Sunday, October 23, 2011

pegeon pea(Arhar Dal) cultivation)

Scientific classification

Kingdom        : Plantae
(unranked)      : Angiosperms
(unranked)      : Eudicots
(unranked)      : Rosids
Order              : Fabales
Family             : Fabaceae
Genus             : Cajanus
Species           : C. cajan
Binomial name : Cajanus cajan

The pigeon pea  also known as tropical green pea, toor dāl or arhar dāl (India), kadios (Philippines), or Congo pea or gungo pea (in Jamaica), pois Congo (in Haiti), gandul (in Puerto Rico), gunga pea, or no-eye pea is a perennial member of the family Fabaceae.


The cultivation of the pigeon pea goes back at least 3500 years. The centre of origin is the eastern part of peninsular India, including the state of Orissa, where the closest wild relatives (Cajanus cajanifolia) occur in

tropical deciduous woodlands. Archaeological finds of pigeonpea include those from two Neolithic sites in Orissa, Gopalpur and Golbai Sassan dating between 3400 and 3000 years ago, and sites in South India, Sanganakallu and Tuljapur Garhi, also dating back to 3400 years ago . From India it traveled to East Africa and West Africa.


Today, pigeon peas are widely cultivated in all tropical and semitropical regions of both the Old and the New Worlds. Pigeon peas can be of a perennial variety, in which the crop can last three to five years , or an annual variety more suitable for seed production.

Pigeon peas are an important legume crop of rainfed agriculture in the semiarid tropics. The Indian subcontinent, Eastern Africa and Central America, in that order, are the world's three main pigeon pea-

producing regions. Pigeon peas are cultivated in more than 25 tropical and subtropical countries, either as a sole crop or intermixed with cereals, such as sorghum , pearl millet , or maize , or with other legumes, such as peanuts . Being a legume, the pigeon pea enriches soil through symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

The crop is cultivated on marginal land by resource-poor farmers, who commonly grow traditional medium- and long-duration (5–11 months) landraces. Short-duration pigeon peas (3–4 months) suitable for multiple

cropping have recently been developed. Traditionally, the use of such input as fertilizers, weeding, irrigation, and pesticides is minimal, so present yield levels are low (average = 700 kg/ha). Greater attention is now being given to managing the crop because it is in high demand at remunerative prices.

Pigeon peas are very drought resistant, so can be grown in areas with less than 650 mm annual rainfall.

Pegeon pea or red gram is an important pulse crop in India.  Red gram is mainly cultivated and consumed in developing countries of the world. This crop is widely grown in India. India is the largest producer and consumer of Red gram in the world.

In Andhra Pradesh red gram is cultivated in an area of 3.94 lakh ha with a production of 1.70 lakh tonnes.

World production of pigeon peas is estimated at 46,000 km2. About 82% of this is grown in India. These days it is the most essential ingredient of animal feed used in West Africa, most especially in Nigeria, where it is also grown.

Suitable Climate

Red gram needs a moist and warm weather i.e. 30 – 35 °C during germination and slightly lower temperature (20 -25°C) during active vegetative growth.
During flowering and pod setting it requires 15-18°C temperature and at maturity it needs higher temperature of around 35 - 40°C.
Water logging, heavy rains, frost are very harmful to the crop.
Hailstorm or rain at maturity damages the entire crop.
It has a good drought tolerant capacity because of its deep tap root system.

Suitable soils

Pegeon pea or red gram can be grown in almost all soil types that are not very poor in lime and are not subjected to water logging.

But deep sandy loam and clayey loams are supposed to give optimum growth and yield.
Soil must be very deep, well drained and free from soluble salts in them.

It can be grown successfully on neutral soils having a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.

Suitable soils

Pegeon pea or red gram can be grown in almost all soil types that are not very poor in lime and are not subjected to water logging.

But deep sandy loam and clayey loams are supposed to give optimum growth and yield.

Soil must be very deep, well drained and free from soluble salts in them.

It can be grown successfully on neutral soils having a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5.
Land preparation

Red gram being a deep rooted crop responds well to proper tilth. So land is prepared by at least one ploughing during the dry season followed by 2 or 3 harrowings and disc ploughing.

Organic manure may be applied 2-4 weeks before sowing.

Soil should be well leveled so that water stagnation does not take place.

Contour broad-beds and furrows or a ridge-and-furrow system are useful in preventing water logging.

Weeds should be properly removed, well tilled and crusting should be avoided by mechanical means.
A light irrigation helps in seedling emergence.

