Tips for Redgram Cultivation
Redgram (Cajanus cajan) is the most important pulse crop in India. It is also known as Pigeon pea or Arhar or Tur dal. It is consumed on a large scale mainly in south Asia and is a major source of protein for the population in the subcontinent. India is the largest producer and consumer of Redgram in the world. Redgram is a protein rich containing about 22 percent protein and supplies a major share of protein requirement for India’s vegetarian population. Redgram is rich in lysine, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and iron. Redgram crop has been recommended as an alternative crop for cotton, chilly, tobacco crops. Usually Redgram is cultivated as a kharif season crop and in many regions cultivated as an intercrop with other crops like groundnut, maize, sorghum etc. Nowadays Redgram is gaining popularity and some farmers are cultivating Redgram in rabi season.
Redgram prefers tropical areas in semi-arid regions of India. Redgram is found growing between 14°N and 28°N latitude, where the temperature ranges between 26° to 30°C in the rainy season and 17° to 22°C in the post rainy season. The length of crop growing season extends from 120 to 180 days. Redgram is very sensitive to low sun radiation at flowing and pod development stage. Cloudy weather and excessive rainfall during flowering damages the crop to a large extent.
Sandy soil, red soils, well drained black soils are suitable for cultivation of Redgram. Saline, alkaline soils and flood affected soils are not suitable. Fine seed bed is prepared by ploughing once followed by two harrowing.
Apply 4 tons of Farm Yard Manure per acre or 2 tons of vermicompost per acre along with 4 kg of Trichoderma during the last ploughing, nitrogen during kharif at the rate of 10-12 kg, during rabi 16 kg and phosphorous 20 kg in both seasons and 12-18 kg potassium are recommended per acre as basal dose. If your soils are deficient in zinc and Sulphur, then apply Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) at 10-12 kg per acre. When cultivated as intercrop fertilizer recommendation varies. It will be good to undertake site-specific fertilizer recommendation based on soil test in your farm. Proper judicious application of fertilizers can enhance your yields by up to 50% especially when poor soils are well reclaimed with soil amendments and with recommended fertilizer application. For main crop and inter crops fertilizers should be applied separately. Farm site specific fertilizers and manure application should be followed by farmers if they know the nutrient status of their soils as provided in their soil health cards.Foliar applications at the time of first appearance of flowers with DAP at 2 % and repeating it after 15 days or NAA at 40 ppm is also effective.
Sowing time depends upon the duration of variety and rainfall pattern of the region, early sowings are always better. Sowing should be done in such a way that flowering and pod formation should not coincide with peak rainy periods.
Select varieties which are resistant to insect pests and diseases in your region. There are many up coming hybrids of Redgram and short duration varieties in the market place and recommended by the state agricultural universities. Suitable varieties across states and different agroclimatic zones are available in Plantix
Seed Rate and Spacing
Seed rate of 12-15 kg per hectare is recommended for Redgram. Seed should be sown behind the plough or with the help of seed drill at a row spacing of 60-75 cm keeping 15-20 cm distance from plant to plant within each row. In an intercropping scenario, farmers should maintain the same seed rate per unit area as in the mono crop situation within the rows.
Seed treatment with recommended label claim fungicides reduces incidence of both seed and soil borne fungi . Seed treatment with rhizobium culture at the rate of 50 grams per kg of seed can increase Redgram yields up to 30 % and Soaking Redgram seeds in 100 ppm of Zinc Sulphate at the rate of 10 gms/ 100 liters of water for 3 hours and then air drying in shade to original moisture content as a pre-sowing seed treatment. Treating seed with carbendazim 75 % WP at the rate of 2 gms in 5 ml of water for every kg of seed and air drying is also recommended.
Redgram Growth and Cultivation
Redgram can tolerate drought conditions but at the time of critical periods irrigation must be provided. Irrigation is critical at flowering and pod formation stages. Redgram requires 35-40 cm water, during its entire growth period.
Weed Management and Inter-Culture
Spray pendimethalin 30 % 1-1.5 liters or alachlor 50 % one liter per acre just after sowing or a day after sowing. Inter culturing with guntaka or harrow at 30, 65 DAS can reduce weed growth in your field. To control grass weeds at 20-25 DAS, spray quizalfop ethyl 5 % at the rate of 400 ml in 200 liters of water per acre. To control broad leaf weeds and grass weeds spray imazethapyr 5 % at the rate of 300 ml in 200 liters of water per acre.
Signs of maturity, harvesting and threshing
Pods attain physiological maturation at 40 days after 50 % flowering. Pods dry up on plants, Grains become hard, and moisture percent in grain at harvesting should be 20-22 %. Pod shattering is a common problem in pulse. Harvest the whole plants with sickle when 80 % of the pods mature. Moisture content of pods should be around 10 % before carrying out grading. Pods or whole crop after complete drying should be threshed manually or by machines.
How to Store Redgram
After cleaning, store seeds in gunny or cloth bags for short term storage of 8-9 months at a seed moisture content of 8-9 %, for medium to long term storage of 12-15 months use polylined gunny bags or 700 gauge polythene bags with a seed moisture content of less than 8 %. For insect pests and diseases, please refer to Plantix for management!