Cluster bean

History and economic importance. Cluster bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba Taub.), locally guar, belongs to the Leguminosae family. It is a highly important leguminous crop’ of the kharif season. Its origin is on the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, and it has been cultivated for a long time in the hot, dry, saridy areas of Bahawalpur and Thai.

Guar is an important leguminous crop. It is grown in our country mainly as green fodder, but also for use as grain, green manure, and a vegetable. It is a: very popular crop, particularly in the low-rainfall areas of Punjab and Sindh. A mixture of sorghum and guar is the most popular fodder with growers. It is known for its drought resistance and its soil-renovating qualities. Guar seed is used as concentrate for animals and for extraction of a gum known as galactomannin. Guar gum has several uses in industry and in various food products, ‘and is also a foreign exchange earner for our ‘country. The meal which remains after ‘extraction of the gum from the seed is a high- protein cattle feed. Moreover, being a leguminous crop, guar also enriches the soil.

Climate and soil. Guar does well under warm and dry weather conditions. It is a popular crop in the arid and semiarid areas of our country. In Punjab, it is grown in the dry and sandy regions of Bahawalpur and Thai, while in Sindh it is cultivated in Tharparkar, Thatta, Nawabshah, and Khair- pur. Restricted cultivation of guar is practiced in D.l. Khan in NWFP and the eastern tracts of Balochistan. It grows on all types of soils, but well- drained, medium to light soils are best for it.

Seedbed preparation arid manuring. One to two ploughings followed by one planking are sufficient to prepare the seedbed. Generally, no manuring is done to this crop. However, 2 1/2 bags of DAP per hectare applied at sowing improve the crop. ‘

Seed rate and method of sowing. For fodder, 40-50 kg of seed per hectare and for seed 25-30 kg/ha are sufficient. Sowing should be done at a row spacing of 30 em by the drill, pora, or kera method. It can also be sown by broadcasting.

Sowing time. Under irrigated conditions, it can be sown from April to July, but in rainfed regions sowing should be done prior to the monsoon.

 Interculture and weeding, A fodder crop does ‘not require hoeing or weeding. A seed crop needs only one hoeing to control weeds.

Irrigation. For fodder crops, two to three irrigations are given, depend-ing upon the main crop with which it has been sown (mixed).

Pests and diseases. Jassid is a serious’ pest of this crop, especially at the seed-setting stage. An attack of jassid at this stage causes considerable damage, therefore, it should be controlled by spraying 250-400 mlof Mala- thion 50 EC, Nogos, or Roger in 250-400 I of water. . Wilt is a common disease. There are, however, elite lines/varieties with a fair degree of disease resistance. Among these arc ‘S-318’ and ‘2/1’, which should be sown in fie Ids not occupied by this crop in the previous season.

Time of harvesting. Harvesting for fodder at the pod-formation stage gives nutritious fodder. It should be fed mixed with sorghum ,or bajra rather than alone. To avoid shattering, seed crops should he harvested when 50% of the polis have matured.

Varieties. Only local varieties are currently being grown. New high- ‘yielding lines arc ready for release and the seed may move to the growers in the near future.

Yield. Fodder yield potential varies between 30-40 t/ha hectare in irrigated areas and 10-15 t/ha in barani areas. Tile seed yield is around 750-1500 kg/ha.

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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