Pulses (8)


Soybean is grown, mainly in areas where the summer is hot and humid. However, it does not withstand extreme summer and winter. The optimum temperature for growing soybean is 25-30 ºC. Well-drained sandy or clay loams and alluviums with good fertility are generally suitable for the cultivation of the crop. When taking up cultivation in a new area, inoculation with the culture of Rhizobium is desirable. 


The crop will perform best when sown by the onset of south-west monsoon. Sowing after the onset of heavy showers will result in poor germination and growth. Though it can be grown in other seasons under irrigation, its performance will be poor. If flowering coincides with rainy season, fruit set will be adversely affected.



Bragg, JN-2750, EC-2661

These varieties have duration of about 4 months when sown in May-June. The duration will be less in other seasons.


Seeds and sowing

Seeds may be sown either in lines 45 cm apart at a distance of 10 cm between seeds in a row, or by giving a plant-to-plant distance of 20 cm.


Land Preparation

As waterlogging will affect germination and growth of the crop, it may be sown in raised beds during rainy season.



Apply fertilizers to provide N:P2O5:K2O @ 20:30:10 kg ha-1. The fertilizers may be  applied basally. In soils of low fertility, application of organic manures is beneficial



Weed the plots once or twice depending on weed growth. As the crop smothers the field after initial growth, weed control will be necessary only up to 30-40 days after sowing. Earthing up at the time of weeding is beneficial.


Plant protection

The crop is free from infestation of major pests. The minor pests include stem fly (Melanagromyza sp.) and leaf roller (Lamrosema sp.). The stem fly mines into stem and the plant withers and dries up. Damage is more serious in young plants. The leaf miner causes pale brown patches along the lamina. The flower thrip feeds within flowers and prevents seed formation.Leaf roller and flower thrip are controlled by dusting carbaryl 10 per cent DP.


Collar rot

The diseases include collar rot (Rhizoctonia solani) which causes water soaked lesions at the collar region which later spread along the whole stem. The plant succumbs in a few days. The disease occurs in patches under high soil moisture and high organic matter levels. To control the disease, provide good drainage.



Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum lindemuthianum is also common. The fungus causes dark brown elongated, more or less angular spots along the veins on the petioles, stem and lamina. When infection occurs on the hypocotyl, the plant collapses.

Seeds when infected turn brown or black. To control the disease, select seeds from disease free plots.


Mosaic disease

The spread of mosaic disease, characterized by mottling, curling and distortion of leaves and malformations of the pod is checked by rouging out the infected plant and spraying dimethoate 0.05 per cent to control the insect vectors.


Pod blight

The pod blight (Diaporthe phaseolorum) causes irregular spots with discoloured border on the leaves and pods. Crop rotations, destruction of diseased plants and prophylactic foliar application of mancozeb 0.3 per cent are recommended to control the disease.


Harvesting and yield

The crop will be ready for harvest in about 4 months after sowing. Yellowing of leaves and their shedding are signs of maturity. If the period of maturity is rain free, the crop may be left in the field for about a week after complete leaf shedding. If the period is rainy, the crop may be harvested after leaf shedding and the produce may then be dried in shade for about 10 days. After drying, seeds may be separated by beating with stick. Soybean seeds lose viability after about a year. By drying the seeds to moisture content less than 10 per cent, reasonable viability can be maintained up to one year. If it is not for sowing, the seed may be stored for up to three years after drying.


Value addition

The bulk of the soybean is processed industrially into oil and protein. It may also be used as a pulse for direct consumption after cooking. It can be substituted for black gram and other pulses in the common household preparations. The soybean preparations will have the characteristic soyodour, which can be eliminated by treatment. Soybean may also be used for making soymilk, soymilk shake, etc.


Preparation of soybean milk

Mature dry beans are washed thoroughly and soaked in water for 8-10 hours. Remove the husk (testa) by gently pressing the soaked seeds. Wash thoroughly and grind to a thick paste. Alternatively, the beans may be steamed and ground. Add water 6-8 times the volume of seeds and bring to boil. Strain through muslin cloth. Boil once again under gentle stirring. This milk can be kept for

5 days in refrigerator. Periodic boiling will increase the storage life of soymilk.

Soybean has a characteristic "bean flavour" which is not relished by many. The acceptability of the soymilk can be improved by removal of the "bean flavour". For this, soak soybean in 5 per cent starch solution preheated to 80ºC for 8-12 hours. The starch solution drained from cooked rice (kanjivellam) can be used for this purpose. Soaking the beans for half an hour in hot starch water and then repeated washing with cold water is required.

