Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.), commonly known as red gram or tur or Arhar, is a very old crop of this country. After gram, arhar is the second most important pulse crop in the country. It is mainly eaten in the form of split pulse as ‘dal’. Seeds of arhar are also rich in iron, iodine, essential amino acids like lycine, threonine, cystine and arginine etc.
More than 80% of tur production comes from 6 states of Maharashtra, MP, Karnataka, UP, Gujarat and Jharkhand.
Pigeonpea is predominantly a crop of tropical areas mainly cultivated in semi arid regions of India. Pigeonpea can be grown with a temperature ranging from 260C to 300C in the rainy season (June to October) and 170C to 220C in the post rainy (November to March) season. Pigeonpea is very sensitive to low radiation at pod development, therefore flowering during the monsoon and cloudy weather, leads to poor pod formation.
It is successfully grown in black cotton soils, well drained with a p H ranging from 7.0 - 8.5. Pigeonpea responds well to properly tilled and we ll drained seedbed. A deep ploughing with soil turning plough in fallow/waste lands, zero tillage sowing under intensive cropping system and Broad Bed Furrow/Ridge - furrow planting in low lying as well as intercropping areas is recommended. Raised Bed method of planting by dibbling at 2 inches depth with Row to Row distance 4 to 5 feet also 15 feet gap (2 pairs of Tur on bed) under intercropping of soybean under transplanting (Dharwad method/SPI), 5 X 3 and 3 X 1.5 feet spacing is recommended.
Early Maturing varieties - First fortnight of June; Medium & Late Maturing Varieties - Second fortnight of June. Line sowing by seed drill or desi plough or by dibbling on the ridge and beds, both are recommended as per the area.
The seeding rate of pigeon pea depends on the desired plant density for a genotype (early, medium or late), cropping system (pure crop, mixed crop, or inter crop), germination rate of seed and mass of seed.
Early Maturing Var. - 20 - 25 k g/ha (Row to Row - 45 - 60 cm & Plant to Plant - 10 - 15 cm)
Medium/Late Maturing Var. - 15 - 20 k g/ha (Row to Row - 60 - 75 & Plant to Plant - 15 - 20 cm)
Fungicide: Thiram (2gm) + Carbendazim (1gm) or Thiram @ 3 gm or Tricoderma virdie 5 - 7 g / k g of seed;
Culture: Rhizobium and PSB culture 7 - 10 g / k g seed.
Three systems of sowings are practiced for pigeon pea. The common is flat sowing, the other methods are broadbed - furrow (BBF) for extra - early group and ridge-and-furrow for the late maturity group. Bund cultivation of pigeonpea in rice fallow areas have also been adopted in Chattisgarh and MP and some rice fallow areas.
The latter two methods are useful in fields with poor surface drainage and water logging. The raised beds or ridges also provide better aeration and nodulation in comparison to the flat sown crop. At ICRISAT a broad bed and furrow system is used for sowing extra-early genotypes, and ridges-and-furrows are used for medium and late duration genotypes.
The space between the rows could be profitably utilized by growing short duration crops such as urd, moong, cowpea, etc.
Important cropping systems followed are:
Pigeonpea is commonly intercropped with a wide range of crops. In India, it was estimated that 80 - 90 % of the pigeonpea were intercropped :
The doses of fertilizers should be determined based on the results of soil test. All the fertilizers are drilled in furrows at a depth of 5 cm. and at the side of 5 cm. from seed. Apply 25 - 30 kg N, 40 - 50 k g P 2 O 5 , 30 kg K 2 O per ha area as Basal dose at the time of sowing.
Secondary and Micro Nutrients
Being a deep rooted crop, it can to lerate drought. But in case of prolonged drought there is need of three irrigation.
A pre-requisite for the success of pigeonpea is proper drainage. Ridge planting is effective in areas where sub-surface drainage is poor. Th is provide enough aeration for the roots during the period of excess rainfall.
