SCI-TECH & AGRI

High yielding cluster beans variety

FARMER'S NOTEBOOK

By Our Agriculture Correspondent

The new variety of cluster beans Varsha, yielded long, bread and glossy fruits.

The new variety of cluster beans Varsha, yielded long, bread and glossy fruits.  

A HIGH yielding cluster beans variety, with broad, long and fleshy pods, is becoming popular among the small growers of Gengavelli taluk of Salem district in Tamil Nadu. "I got a good yield of about 200 kg from the one-cent plot last season, and I propose to grow the beans on a larger plot in the next season," said Mr. N. Balamurugan, a progressive vegetable grower of Thenkari village near Veeraganur in Gengavelli taluk.

The improved variety, named Varsha, can grow to about 1.5 m height with short internodes.

As many as 25 fruits can be picked from each node. There is no need for staking the plants. The fleshy, glossy and broad fruits grow to about 15 cm in length. When fully grown each fruit weighs about 4 gm.

Under good management the variety can yield up to 20 tonnes of green pods, explained Mr. M. Ramasami, Managing Director, Rasi Seeds (P) Limited, the company that developed this promising variety.

About 7.5 to 10 kg of seeds are required to cover a hectare. The field should be well worked to bring the soil to a powdery tilth. Then ridges and furrows should be formed at a spacing of 90 cm.

The seeds are to dibbled at the sides of the ridges at a spacing of 45 cm. Liberal quantities of farmyard manure should be applied as basal dressing prior to the final ploughing.

The variety responds well to organic nutrition, and sound water management. Recommended dose of nutrients of 50 kg nitrogen, 50 kg phosphorus and 100 kg potash should be applied at four splits at intervals of twenty days from the date of sowing. The ideal time for sowing is August. Watering has to be done once a week during the hot season, and it can be increased depending on the soil moisture regimen, according to Mr. Balamurugan. Initially one weeding should be done when the crop is about 20 days old.

At least two rounds of plant protection sprayings should be done using botanical insecticides to ward off sucking and chewing pests.

Spraying with plant growth promoting substances such as cow's urine, vermi-wash and certain bio-stimulants will prove to be a great advantage in boosting the vigour of the plants.

In about 45 days, the first batch of pods can be harvested. Subsequently, two pickings can be had every week.

About 15 pickings can be had in the total duration of 100 days, according to the progressive farmer.

The shiny fruits will get a premium price in the market. "On an average I got Rs. 5 per kg in the local market. The cost of cultivation, including the picking expenses, will work out to Rs. 25,000 per hectare," said Mr. Balamurugan.