Castor Crop Harvesting
The first harvest is on the 6th month and every other month thereon.
Harvesting may be done by hand methods or be completely mechanized.
In the tropics most harvesting is by hand; the spikes are cut or broken off, the capsules stripped off into a wagon or sled, or into containers strapped on the workers. Unless the capsules are dry, they must be spread out to dry quickly.
The improved varieties mature in about 150 to 180 days. When one or two capsules in a bunch show signs of drying, the whole cluster is generally removed and stacked, covered and weighed in a corner of the field or in a pit. The harvesting of unripe capsules in this manner has an adverse effect on the oil content of the seed and hence should be avoided. It is preferable to collect the fruits, as and when they ripen.
When the whole crop is gathered, it is dried in the sun for a few days and the threshing is done either by beating the dried capsules with a stick or by treading them under the feet of bullocks. Winnowing is done in the usual manner.