Seed Treatment

Treat the seeds with Carbendazim or Thiram @ 2 g/kg of seed 24 hours before sowing (or) with powder formulation of Trichoderma viride @ 4g/kg of seed (or) Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g/kg seed.

Treated seeds of suitable variety having high germination and high real value should be selected for sowing the crop.

Seeds should not be more than two season old. Probably it should be produced during the previous season

Use bolder seeds for better germination and more vigorous seedlings

Pigeon pea is a traditionally Kharif crop sown in June-July with onset of Monsoon in various agro-climatic zones of India.

Planting of early pigeon pea before the onset of monsoon in the month of June is recommended for higher yields

In irrigated condition the crop should be sown by giving one pre-monsoon irrigation at least a fortnight earlier than the first shower so that plants are well established during rainy season, however, under rain fed conditions the sowing may be done immediately after rains have started. Thus in no case the sowing should be delayed beyond last week of June.

Long duration varieties of pigeon pea which are tall, spreading and occupy the field for about 250-270 days are planted at wider row spacing of 90-120 cm and about 30 cm between the plants particularly under rain fed conditions.

Early maturing varieties under irrigated conditions are planted at a row spacing of 50-75 cm and plant to plant spacing of 15-20 cm.

In case of April planted pigeon pea, a row spacing of 90-120 cm is recommended as the vegetative growth is much higher than June planted pigeon pea.

If it is a Black soil a spacing of 90 x 20 cm is normally recommended. In red soils 60 x 20 cm spacing usually followed.

About 10 -15 kg high quality seed would be sufficient for one hectare area but it depends on variety and sowing time.

For Kharif crop 8-10 kg/ha of seed is required and in case of Rabi crop 15 kg / ha is recommended.
Pigeon pea is traditionally broadcasted and then a blade harrow is used to cover the seeds which results in uneven plant population and ultimately lower yield levels.
Line sowing by bullock drawn or mechanical seed drill is superior over broadcasting by giving uniform seeding depth.

Seeds sown at shallower depths may be exposed to water deficits if dry weather persists soon after sowing. So placing seeds at proper depth is important.
In temporary water logging areas, planting on ridges have been found superior.


The pigeon pea varieties grown are broadly categorized into
                                       early maturing (140-150 days),
                                       medium duration (160-200 days)
                              and   late duration varieties (more than 200 days).

Early varieties :            Vishaka (T.T.6), ICPL 151(Jagriti), ICPL84031 (Durga), ICPL85063 (Lakshmi),                                          Parbhat, T 21, Pusa Ageti, BDN 2, PT 221.

Medium varieties:        C11, LRG 30, ICP 8863 (Maruthi), ICPL 332 (Abhaya), ICPL 87119 (Asha),                                            Sharda, Hy 3C, Hy 3A, Hy 4, Hy 5, Co 2, Co 4, Co 5, GS 1, CPDM 1, F 52,
                                       C 28, Palanadu (LRG 30), PRG 100

Late varieties:               SA 1

Equipments used for sowing

Normally red gram is sown in lines with the help of bullock drawn seed drill to facilitate intercultural operations.
Following are the implements generally used for sowing red gram:

Akkadi / Mogha / Sadde / Sarota (Bullock drawn country plough attached with Pora tube)

This is a one-row drill consists of a single bamboo tube, about three to four feet in length and one-and-a-half or two inches in diameter.
The tube is fitted at its upper end with a perforated wooden bowl into which the seed is fed.
The implement is fastened by a rope to a blade harrow and guided by a woman along the furrow made by the edge of harrow blade.

Gorru / Gorrukalappi / Tiphan / Difan / Phadak (Animal Drawn Seed Drill)
Indigenous drill with two or three tubes which consists of a beam fitted with two or three types resembling little ploughs, each of which has a hole running through it.
Into these holes are fitted bamboos or metal tubes, the upper ends of which meet in a wooden or metallic bowl. When the implement is driven across the field, the seed fed into the cup falls down the tubes and drops into the small furrows made by the little ploughs. These simple, indigenous drills have been in use for centuries past and have been found satisfactory in operation and well suited to the available, small-sized draft animals.

Mechanical seed drill

It can be tractor or power tiller operated.
This consists of seed box with cup feed metering mechanism, lifting arrangement, seed cut of clutch, tool bar, hoe type furrow openers and seating attachment, all mounted on an easily detachable articulated double wheeled frame.
The cup feed seed mechanism is driven by chain and sprocket from the tail wheel.
The lifting of tool bar disengages the clutch transmitting power to the seed metering shaft.
The spacing between furrow openers and the depth of sowing are easily adjustable.