Red gram (pigeon pea) is less suitable for the tropics. The most favourable temperature range is 18-30ºC. The crop is grown at a wide range of elevation. Red gram can be grown in almost all soil types that are not very poor in lime and are not subjected to waterlogging. Optimum growth and yield are obtained in deep loam soils. Red gram can be grown as mixed crop with groundnut, paddy or tapioca or as a pure crop.



Sowing can be done in two seasons. As a mixed crop, sow the seeds in June-July. Red gram can also be sown in paddy fields after the harvest of mundakan crop.


Variety: SA 1


Seeds and sowing
Seed rate

Pure crop    15-20 kg ha-1

Mixed crop     6-7 kg ha-1



When sown with groundnut, spacing recommended between rows is 3 to 3.5 m. In the dibbled crop, a spacing of 35 cm between rows is recommended. Thinning is to be done, if necessary.



Lime                   500 kg ha-1

Cattle manure    3000 kg ha-1

N                          40 kg ha-1

P2O                     80 kg ha-1



Weeding and intercultivation once in three weeks will ensure a good crop.


Plant protection

Pod borer is the main pest. For controlling this, spray the crop with 0.05 per cent quinalphos suspension at the time of flowering. The blister beetle, Zonabris, gregariously feeds on the flowers. Against this, malathion 10 per cent DP may be applied at the flowering stage.

Horse gram can be grown in paddy nurseries after transplantation of the second crop and in palliyal lands after harvest of first crop and uplands during rabi season.

Season:                September-October

Variety:        Co-1 and Pattambi Local


Seeds and sowing

Seed rate:                       25-30 kg ha-1



After land preparation, sow the seeds either dibbled in rows 25 cm apart or by broadcast.



Lime     500 kg ha-1

P2O5      25 kg ha-1

Green pea can be successfully grown in altitudes above 1000 m in the cool season. Well-drained loamy and laterite soils are suitable.



The crop is sown in October-November after abatement of the southwest monsoon showers. Crops sown beyond January will not give satisfactory result.



Bonnevilla, Markserbsen (These are short duration varieties with long green pods each containing 7-8 kernels; suitable for canning)


Seeds and sowing

Adopt seed rate of 60 kg/ha and spacing of 15-20 cm between rows and 10 cm between plants. Place the seeds at a depth of 2 to 2.5 cm. Line sowing is helpful for training the vines on standards.


Land Preparation
The land should be prepared thoroughly by ploughing, digging and removing all stems, stubbles, etc. For early-sown crop, raised beds of 1 m width and 5 cm height may be prepared for sowing the seeds. If irrigation is necessary, provide furrows between rows for guiding water.


Apply FYM or compost @ 20 t ha-1 and N:P2O5:K2O @ 30:40:60 kg ha-1 as basal dressing. In soils of medium fertility, top dressing of nitrogen @ 30 kg ha-1 four weeks after sowing is essential.



Weed the plots four weeks after sowing and 50 days later. Provide support for training the vines. Pods can be harvested when the grains are fully developed. In short duration varieties, harvesting will be over within

100-120 days while long duration varieties will normally take 140-160 days.


Plant protection

Soak the seeds before sowing in a copper-based fungicide solution. Spray malathion 0.1 per cent suspension at 15-20 days interval for the control of aphids. Stop application of chemicals 10 days before harvesting. Powdery mildew can be controlled by spraying thiophanate methyl 0.05 per cent. For control of downy mildew, spray any of the copper-based fungicides at a concentration of 0.2 to 0.3per cent. 

Green gram is grown as a pure crop in rice fallows after the harvest of the first or second crop of paddy. It can also be grown as a mixed crop with tapioca, colocasia, yam, and banana or as an intercrop in coconut gardens.



Philippines, Madiera, Pusa Baisakhi,

NP-24, Co-2, Pusa-8973 (Pusa-8973 is suited to the summer rice fallows of Onattukara; tolerant to pod borer; duration 66 days).


Seeds and sowing

Seed rate

Pure crop        20-25 kg ha-1

Mixed crop            6 kg ha-1



Plough the land 2-3 times thoroughly and remove weeds and stubbles. Channels,

30 cm broad and 15 cm deep, are drawn at 2 m apart to drain off excess rain water during kharif season and provide irrigation during summer season. The seeds may be sown broadcast.



