The Game-Changing Production Tech Behind Cluster Beans (Photo Source: Shivangi Upadhyay)
The Game-Changing Production Tech Behind Cluster Beans (Photo Source: Shivangi Upadhyay)

The annual legume cluster bean, or Cyamopsis tetragonoloba, popularly known as guar, is primarily grown in arid and semi-arid regions. Approximately 80% of the world's cluster bean production is cultivated in India. Rajasthan is the state with the largest area and production of cluster beans. Parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat are also home to its cultivation. "Guar gum" is a naturally occurring hydrocolloid found in cluster bean seed (endosperm). This gum possesses exceptional properties that find numerous commercial uses in the textile, printing, paper, cosmetics, mining, pharmaceutical, petroleum, natural gas, well drilling, and oil industries.

Due to their high nutritional content, green pods are frequently eaten as a vegetable, particularly in northern and western India. Additionally, the seed of this plant has about 18% protein, 32% fiber, and 30-33 percent gum. When grown as an intercrop, cluster beans have also been said to have positive benefits. Its taproots are inoculated with rhizobia nodules and thus it produces nitrogen-rich biomass and improves soil quality. Animals with a monogastric stomach benefit greatly from the high protein content of cluster bean meal, which is derived from seed coat and germ cells.

Climatic Requirement

Guar is a tropical plant. Although it is susceptible to frost damage, it can withstand drought and thrives in sunny, arid environments. It needs enough soil moisture before planting and during the seed maturation process, even though it can tolerate modest but frequent rainfall. Additionally, the crop needs temperatures between 30 and 35oC for optimal germination during seeding, and between 32 and 38oC for healthy vegetative growth. However, high temperatures during the flowering stage can cause photosensitivity in this indeterminate crop.

Soil Condition

A variety of soil types are suitable for cluster bean growth, but sandy loam soils with a medium texture, good drainage, and fertility are preferred. A pH range of 7 to 8.5 is ideal for growing it in moderately alkaline soil. The growth of crops is impacted by waterlogged conditions.

Land Preparation

One plowing with a moldboard plow or disk harrow, followed by one or two harrowings or plowings and planking, is necessary after the rabi crop is harvested.  A properly leveled field is required for good drainage. It is cultivated on a firm weed-free seedbed.

Seed Rates

For grain purposes: 15-20 kg/ha

For biomass purposes: 50-100 kg/ha

For fodder purposes: 40-45 kg/ha

Seed Treatment

To prevent the crop from soil-borne disease seed can be treated by 2 g Thiram and 1 g Carbendazim /kg seed. Seeds can be treated 2-3 days before sowing. After fungicide seed treatment, the seed is inoculated with suitable Rhizobium culture @ 600g / 12-15 kg seed.

Time of Sowing

The crop is sown in the first week of July to the 25th of the month. The crop can also be grown in the final week of June or after the start of the monsoon where irrigation facilities are available. It can be grown in March during the summer.

Planting Distance

Row to Row- 45 cm (normal), 30 cm (single stem variety)

Plant to Plant- 15-20 cm

Intercropping- Bajra and cluster beans can be grown together in an intercropping system

Crop rotation - 1. Guar-Wheat; 2. Guar- Chickpea; 3. Guar- Mustard

Improved Varieties

For seeds and gum- HG-365, HG-563, RGC- 1066, RGC- 1003, RGC- 936 (highly drought tolerant)

For vegetables- Durga Bahar, Pusa Navbahar, Pusa Sadabahar

For fodder- HFG-119, HFG- 156

State-wise Recommended Varieties





Andhra Pradesh

RGM-112, RCG-936, HG-563, HG-365



GC-1, GC-2



HG-75, HG-182, HG-258, HG-365, HG-563, HG-870, HG-884, HG-867, HG-2-20


Madhya Pradesh

HG-365, HG-563



HG-365, HG-563, RCG-936



AG-112 and varieties from Haryana



RGC- 1033, RGC-1066, RGC-1055, RGC-1038, RGC-1003, RGC-1002, RGC-986, RGM-112, RGC-197


Uttar Pradesh

HG-563, HG-365

Source: Seednet GOI, Ministry of Agri. & FW & ICAR-CAZRI, Jodhpur

Irrigation and Drainage

If the crop experiences moisture stress during flowering or pod formation, one irrigation can be given for optimal crop production. Since it cannot withstand conditions of water logging, adequate drainage in the field is necessary.

Weed Management

Two manual weedings (20–25 DAS and 40–45 DAS) are enough to keep the crop weed-free. Application of Pendimethalin at 0.75 kg/ha a.i. as a pre-emergence, and imazethapyr at 40g/ha a.i. in 600 liters of water applied at 20–25 DAS as post-emergence application is an appropriate option for controlling weeds.

Crop Protection

  1. a) Insect

  2. Sucking insects: Jassids, Aphids, and White fly

Application of Imidacloprid @ 0.2 ml/liter or Dimethoate @ 1.7 ml/liter of water.

  1. Termite:

Control Measures

  1. i) Use well-decomposed FYM

  2. ii) Seed treatment with Chlorpyrifos @2 ml/kg seed

iii) Application of Chlorpyrifos dust @20kg/ha at the time of last plowing before sowing.

  1. b) Disease

  2. Bacterial blight

  3. i) Use of resistant varieties and certified seed

  4. ii) Seed treatment with Streptocycline (soak the seed in 200 ppm (0.2g/liter) solution of Streptocycline for 3 hours)

iii) Spraying of copper oxychloride @2.5g/liter of water 

  1. Anthracnose & Alternaria leaf spot

Foliar spray of Mancozeb 75 WP @2g/liter of water and repeat the spray at 15-day intervals, if needed.   

Harvesting and Threshing

For grain purposes, harvesting is done when 50% of the pods turn brown and the leaves start to dry out. Crops should be allowed to dry in the sun after harvesting and then the threshing operation is carried out either manually or with a thresher. For fodder crops, harvesting should be done at the flowering stage.


An improved package of practices can increase crop yields to 10-15 q seeds/ha. If grown for fodder purposes, the crop can yield up to 250-300 q green fodder/ha.

Recommendation to Achieve Higher Production

  1. i) Deep summer plowing once in 3 years.

  2. ii) Seed treatment should be done before sowing.

iii) Application of fertilizer should be based on soil test value.

  1. iv) Weeding operations should be carried out at regular intervals.

  2. v) Adoption of an integrated plant protection approach.

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