Mixed / Intercropping in Red gram

Intercropping is growing of two or more crops of dissimilar growth pattern on the same piece of land, with a view to optimize the total yield and net profits per unit area.
Traditionally red gram is intercropped with cereals, oilseeds, short-duration grain legumes (pulses), or cotton.
Most commonly red gram is intercropped with cereal crops like Sorghum, pearl millet, maize, finger millet etc.
Red gram - Oilseed intercroppping is becoming popular. Groundnut, soybean, and sesame are the oilseed crops.
Red gram is also intercropped with short-duration pulse crops such as mung bean, cowpea, black gram, chickpea etc.

Some commonly followed intercropping systems in Andhra Pradesh,India.

1.Groundnut (TMV-2) + Pigeon pea (ICPL – 87) - 7:1
2.Pigeon pea + Pearl millet – 2:6 / 2:1
3.Pigeon pea + Sorghum – 1:2
4.Pigeon pea + Green gram / Black gram – 1:2
5.Pigeon pea + Groundnut - 2:1
6.Pigeon pea + Soybean – 2:1
7.Pigeon pea + Small millets – 2:1
8.Pigeon pea + Maize – 1:2
Nutrient Management

Adequate and balanced supply of plant nutrients is a prerequisite for achieving and sustaining higher productivity.
Generally pulse crops are energy rich crops and remove sizable quantity of nutrients from the soil.
A crop of pigeon pea producing 1.2 t of grain/ha removes 85 Kg N, 8 Kg P, 16 Kg K and 9 Kg S per ha.
Because of low soil fertility and continuous nutrient depletion in soils, pulses now respond to external supply of nutrients. Moreover Pigeon pea seedlings depend on soil-nitrogen in its early stages. So, pigeon pea do respond to a “Basal dose” of 15 to 20 kg N/ha.
In the later stages of plant growth, most of the nitrogen required by plants is derived from fixation in nodules.
Pale green to yellowish young leaves and Interveinal chlorosis of older leaves are the symptoms of Nitrogen deficiency.
P is the most frequently limiting nutrient and application of 17 to 26 kg P/ha gave higher yield than no application. Placement of P fertilizer at a depth of 10 or 15 cm increased yield by 35% over broadcast application.
Stunted plants with dark green foliage, shedding of older leaves and delayed flowering are symptoms of P deficiency.
Deficiencies of Potassium (K), Zinc (Zn) and other elements have been recorded on some soils.
In potassium deficient soils Leaf tips turn yellow or brown which spreads from the tip outward along the margin. Leaf tip becomes scorched as symptoms become severe. The affected leaves not showing these symptoms are generally dark-green. Plants are normally stunted. Foliar application of K is effective.
Stunted growth, narrowing of leaves with pale green or yellow, Inter-veinal chlorosis starting from tip of leaflets and spreading to the remaining area leaving only the midrib green are the common symptoms of Zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency is corrected by applying zinc sulphate at 4 to 8 kg/ha Zn.
The sulphur deficiency is more pronounced without the use of sulphur through fertilizer.
Fertilizers are usually applied to pigeon pea at sowing.

For raising an ideal crop it is required to apply about 25-30 Kg N, 50-75 Kg P2O5, 30 Kg of K2O and 15 Kg ZnSO4 in one hectare area.
The entire dose of fertilizer should be basal placed at a depth of 12 to 15 cm or 7 to 10 cm below the seed layer in the same row.
Pigeon pea seedlings are prone to chloride (Cl) toxicity if muriate of potash (KCl) is placed too close to the seed row.
For better yields, application of 5 tonnes of FYM per hectare during field preparation is practised.


Green pigeon pea pods are harvested for different purposes. Fully developed, bright green seed is preferred for use as a vegetable. Hence, pods should be harvested just before they start loosing their green color. For this normally hand picking is followed.
Pigeon pea leaves, unlike other crops, remain green when the pods are ready for harvest. This may confuse decision on optimum harvest time.
Pigeon pea should be harvested when 75-80% of the pods turn brown and are dry.

