About the Crop
Name in Indian languages
Guar (Hindi), Goru Chikkudu (Telugu), Kothavarangai (Tamil), Mitke Sang (Konkani), Gawar (Marathi), Gorikayi (Kannada), Guanra Chuinn (Oriya), Borboti (Bengali), Gawar ki Phalli (Rajasthan), Guwar Phali (Gujarati), Guar-di-phalli (Punjab).
Origin and Distribution
Cluster Beans is widely used in various forms, with its pods used as vegetable, grain used as pulse and can also be used as fodder for animals. Cluster Beans is said to be originated from somewhere in Africa but now it is widely cultivated in Southern Asia. It is assumed to be developed from African Species Cyanmopsis Senegalesis
. Cluster bean is now widely grown in India and is a legume, which lives on symbiotic relation with Nitrogen – fixing Bacteria Rhizobium. One of the most important characteristic of Cluster bean is its drought – resistance. The legume has tap root system with the length of 25 – 45 inches, and the pods are of 1.5 -4inches with 5-12 seeds within it. Guar plays a major role as natural manure as it increases the growth of other crops by conservation of soil nutrients.
Area, Production and Productivity
Although the history of cluster bean dates back from Africa, but now it is widely cultivated in India, Pakistan, USA, Sudan, South Africa, Brazil, Malawi, Zaire and Australia. India is the largest producer of Guar with 80% among the world production, followed by Pakistan with 10 – 15%. Its production has considerably increased within the span of past years from merely being a household & fodder need to industrial necessity. It is now widely used in various industries like food, pharmaceuticals and oil. In India Rajasthan is the major producer of Guar followed by Haryana, Gujarat and Punjab. Due to high prices of Guar the production has now extended to other states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In 20012 -2003 Guar production was only 0.2 million metric tons which increased to 2.7 million metric tons in 2013 -14. In 2014 -15, the production was 2415 tons with yield of 567 kg/ha in an area of 4255 ha. The major product from Guar is Guar Gum which is a natural thickening agent used in edible products. One of the major export from India is Guar Gum, with some more research and development in the process and better technology, it will be highly profitable to the farmers.
Climate and Seasons
It is a Kharif crop. Guar is tolerant to high temperature, which is able to grow under hot conditions and optimum temperature to obtain maximum yield is 15 to 35ºC. Cluster Beans requires a optimal temperature of 25ºC for proper germination of seed, with requirement of short photoperiod and long photoperiod for its flowering phase. The crop is photo sensitive, drought and salinity tolerant. It can be grown both in arid and semi – arid condition and grows as rain fed crop requiring 300 -400mm rainfall in arid regions. The crop generally requires dry weather during maturity. Guar is drought tolerant, hence with limited moisture it stops growing but doesn’t die, although maturity is delayed. If there is excessive rainfall, the beans might be destroyed or come out as diseased. The crop prefers a humidity of 60 to 70%.
Cluster beans can grown in various types of soil but it is grown best in sandy loam soils with rainfall of 300 – 500mm. It is tolerant to soil salinity and alkalinity. For good yield , the soil pH should be neutral i.e around 7.0. Although it is salinity tolerant, but pod formation and yield might reduce due to increased salinity. Due to its leguminous nature, it is able to grow in poorly fertile soil due to its nitrogen fixing ability.
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In order for the plant to get soil aeration and better root development, the lands needs to be ploughed 2 or 3 times, which is followed by planking. One needs to make sure that weeds are removed so that the plant is germinated well.
Seeds are required for propagation purpose.
Sowing, Nursery and Transplanting
Guar seeds are sown by broadcasting method which involves spreading of the seeds in the soil, followed by ploughing of the soil so that seeds are properly mixed with the soil. Sowing depends on rain which is usually done in Kharif season, with ideal time being 1st or 2nd week of July. The best sowing time in case of Summer crop is between last week of Feb to 2nd week of March.
