Mung bean (Vigna radiata) is a short term, warm season crop capable of growing in most warm districts. With a crop life of 75-90 days, it is frequently used as a filler crop between rotations of other crops, with the benefit of not requiring additional nitrogen, as it is a legume. It is grown for its highly nutritious seeds, its edible green pods, and for its young sprouts.
The preferred temperature for successful growth is 27-30 degrees C, although it will tolerate down to 15oC. Consequently it is
usually gown as a summer crop.
Loam soil is preferred with a pH range between 5.5 to 7.5 .
Mung beans don’t like saline or heavy clay soils.
Sow seeds into moist soil at a recommended rate of 200 - 350 thousand plants/ha for dry land cropping, and 400,000 plants/ha under irrigation. Row spacing will vary depending upon the farming practices used.
Fertilisers are not normally applied although the use of symbiotic rhizobium inoculum is advised. Leaf tissue analysis carried out periodically throughout the season will identify any deficiencies that will need immediate attention.
Zinc deficiency is common with mung beans.
Irrigation is usually not an important factor for such a short lived crop. However, moisture is essential during the stages of flowering and early pod fill.
Major pests of this crop include green mirids, thrips, caterpillars, bugs and beetles. There are a range of diseases that can affect the vigour of the crop and the quality of the harvested seed. Where appropriate chemicals can be used to control pests and diseases, as can good hygiene and cultural practices.
Harvesting is best carried out on dried plants when approximately 95% of pods are mature and dry. Preferred seed moisture at harvesting is 14%-16% which will reduce the incidence of seed splitting and damage.