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Cultivation of Cluster Beans

Cluster Beans love light warm moist (15C-35C) conditions. Optimum temperature to give higher productivity is 25C. It is drought and saline tolerant. June,July or Feb is best time to grow in India. Drought tolerant plant won't die but stops growth. Under over moist conditions pods will not come out well.

It can be grown in any type soil . It can withstand salinity and alkalinity in soil. Loves well drained soils like sandy loam,clay loam soils with high percentage of organic matter. Give high yields in soils which have pH around 7.0. Can adapt in wide range of soils.

Approx 4 - 6kg per acre seed required if it is vegetable crop. 8 kg per acre for getting grains, 16kg for fodder crop. seed rate need to increases if sowing in problematic soils.More plants on rainfed,less plants on irrigation.Select virus free and disease free a seeds from farmer. Approx seed germination time is 5d ays. Better to immerse seed 20 min in 50C hot water.

Below 90-120 days under full sunlight.
The seeds are sown 10-15 cm x 45-60 cm(plant to plant × row to row). Pole type seeds are sown 15-25 cm × 90-110cm.

Field Preparation: 
It will be better if the field is watered for 3 days before sowing in order to improve germination of seeds.Grow green manure before the crop. Traditional practice is mixing 8 tons of FYM or 5 tons of compost with 500 kg of Neem cake along with top soil. Prepare raised beds if land is susceptible for water logging else ridge and furrows.

Sowing Method: 
Use seed drill plough(Gorru) for direct sowing, for transplantation grow seedlings in nursery and transplant.

Initial irrigation before sowing. Irrigation is required rarely as it is rainfed crop. If no rains irrigation is required before flowering. Maintain specific time everyday at least irrigating deep 20 cm soil gives best results. Give mulch for soil if climate is too hot outside. These plants don't like over irrigation. Over watering, stagnation leads several viral/fungal diseases. Cluster beans can't tolerate water logging nor water stress.

Marigold, sunflower attract pollinators and deters bugs and beetles. Corn, okra, radish can be preferable to beans. In Cucurbits, cotton and sugarcane fields cluster beans is very useful intercrop. Cluster bean used as green manure crop.
After 60 to 90 days green pods will appear. Pods should be harvested periodically. Average yield, 1.5 - 2.5 tons of green pods can be harvested.

Pest control: 
  • Bacterial/viral infections occur due to water stagnation, over moist conditions and no proper circulation of air.
  • Four kg of Neem seeds are powdered and dissolved in 100 litres of water and filtered. Add 10 litres of cow urine and mix it with 50 gm of soapnut powder. Spraying this extract every 15 days will control many pests and diseases.
  • Install light traps one for every half acre from 6-10 pm to overcome moths laying eggs and remove traps before flowers start to appear. As a preventive measure one can install yellow sticky traps but if previous crop had severe infestation its better to invest in light traps
  • Spray diluted Neem oil or Tobacco decoction for Aphids & Mealybugs.

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