The seed rate depends on the type of cluster bean. In case of spreading type varieties 10 – 12 kg/ha is sown whereas in unbranched type 15 -16 kg/ha is sown. If it is grain crop 20 kg/ha is sufficient and in case of fodder cropp, it can be 40 kg/ha. In certain conditions like dry condition, late sown condition or soil salinity, the seed rate might increase
It is important to treat the seeds so that thrie mortality rate is not high and are resistant to diseases later. Various types of seed treatment can done in order to check the proper growth.
- Seeds can be treated with Ceresan or Thiram at rate of 3gm/kg seed to kill dry root rot fungus spores.
- In order to check sucking pest like Jassids and Aphids, seeds can be treated with Imidachloprid at rate of 6ml/kg.
- Fungus mycelium can be killed as well as their spores inactivated by a series of treatment starting from seed immersion in hot water at 50oC for 20 minutes and drying the seeds after that.
- Guar seeds need to be inoculated with bacteria it depends on for its symbiotic relation so that its population is maintained in the soil. We need to make 10% gur or sugar solution in boiling water, followed by cooling. After that we mix the bacterial culture making a thin paste which is coated over seeds. After that the seeds are dried for 30 to 40 minutes before sowing
Spacing is very important to ensure that the plant is able to get proper nutrients, moisture and light enabling its proper growth. It involves intra and inter row spacing. The recommended spacing is 10 -15 cm distance between two plants in a row and a distance of 45-60cm row to row. The seeds used for this kind of spacing is almost 14 to 24 kg per hectare. The spacing totally depends on rainfall and other factors. In case of arid regions with rainfall of 200 – 350mm the row distance should be 60×10, in semi – arid (450 - 500mm) it should be 45×10 and in case of rainfall of 550-600 it should be 30×10.
Cluster bean is generally a mixed crop which can be grown along with other crops like cucurbits, cotton and sugarcane. This crop is able to grow in areas of less rainfall and high temperature. It doesn’t need lot of fertilizer as it is a legume able to fix nitrogen from soil.
Since Guar is a drought – tolerant crop, it can be easily grown in areas of 300 -400 mm annual rainfall. Drainage is very important for cultivation of cluster bean as there might be developmental damage due to water logging. Although the productivity of the crop is enhanced by irrigation immediately after sowing, with improvement of the seed protein content. If it is grown in areas of high rainfall, irrigation might not be required. Drip irrigation can be used for maximising the productivity of cluster bean cultivation.
Although it doesn’t require much supplemented nitrogen but a small dose of 20kg/ha helps in early growth stimulation.
Phosphoric fertilizer enables effective nodulation, greater seed size and improved variety. Generally 40kg of P2O5/ha increases the seed and stalk yield, enhances crop growth and other characteristics like number of pods per cluster, number of pods per plant and seed yield per plant.
ZnSO4 application of 25kg to 30 kg/ha is found to be positive for the plant growth. Zn increased the gum content and also provides resistance against BLB disease.
Inoculation of the seeds with Rhizobia helps in increasing nodulation as well nitrogen fixation. Plants which were grown from seeds inoculated were slightly taller with more nodes on main stem.
As Cluster beans is a Kharif crop, due to various factors many weeds grow around it which compete for nutrients, moisture and space and thus is very important to remove them for better yield of the plant. It is very important to clear the field within 20 days of sowing seeds, followed by another clearing session within 35 to 40 days. Proper control of weeds may increase the seed yield by 60%.
Pests and Management
The plants are also highly susceptible to various kind of pest manifestation. Most common are Leaf hopper, Ash weevils, Pod borer. There are various ways by which we can control pest manifestations:
- Leaf Hopper: spray Dimethoate 30 EC 1ml/l of water or Methyl Demeton 1ml/l of water.
- Ash Weevils: spray Phospholane 1.5 to 2.0ml/l of water .
- Pod Borer: spray Quinalphos 2ml/l of water or Carbaryl 50 WP 2gm/l of water.