The first 60 days is very critical and harmful for the arhar crop. Two mechanical weedings one at 20 - 25 days and another at 45 - 50 days after sowing but before flowering are required.
The Pre-emergence application of Pendimetha lin @ 0.75 - 1 Kg a.i. per ha in 400-600 liter of water kills the germinating seedlings of weeds and keep the field weed free for the first 50 days. If weed found from long time use Fluchloralin 50 % EC (Basaline) 1 kg of a.i per ha in 800-1000 liter well incorporated in the soil before sowing or Alachlor 50 % EC (Laso) 2 - 2.5 kg a.i. per ha in 400-500 liter of water as pre-emergence.
The important diseases of Pigeon pea are Wilt, Sterility mosaic disease, Phytophthora blight, Alternaria blight, Powdery mildew. Symptoms of these disease and their suitable control measures are given below:
Symptoms: Xylem gradually develops black streaks, dark purple bands appear on the stem surface plants extending upwards from the base. Main stem of such plants is split open, intensive blackening of the xylem can be seen. In humid weather, a pinkish mycelial growth is commonly observed the basal portions of the wilted plants. It may be seen in seedling, flowering & vegetative stage.
2. Sterility mosaic disease
Symptoms : It is caused by mosaic virus & spread from plant to plant under field conditions through Eriophyid mite. Leaves become small and cluster near branch tips & reduced in size. Plants are pale green and bushy in appearance, without of flowers and pods. Diseas ed plants are usually in groups. It may be seen in Vegetative growth & Pre - flowers stage
3. Phytophthora blight
Symptoms: Foliage blight symptoms are circular or irregular water soaked lesions on leaves. The lesions on stems and branches increases rapidly, girdles, cracks and dries the stem. Infected stem and branches break easily in the wind.
4. Alternaria blight
Symptoms: Symptoms appear on all aerial part of plants are small, circular, necrotic spots that develop quickly, forming typical concentric rings. The spots are initially light brown and later turn dark brown. In severe infection, defoliation and drying of infected leaves, branches and flower buds.
1. Pod borers
Nature of Damage : It is widely distributed and is the most injurious pest of early and medium maturing varieties. The larvae, after hatching, feed on tender leaves and twigs but a pod formation they puncture pods and feed on developing grains. It may be seen in vegetative & podding stage.
2. Tur Pod fly
Nature of damage : Stripes can be seen on the surface of the affected grains, while the attacked pods are somewhat twisted or deformed. In case of severe damage, as many as 80 percent pods and 60 per cent grains may be damaged.
3. Plume Moth
Nature of damage: The larvae damaged seeds as well cause flowers, buds and pods to drop. The caterpillar is greenish - brown in color and fringed with short hairs and spines. It also enters into the pod and feeds on developing grains.
4. Pod-sucking bugs
Nature of damage: Damaged seeds become shriveled, and develop dark patches. Shedding of green pods.
With two third to three fourth pods at maturity judged by changing their colour to brown is the best harvesting time. The plants are usually cut with a sickle within 75 cm above the ground. Harvested plants should be left in the field for sun drying for 3-6 days depending on season.
Threshing is done either by beating the pods with stick or using Pullman thresher. The proportion of seed to pods is generally 50 - 60%. The clean seeds should be sun dried for 3-4 days to bring their moisture content at 9-10% to safely store in appropriate bins.
To avoid further development of bruchids and other storage pests, it is recommended to fumigate the storage material before onset of monsoon and again after the monsoon with ALP @ 1 - 2 tablets per tonne. The small quantity of the produce can also be protected by mixing inert material (soft stone, lime, ash, etc) or by smearing edible/non-edible vegetable oils or by mixing plant products like neem leaf powder at the rate of 1- 2% w/w basis.
With use of improved technology of agronomic practices pigeon pea may yield about 25-30 q/ha from irrigated condition and 15-20 q/ha from un-irrigated condition. (depending upon maturity group of variety and climate) and 50 - 60 q/ha of sticks for fuel, as well.