Delayed harvesting, during bad-weather, may increase the risk of damage to mature seed.
Traditionally pigeon pea plants are harvested by cutting the stem at the base with a sickle, but occasionally machines are used for cutting and followed by drying and threshing.
The harvested plants are bundled and placed upright to dry for a week depending on the weather conditions.
Pods and grain are separated by beating the dry plants with sticks or by using a thresher. In some places by cattle trampling seeds are separated.
In some places matured pods of pigeon pea are harvested by hand picking. This allows the crop to flower and pod for a second or sometimes a third harvest. But hand-picking may not be economical beyond a second flush.
When hand-picking of pods is not feasible, the upper branches with mature pods are cut and threshed.


Pigeon pea is usually stored for long periods to ensure availability of whole seed at the time of sowing, and as a dhal to meet consumer requirement.
Some insect pests like pulse beetles infest the crop when the pods are in ripening stage in the field, subsequently carried with grain into the stores after harvesting, resulting in considerable losses.
Hence methods of storage play an important role in reducing storage losses.
At farm level, storage structures made of steel, mud, wood, plastic and concrete or jute bags are frequently used to store pigeon pea. Mud bins are most commonly used by farmers.
Storage in jute bags is common in markets and urban dhal mills.
Dry the seed to 7 - 8 % moisture content is essential before storing.
Seed treatment to reduce storage losses is becoming increasingly important. Ethylene dibrormide as a fumigant and malathion mixed with tricalcium phosphate at 0.2% have been found to be quite effective.
Coating of stored pulses with thin film of edible oil to protect them against insect infestation is an age old practice.

Use of chemicals can be avoided for the control of storage pests to make them safer consumable stocks. For grain cum seed storage, treat the seed with activated clay / neem oil / groundnut oil / leaf powder of tobacco / neem /Albizzia amara and fruit rind powder of Sapindus laurifolius / Acacia concinna (Soapnut powder).
There is less pulse beetle infestation if pigeon pea is stored in the form of dhal.


Dehulling of pigeon pea is a primary process that converts the whole seed into dhal.
Dehulling operation is usually performed in two steps; the first involves loosening the husk from the cotyledons and the second removing the husk from cotyledons and splitting them using a roller machine or stone chakki.
Before dehulling in chakki, pigeon pea seed is soaked in water for 2 to 14 hours.
Some farmers treat the seed with oil before dehulling.
Another procedure is heating pigeon pea in an iron pan with or without sand before grinding.
Weed Management:

Pigeon pea grows very slowly during their early growth period of 45 – 50 days. This makes pigeon pea less competitive with weeds. If weeds are not controlled in time, it can cause up to 90% reductions in seed yield. Therefore it is advisable to keep the field free from weeds.
Weed free condition may be achieved by giving two hand weedings once about 25-30 days and another about 45-50 days after sowing the crop.

Chemical Control:

Where hand weeding is not possible soil incorporation of following pre emergence herbicides can be done.
Alachlor - 1 kg a.i. per ha
Metolachlor and/or Pendimethalin - 1 kg a.i. per ha each
Mixture of Prometryne, Fluchloralin and Paraquat - 1 kg a.i. per ha and 0.75 kg a.i. per ha for red soils
Oxadiazone and Pendimethalin – 0.75 kg a.i. per ha each
Prometryne is quite effective in controlling broadleaved weeds and fluchloralin in controlling grass weeds.
An irrigation or rain after sowing enhances the effect of these herbicides.


Pigeon peas are both a food crop (dried peas, flour, or green vegetable peas) and a forage/cover crop. They contain high levels of protein and the important amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. In

combination with cereals, pigeon peas make a well-balanced human food. The dried peas may be sprouted briefly, then cooked, for a flavor different from the green or dried peas. Sprouting also enhances the digestibility of dried pigeon peas via the reduction of indigestible sugars that would otherwise remain in the cooked dried peas.

In India, split pigeon peas (toor dal) are one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet. In regions where it grows, fresh young pods are eaten as a vegetable in dishes such as sambar. In Ethiopia, not only the pods, but also the young shoots and leaves are cooked and eaten.
In some places, such as the Dominican Republic and Hawaii, pigeon peas are grown for canning and consumption. A dish made of rice and green pigeon peas (called moro de guandules) is a traditional food in

Dominican Republic. Pigeon peas are also made as a stew, with plantain balls. In Puerto Rico arroz con gandules is made with rice and pigeon peas and is a typical dish. Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada have their own variant, called pelau, which includes either beef or chicken, and occasionally pumpkin and pieces of cured pig tail.

In Thailand, pigeon peas are grown as a host for scale insects which produce lac.

Pigeon peas are in some areas an important crop for green manure, providing up to 40 kg nitrogen per hectare. The woody stems of pigeon peas can also be used as firewood, fencing and thatch.


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