Diseases and Management
- Alternaria Leaf spot: seed borne disease, indicated by dark brown, round to irregular spots on leaf blades. In case of high infection many spots merge covering majority of the leaf. The plants may not flower if infected during early phase. If there is high rainfall and humidity, the occurrence of the disease might increase. Activities of polyphenol oxidase and perioxidase enzyme increase the intensity of the disease but catalase enzyme decreases it. Zineb (0.2%) and Copper oxychloride spray are two fungicides, which help in curtailing of the disease by spraying at regular interval of 15 days. A combination of Zineb with Streptocycline can also be used.
- Powdery Mildew: this disease generally affects leaves covering with mycelia patches with fruiting bodies. Due to this many plants die prematurely after defoliation. Warm temperature of 33%, high humidity of 80% and bright sunshine are congenial conditions for this disease. This disease can be controlled by application of Benlate and Sulphur compounds. Powdery Mildew can be controlled by treating seeds with streptocycline (0.025%) and also spraying with combination of Streptocycline and Dinocap (both 0.01%).
- Dry root rot: caused by Macrophomina phaseolina. It may occur as seedling blight on the growing cotyledons as elongated black cankers at any stage of growth. In mature plants the disease occurs as bronzing of leaf, followed by drooping of the upper tender part of the shoots. Occurrence of this disease may decrease nodule formation. This disease can be controlled by rotation with less susceptible crops like moth bean or pearl millet. Zinc or Copper (5kg/ha) or Sulphur ( 20kg/ha) is used for prevention. Bavistin seed treatment (2g/kg of seed) is also highly effective in preventing this disease.
- Bacterial Leaf Blight: this disease is cause due to scattered rain, high temperature of 20 to 30oC and humidity. Plants infected at very early stage may die due to rotting of the stem. Oxidase enzymes like polyphenol oxidase and per-oxidase enzyme may help in this disease resistance.
Apart from these there are some other additional treatments for curtailing diseases:-
- The seeds can be treated with hot water at 65oC for 10 minutes before sowing.
- Spraying Streptocycline @150ppm twice at 15 days of interval.
- To check the presence of pest, fungi and bacteria during storage, Kitazin 2mg/kg of seeds with Chloropyriphos 4ml/kg and Streptocycline 1g/kg seed can be used.
In the month of May, soil solarisation also help in disease prevention.
Guar is a leguminous and thus it is cultivated for various purposes, with itself serving organic cause. Guar is one of the crops that is used as green manure which provide nitrogen to the soil due to their ability of acquiring nitrogen from air with help of nodule bacteria. Green Manure has many advantages like supply of organic matter to the soil, supplies additional nitrogen to organic matter, acts as cover crop which is protecting the soil from erosion, increases the biochemical activity, increase yield of the crop.
Harvesting and Yield
After 60 to 90 days of the plant growth the cluster beans are ready and the green pods can be broken from the plant by twisting it or cutting from it. The green pods can be continued to be picked up from the plant over a period of time as they continue to grow on the plant. If the cluster bean cultivation is done for green manure purpose, the crop can be ploughed as soon as pods are developed. The yield of cluster bean can range depending on farm practices with somewhat around 35 to 55 quintals per hectare.
After harvesting of the guar seeds, larger fraction is processed in various other products like Guar splits, where polished endosperm are removed and separated from fine layer of fibrous material. It is also used in production of Guar Powder and Guar Gum.
Guar seeds are used for various purposes like animal feed, extraction of Guar Split, powder and Guar Gum. The Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) or mandis are the places of aggregation and operation for various people operating at whole sale level like traders, stockists etc. The ones who manufacture Guar split purchase Cluster Bean from village traders or farmers through commission agent. After the production of Guar split from seeds, they are exported directly or through exporters. Majority of processed product is exported and only a small portion of it is being consumer in the local markets. Now a days there is lot of demand of Guar processed products in International markets. At wholesale level about 86% of the bean is procured by processors to prepare guar gum and splits. In order for high marketing of Guar there is certain information that is required:
- Cultivation area and estimated production for a season.
- Estimation of requirement in international market and expected price in different markets.
- Quality specification in various countries.
There is requirement of better technology, proper research and development and skilled manpower for achieving greater heights in manufacturing of this crop. There is need of a stable and organised market for Guar.
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