FYM                         20 t ha-1 (as basal)

Lime    250 kg ha-1 or dolomite 400 kg ha-1

N                                           20 kg ha-1

P2O5                                     30 kg ha-1

K2O                                       30 kg ha-1

Lime may be applied at the time of first ploughing. Half the quantity of N and the full quantity of P2O5 and K2O may be applied at the time of last ploughing. The remaining quantity of N (10 kg) can be applied as foliar spray of 2 per cent urea solution in two equal doses on the 15th and 30th day after sowing.


Plant protection
Apply carbaryl 0.15 per cent suspension, if pests are observed in serious proportions.

Light sandy-loam to clayey-loam soils with good drainage are best suited for the crop.



In the high ranges of elevation more than 1000 m, this crop can be grown throughout the year. The crop being susceptible to ground frost in higher altitudes (above 1400 m), adequate protection should be given during January-February.



There are two types of French beans viz., pole beans and bush beans.

Pole beans: Kentucky Wonder

Bush beans: Contender, Premier, YCD-1, Arka Komal, Tender Green


Seeds and sowing

Seed rate

80 kg ha-1 for hills 
50 kg ha-1 for plains



Prepare land thoroughly by ploughing. Raised beds are not essential for bush beans.

For pole beans, raised beds are advantageous. Spacing of 30 cm x 20 cm is recommended.


Apply basal dose of 20 t ha-1 of FYM and N:P2O5:K2O @ 30:40:60 kg ha-1. Top dressing with 30 kg N ha-1 may be given 20 days after sowing.



Provide support, 1 to 1.5 m long for trailing the plants. First weeding can be given about 4 weeks after sowing and second weeding will be essential 50 days later. Pods become ready for harvest in 50-60 days in the case of bush beans and in 70-80 days for the pole beans. The average yield of green pods is 8-10 t ha-1.

Plant protection

Treat the seeds with copper based fungicides. Apply malathion 0.1 per cent for controlling aphids.

Cowpea can be grown throughout the year under Kerala conditions. It can be grown as a floor crop in coconut gardens and as an intercrop in tapioca during May-Sept. It can be grown as a pure crop in single-crop and double-crop rice fallows during rabi and summer seasons. Cowpea can be grown in homestead gardens throughout the year and in kole lands of Thrissur district during summer where rice crop cannot be raised due to water scarcity.



1) Cowpea can be grown during any season.

2) As a rainfed crop, sowing is done in the month of June. The most suitable time is after the first week of June.

3) During the second crop season (rabi), i.e., September to December, cowpea can be grown as a fringe crop along the rice field bunds. Sowing can be done on either side

of bunds on the day of transplanting the paddy crop.

4) During summer, cowpea can be grown as a pure crop in rice fallows after the harvest of paddy.



1. Vegetable type:
(a) Bushy: Bhagyalakshmy, Pusa Barsathi, Pusa Komal. .

(b) Semitrailing: Kairali, Varun, Anaswara, Kanakamony (PTB-1), Arka Garima.

(c) Trailing type: Sharika, Malika, KMV-1, Lola, Vyjayanthi, Manjeri Local, Vyalathur Local, Kurutholapayar, Vellayani Jyothika


2. Grain type:

C-152, S-488, Pusa Phalguni, P-118, Pusa Do Fasli, Krishnamony (PTB-2), V-240, Amba (V-16), GC-827, CO-3, Pournami

(summer rice fallows) and Shubhra (suited for cultivation in rice fallows during summer season in southern districts of Kerala), Sreya and Hridya (Summer rice fallows of Onattukara).


3. Dual purpose type: 
Kanakamony (PTB 1) and New Era


4. As companion crop with tapioca: V-26


5. Floor crop: Gujarat V-118, Cowpea-2


Seeds and Sowing

Seed rate

For vegetable type

Bush:        20-25 kg ha-1

Trailing:      4-5 kg ha-1

For grain and dual purpose type

Broadcasting:       60-65 kg ha-1 (45 kg ha-1for Krishnamony)

Dibbling:              50-60 kg ha-1 (40 kg ha-1 for Krishnamony)

Spacing :             25 cm x 15 cm Dibbling two seeds per hole

Bush :                 30 cm X 15 cm

Trailing :              2 m X 2 m (on pandal @ three plants per pit)


Soaking seeds in 500 ppm thiourea solution, followed by two sprays of thiourea (one at vegetative and another at flowering stage) increased the yield of cowpea by 26 per cent and net return by 50 per cent.


Seed inoculation and pelleting

Cowpea seeds should be inoculated with Rhizobium and pelleted with lime. Rhizobium cultures are available from the Assistant Soil Chemist, Microbiological Laboratory, Soil Testing Centre, Pattambi 679 306, Palakkad District. The strains that are available at Pattambi are the two isolates (No.11 and No.12) developed by the Kerala Agricultural University.


