogen, even water has not been spared the machinations of discerning scientists in their search for the alternative to coal, oil and gas that could power the technologies of tomorrow.Jatropha weed is one such probable source of fuel that has gained popularity over the last few years. On hindsight, its rise to popularity is natural, given that fuel from the weed might easily turn out to be the cheapest to produce.

What is Jatropha?

Jatropha curcas
is a poisonous scrub weed belonging to the euphorbia family and is believed to have originated in Central America. It is touted as a bioenergy crop that grows in marginal, eroded land, and is resistant to drought. Hence, it is not expected to compete for land that could grow the more important food crops. Another factor adding to its popularity is that itdoesn’t require a lot of water or fertilizers and pesticides, quite unlike corn, oilseed rape, soybean, sunflower and other food crops that are usuallydiverted into biofuel production.

Jatropha is a non-food plant, which is believed to start producing seeds within 12 monthsof planting, with maximum productivity level achieved in 4-5 years. According to research, the plant remains useful for around 35-50 years and its seeds can produce around 37% oil content. Its kernels can produce up to 60% oil content. The plant is said to produce up to 12-20 tonnes of oil per hectare. Add to it the fact that it considerably reduces polluting emissions and one can rightfully assume to have landed a formula to make green gold. Here is a plant that promises boundless oil supplies to drought-ridden countries.

Jatropha and India

Not unnaturally then, one can consider Jatropha to be a blessing in green coating to the hundreds of farmers saddled with several hundred hectares of arid, semi-arid and non-arable lands. Taking cognizance of the fact, in 2003, India’s Planning Commission recommended a national mission on biofuel, a two-phase project for wide-spread cultivation of Jatropha on wasteland across much of India.

The committee on development of BIO-FUEL presented its report that recommends a major multi-dimensional programme to replace 20% of India’s diesel consumption. One of the objectives was to blend petro-diesel with a planned 13 million tonne of bio-diesel by 2013, produced mainly from non-edible Jatropha oil, a smaller part from Pongomia. For this end, eleven millions hectares of presently unused lands are to be cultivated with Jatropha.

Jatropha curcas is considered most suitable for thissince it uses lands which are largely unproductive for the time being and are located in poverty-stricken and watershed areas and degraded forests. Jatropha is also planned to be planted under the poverty alleviation programmes that deal with land improvements.

Additionally, scientists at Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI) at Bhavnagarrecently discovered a microbe from Indian waters that can manufacture bio-degradable plastic using a by-product of theJatropha plant. CSMCRI has said that it successfully made bio-degradable plastic from glycerol, a side-stream product of Jatropha found during the process of bio-diesel extraction from the plant’s fruit.

Jatropha Fever

Indiais not alone in the research to tap most effectively into the potential of this rather versatile plant. China, Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Belgium and Italy are some of the other countries involved in Jatropha research. China, which claimed to have 2 million hectares of Jatropha already under cultivation, has plans to plant an additional 11 million hectares across its southern states by 2010. Neighbouring Myanmar (Burma) has plans to plant several million hectares; and the Philippines, as well as several African countries, have initiated large scale plantations of their own.

As per reports, the total land under cultivation for Jatropha was estimated to shoot up to 21 million hectare in 2014 from over 720,000 hectare in 2008 with an achievable total potential of around 30 million hectares.

D1 Oils, a UK-based biodiesel producer and the world’s largest commercial Jatropha cultivator is responsible for around 81,000 hectares of Jatropha plantation in Chhattisgarh and in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, with plans for an additional 350,000 hectares over the next few years.

According to media reports, some of the best-known business houses, including India’s largest private sector company Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), is the race for planting this green gold in the South Asian country. The company plans to set up the country’s first biodiesel refinery in Andhra Pradesh at a cost of around Rs. 700 crore. (Source: Media Reports)

How fruitful is this quest?

However, all that glitters is not gold. And all that is said about Jatropha is not an established fact.Against the popular belief to the contrary, Jatropha does need rain, fertilizing andample amount oftime to come to fruition. It takes about 4-5 years for a plant to mature. Jatropha needs at least 600mm of rain a year to thrive. Even though the plant is touted to survive drought, it does not have any correlation to the eventual yield.

Jatropha, just like any other plant, needs to be cared for, quiteunlike the belief that it can be planted and left to grow. Similarly, fertilizing or adding manure is essential to maintain good long-term seed yields. The fact that Jatropha plants can survive droughts does not mean they will not be more productive if they get more water. However, the optimum amount of water required is still unknown. The early experiences from the cultivation of Jatropha as a managed agricultural crop have pointed that although Jatropha can indeed survive hostile environmental conditions, oil yields can be much higher in conditions where the plant has adequate access to soil nutrients and water.

According to the Discipline Coordinator for Discipline of Wasteland Research at Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, Dr. Jitendra Chikara, “The yield from the plant is very uncertain. We are researching the ways to improve the yield and productivity of the Jatropha plant”. 

Additionally, the yield of the plant has been widely hyped. However, the facts point to a different direction. Dr. Chikara says “The per-hectare yield for Jatropha stands at about 2 tonnes against 12-20 tonnes claimed by various sources.”

Being still in the research mode, Jatropha is not a cheap crop to plant either. The cost of planting the weed comes to about Rs. 20,000 per hectare.

It has also been excessively advertised that the oil pressed from the crop can directly be used sans any processing. This however, may lead to damaging the engine of a vehicle running on this fuel, says Dr. Chikara.

Jatropha is neithera leguminous plant nor onethat can fix the eroded nitrogen content in the poor soils like legumes. Hence, it is only fair to believe that it would need some nitrogen inputs in the form of fertilizers in order to maintain good longer-term yields, considering regular harvesting of the seeds withdraws nitrogen from the plants.

The road ahead

Jatropha may seem like the most sustainable option among bioenergy crops, however, it still has to prove its potential. There are many uncertainties over the potential of jatropha as a biodiesel crop, including its unpredictable yield, the conditions for its optimum growth and the potential impacts of large-scale cultivation. There exists an obvious need for further research in this area before we can expect assured yields from Jatropha as well as the techniques needed to achieve them on a large scale.

Though, Jatropha does have a future, it is going to take sometime before it can live up to all the claims that have been made on its behalf, for which its genetics will need to be better developed. Only further studies will tell if the Jatropha is indeed green gold or fool’s gold.

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