Blackgram varieties CO6 and Vamban 6 introduced by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University are suitable for mechanical harvesting and farmers should take to the varieties, said K.Ramaswamy, Dean, Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute (AECRI), Kumulur.

Speaking at a training programme for farmers on pulses production using synchronised varieties at Lalgudi on Friday, Mr.Ramaswamy said the reduction in area of pulses production especially blackgram is due to the lack of maintenance of plant population and labourers for harvesting, and incidence of yellow mosaic virus.

To overcome the problems, TNAU has been encouraging mechanical sowing using seed drills, adopting improved yellow mosaic disease resistant varieties, and using synchronised maturing varieties such as CO6 and Vamban 6, he said.

G.Kathiresan, Professor and Head, Department of Agricultural Sciences, AECRI, said all the pods of blackgram varieties – CO6 and Vamban 6 – matures in the same period with a duration of 60-70 days and are resistant to yellow mosaic disease. The yield of the varieties is around 900 kg per hectare.

S.Muthamizselvan, a farmer’s representative, said if sowing and harvesting is made easy farmers would grow pulses in a large area. Progressive farmer Rajagopalan said farmers would adopt varieties that have synchronised flowering and are resistant to yellow mosaic virus.

S.Somasundaram, Assistant Professor (Agronomy), AECRI,said effective weed management using pre and post-emergency herbicides and foliar nutrition through DAP, NAA, and Pulses Wonder would help increase yield in pulses.

B.Sudhakar, Assistant Professor (FMP), AECRI,said using seed drills in pulses would reduce seed requirement, maintain plant population, and pave the way for using power weeders.