Procedure for seed inoculation

The content of each packet of Rhizobium inoculant is sufficient for seeds to be sown in the area indicated on the packet (250 to 375 g ha-1). Use the inoculant only for the specific leguminous crop mentioned on the packet, before the expiry date. Do not expose the Rhizobium culture to direct sunlight or heat. Mix the inoculant uniformly with the seeds by using minimum quantity of water (instead of water, either 2.5 per cent starch solution or kanjivellam of the previous day can be used in order to ensure better stickiness of the inoculant with the treated seed material). Take care to avoid any damage to the seed coat. Dry the inoculated seeds under shade over a clean paper or gunny bag and sow immediately. The Rhizobium culture or the inoculated seeds should not be mixed with chemical fertilizers.


Procedure for lime pelleting

1. Add finely powdered (300 mesh) calcium carbonate to moist fresh Rhizobium treated seeds and mix for 1-3 minutes until each seed is uniformly pelleted.

Depending on the seed size, the following quantity of lime asrequired.

Small seeds              1.0 kg/10 kg of seed

Medium sized seeds  0.6 kg/10 kg of seed

Large sized seeds     0.5 kg/10 kg of seed


2. Spread out the pelleted seeds on a clean paper to harden. Sow them as soon as possible. However, lime pelleted seeds can be stored up to one week in a cool place prior to sowing.


1. Lime coating is required only for seeds that are to be sown in acid soils.

2. Ordinary agricultural lime is not good for pelleting because of its larger particle size. Good quality high grade lime should be used.

3. Hydrated lime should not be used for pelleting.
4. The dry pellet should be firm enough to resist moderate pressure. It should appear dry without loose lime on its surface or in the container.

5. The lime-pelleted seeds can be mixed with the fertilizer and sown. However, the period of contact between fertilizer and the pelleted seeds should be as short as possible.

6. Pelleted seeds should not be sown into a dry seedbed.



For grain type and dual-purpose type, if dibbling is adopted, spacing of 25 cm between rows and 15 cm between plants is recommended with two seeds per hole. For bush vegetable type, spacing of 30 cm between rows and 15 cm between plants is suitable. For semi-trailing varieties, provide a spacing of 45 x 30 cm. Trailing varieties can be sown in pits (@ 3 plants/pit) at 2 x 2 m spacing for trailing on pandal or in channels

at 1.5 m x 45 cm spacing for trailing on trellis.If broadcasting is adopted, the seeds can be sown broadcast over the field and channels drawn after sowing.



Plough the land thoroughly 2-3 times and remove weeds and stubbles. Make channels of 30 cm breadth and 15 cm depth at 2 m apart to drain off excess rainwater.




FYM      20 t ha-1

Lime 250 kg ha-1(or dolomite 400 kg ha-1)

N           20 kg ha-1

P2O5       30 kg ha-1

K2O        10 kg ha-1

Lime may be applied at the time of the first ploughing. Half the quantity of nitrogen, whole of phosphorus and potash may be applied at the time of final ploughing. The remaining nitrogen may be applied 15-20 days after sowing.

[Note: For vegetable cowpea grown as an intercrop in the reclaimed alluvial soils of Kuttanad, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash at the rate of 10, 20 and 10 kg ha-1 are recommended. For vegetable cowpea, fertilizers can be applied in several split doses at fortnightly intervals]



Hoeing at the time of application of the second dose of nitrogen will give adequate aeration to the soil and help the root system to spread easily. For grain and dual-purpose varieties, decapitation is found to be advantageous as the crop shows trailing tendency. For vegetable types, provide trellis or pandal for trailing.



Giving two irrigations is highly beneficial; i.e., at 15 days after sowing and at the time of flowering. Irrigation at the flowering stage induces better flowering and pod set.


Plant protection

The fungus Fusarium pallidoroseum can be used for controlling black pea aphid. Bran based fungus can be applied at the rate of

3 kg per 400 m2 immediately after infestation is observed. One application is sufficient.


Anthracnose of cowpea

(Colletotrichum lindemuthianum)

Causes water soaked lesions on leaves, which later become brown and enlarge to form circular spots. The infection may spread to the petiole and young stem also. Petiole infection results in defoliation. Anthtracnose can be managed with seed treatment with Thiram @ 3g/kg of seed followed by Carbendazim spray @ 0.05 per cent at 15, 30 & 45 days after seedling emergence.


