Discover How to Grow Moong for Profit and Eco-Friendly Farming

Discover How to Grow Moong for Profit and Eco-Friendly Farming (Photo Source: Pexels.com)
Discover How to Grow Moong for Profit and Eco-Friendly Farming (Photo Source: Pexels.com)

Summer moong is grown on an estimated area of about 21 thousand hectares in Punjab. Being a short-duration crop, it can easily be cultivated in the rice-wheat rotation, but it is more suitable to be cultivated after potato and mustard crops for timely sowing. It is a rich source of protein and iron. Moreover, it is easy to cook and digest.

Growing pulse crops like summer moong improves soil fertility. Its requirement for irrigation water and energy is less when compared with cereal crops. It can fit well in a rice-wheat cropping system due to its short duration.

Additionally, it is important to take into consideration the following recommended practices to get a higher yield of this crop.

Climate and soil requirements: Moong does well in hot climates. For moong cultivation, one should select a well-drained loamy to sandy loam soil. Avoid water-logged and saline-alkaline soils as they are not suitable for moong cultivation.

Improved varieties: SML 1827, SML 832 and SML 668 are improved varieties of summer moong. SML 1827 matures in about 62 days. It yields 5.0 quintals per acre. SML 832 takes about 61 days to mature. Its average yield is 4.6 quintals per acre. SML 668 matures in about 60 days having an average grain yield of 4.5 quintals per acre.

Field preparation: Prepare the field by plowing 2-3 times followed by planking after every ploughing operation. Summer moong can be sown without any preparatory tillage after harvesting of the wheat crop. Depending upon the wheat straw in the field, sowing of summer moong can be done with zero till drill or PAU happy seeder. The sowing can be done with zero till drill if there is no wheat straw in the field. PAU happy seeder can be used for sowing summer moong in the presence of wheat straw.

Time of sowing: The sowing of summer moong should be done from 20 March to 10 April. Sowing can also be done up to the third week of April but there is a risk of pre-monsoon showers at maturity.

Seed rate: The optimum seed rate is 15 kg for SML 668 varieties and 12 kg seed for SML 832 and SML 1827 varieties.

Seed inoculation: Inoculation of seed with consortium biofertilizer enhances pulse yield. For seed inoculation, moisten the seed with about 300 ml of water and mix with one packet of consortium biofertilizer (Rhizobium sp. LSMR-1 and Rhizobacterium RB-3). Dry the inoculated seed in the shade. Sowing of inoculated seed should be done within one hour after application of consortium biofertilizer.

Method of sowing: Summer moong can be sown with a seed drill, zero-till drill, and happy seeder. The crop should be sown 4-6 cm deep in rows 22.5 cm apart with a plant-to-plant spacing of 7 cm. In medium to heavy textured soils sowing should be done on a 37.5 cm wide bed with a 30 cm wide furrow between two beds by using a wheat bed planter. Sow two rows per bed with a row spacing of 20 cm. Raised bed sowing saves the crop from damage by rain at emergence. This practice increases yield by 10 percent over flat sowing and saves irrigation water.

Fertilizer application: Apply 11 kg urea and 100 kg of superphosphate per acre at the time of sowing to summer moong to be sown after wheat. There is no need for fertilizer for summer moong sown after potato.

Weed control: To keep the weeds under check, hoe the crop four weeks after sowing and give a second hoeing about two weeks thereafter if needed. 

Irrigation: Depending upon the weather conditions and soil type give 3 to 5 irrigations to the crops. First irrigation should be given 25 days after sowing and last irrigation 55 days after sowing to obtain high yield and synchronous maturity.

Harvesting: The best time to harvest crop, is when 80% of pods are fully matured.

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