Dry root rot of cowpea

(Macrophomina phaseolina)

Infected plant suddenly wilts and dies. The bark of the root and basal stem becomes fibrous. The disease appears in patches and become severe during dry periods. Dry root rot can be managed by seed treatment with Trichoderma viride @ 4g/kg of seed or Carbendazim 0.05 per cent of seed or Psuedo-monas fluorescens @ 10g/kg of seed or neem cake soil application @ 20 kg ha-1.


Spray malathion (0.1 per cent) or quinalphos (0.05 per cent) for controlling pea aphids.


Spray carbaryl 0.2 per cent to protect the crop from pod borers. Repeat the application, if infestation persists. Apply the insecticides after harvesting mature pods and pick the pods only 10 days after the application of insecticides.


IPM package against major pests of cowpea

1. Burning of trash before sowing

2. Selecting healthy seeds

3. Clean cultivation

4. Soil drenching with Bordeaux mixture

1 per cent wherever fungal diseases are prevalent.

5. Treating the seeds with rhizobium culture @ 250 to 375 g ha-1 before sowing

6. Monitoring the field for incidence of pests/population of natural enemies especially at flowering stage (for Aphis craccivora, epilachna beetles and pod borers) and at pod formation stage for pod bugs
7. Adoption of mechanical methods of pest control such as application of ash at 10 DAS, keeping yellow sticky trap/yellow pan tray, collection and destruction of infested leaves, flower buds and pods and sweeping and destruction of the pests.

8. Collection and release of potential natural enemies viz., grubs and adults of Coccinella transversalis,Cheilo menes sexmaculatus,Harmonia octo maculata and maggots of Ischiodon scutellare

9. Need based application of F. pallido-roseum @ 7x106/ml specifically for the management of Aphis craccivora.

10. Need based application of neem kernel suspension (NKS) 5 per cent or chlorpyriphos 0.05 per cent at 45 DAS in the case of moderate incidence of A.craccivora, pod borers and a second spray using NKS 5 per cent at 60 DAS if needed against pod borers and pod bugs.


For protecting cowpea seeds against pests under storage conditions, smear the seeds with groundnut or coconut oil at 1.0 per cent.

Spraying quinalphos 0.03 per cent at 60 DAS in the field along with treatment in storage with dried powdered rhiozome of Vayambu (Acorus calamus) 01kg/100kg seed.


The root-knot nematode and reniform nematode associated with cowpea can be effectively managed by the application of neem and eupatorium leaves @ 15 t ha-1, two weeks before sowing.


Spray 1per cent Bordeaux mixture in early stages to protect the crop from fungal diseases.


For protecting the crop from anthracnose, treat the seeds with carbendazim (0.05 per cent) and spray the crop with Bordeaux mixture 1 per cent or carbendazim 0.05 per cent.

Black gram may be grown as pure crop in rice fallows after the harvest of the first or second crop of paddy.


It can also be grown as pure or mixed crop during kharif season



T-9, Co-2, S-1, TAU-2, TMV-1, KM-2, Syama and Sumanjana


Variety T-9 is moderately tolerant to drought condition; CO-2 is photoinsensitive but susceptible to pests and diseases. S-1 is suitable for pappad making. TAU-2 is suited for partially shaded condition in coconut garden during rabi season in southern region; TMV-1 and KM-2 are suited for Onattukara tract during late kharif; Syama is suited for the summer rice fallow of Onattukara. Sumanjana is high yielding and early maturing variety, suitable for summer rice fallows of Trivandrum district.


Seeds and Sowing

Seed rate: Pure crop - 20 kg ha-1

Mixed crop - 6 kg ha-1

Spacing: 25 cm x 15 cm

Sowing: Plough the land 2-3 times thoroughly and remove weeds and stubbles. For seed treatment in black gram, two Rhizobium cultures viz. KAU-BG-2 and BG-12 are recommended.

FYM   20 t ha-1 (as basal)

Lime 250 kg ha-1 (or dolomite 400 kg ha-1 )

N                                           20 kg ha-1
P2O5                                      30 kg ha-1

K2O                                       30 kg ha-1

Lime may be applied at the time of first ploughing. Half the quantity of nitrogen, the whole of phosphorus and potash are applied at the time of last ploughing. The remaining 10 kg nitrogen can be applied as foliar spray of 2 per cent urea solution in two equal doses on the 15th and 30th day after sowing.


Plant protection

Apply carbaryl 0.15 per cent suspension, if pests are observed in serious proportions.