Bengalgram Cultivation Practices

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 17 Dec 2018 | read

Image title


November (Winter season) Rainfed 
Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Namakkal, Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur, Karur, Dharmapuri, Pudukottai, Erode, Coimbatore, Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi.
CO 3, CO 4


VarietyCO 3CO 4
ParentagePureline selection from Maharashtra collectionCross derivative of ICC 42 x 
ICC 12237
Year of release19861998
50% flowering (days)35 – 4040
Duration (days)8585
Grain yield (Kg/ha)  
Height (cm)25 - 3035 - 40
Branches3 - 53 - 5
Flower colourLight pink & veinedLight pink & veined
Colour of grainLight brownBrown
100 seed weight (g)30-3230 - 32



Prepare the land to fine tilth and apply  12.5 t FYM/ha


Treat the seeds with Carbendezim (or) Thiram @ 2g/kg of seed 24hrs before sowing (or) with talc formulation of Trichoderma viride @ 4 g/kg seed (or) Pseudomonas fluorescens @ 10 g/kg seed. Biocontrol agents are compatible with biofertilizers. First treat the seeds with biocontrol agents and then with Rhizobium. Fungicides and biocontrol agents are incompatible.

The above seed treatment will protect the seedlings from seed borne pathogens in the early stages.

  • CO 3 - 90 kg/ha.
  • CO 4 - 75 kg/ha.
As a pure crop to have an optimum plant population 325000 / ha


Treat the  seeds with  one  packet  (200  g/ha) of  Rhizobial  culture (200 g/ha) of Phosphobacteria developed at TNAU using rice kanji as binder. If the seed treatment is not carried out apply 10packets of Rhizobium (2 kg/ha) and 10 packets(2 kg) of Phosphobacteriawith 25 kg of FYM and 25 kg of soil before sowing. Dry the biofertilizer treated seeds in shade for 15 minutes before sowing.


a)  Apply fertilizers basally before sowing.
    Rainfed : 12.5 kg N + 25 kg P2O5 + 12.5 kg K2O +10 kg S*/ha
    Irrigated : 25 kg N + 50 kg P2O5 + 25 kg K2O + 20 kg S*/ha
               *Note : Applied in the form of gypsum,  if Single Super Phospate is not applied as a source of phosphorus
b)   Soil application of 25 kg ZnSo4/ha under irrigated condition      


Dibble the seeds by adopting the spacing of 30 cm x 10 cm.


  • Pre emergence application of Pendimethalin @ 2.5 litres on 3rd day after sowing using Backpack/ Knapsack/Rocker sprayer fitted with flat fan nozzle using 500 litres of water for spraying one ha followed by one hand weeding on 25 - 30 days after sowing.
  • If herbicide is not applied give two hand weedings on 15th and 30th day after sowing.


Bengalgram in paired row planting with one or two rows of Coriander as intercrop would give the highest return. Wheat can also be intercropped in deep black cotton soil in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Namakkal and Dharmapuri districts.

Other Management practices

  • As in crop management technique

8.  Crop Protection

Pest of Bengalgram

Gram Pod Borer : Helicoverpa armigera

Identification of the pest

  • Eggs – are spherical in shape and creamy white in colour, laid singly 
  • Pupa – brown in colour, occurs in soil, leaf, pod and crop debris
  • Adult - light pale brownish yellow stout moth. 
  • Forewing grey to pale brown with V shaped speck.
  • Hind wings are pale smoky white with a broad blackish outer margin.

Symptoms of damage

  • Skeletinization of leaves – feeding chlorophyll only leaving veins by young larvae Defoliation
  • Feeds flower and green pods
  • In green pods – make circular holes and feed the grains and make empty.

Image title

Circular bore hole


  • ETL: 2 early instar larvae/plant 5-8 eggs/plant
  • Pheromone traps for Helicoverpa armigera 12/ha
  • Bird perches 50/ha
  • Hand picking of grown up larvae and blister beetles
  • Ha NPV 1.5 x1012 POB/ha with teepol (1 ml/lit.) 
  • Apply any one of the following (Spray fluid 625 ml/ha)
  • Dichlorvos 76 WSC 625 ml/ha
  • Neem seed kernel extract 5% (31.0 kg/ha) twice followed by
  • Triazophos 40 EC 780 ml/ha
  • Neem oil 12.5 lit./ha
  • Phosalone 35 EC 1.25 lit./ha

(Note : Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be made when the larvae were upto third instar)

Semilooper : Autographa nigrisigna

Symptoms of damage

  • Skeletinization of leaves and the plant becomes whitish
  • The larvae feed on leaf buds, flowers, tender pods and developing seeds.
  • Ragged and irregular pod. (This is in contrast with the neat, and round hole, characteristic of pod borer damage.)

Image titleIdentification of the pest

  • Moths have typically patterned forewings.
  • The larva 25 mm long is green semiloopers.

  • ETL 10% affected parts
  • Deep summer ploughing in 2-3 years to eliminate quiescent pupa.
  • Early sowing, short duration varieties.
  • Avoid closer plant spacing.
  • Grow tall sorghum as comparison crop to serve as biological bird perches
  • Collect and destroy larvae and adults to the extent possible
  • Install pheromone traps at a distance of 50 m @ 5 traps/ha for each insect pest.
  • Install Bird perches @ 50/ha.
  • Setting of light traps (1 light trap/5 acre) to kill moth population.
  • Control is achieved by releasing of Trichogramma chlionis at weekly intervals @1.5 lakh/ha/ week for four times.
  • Conserve green lacewing, predatory stink bugs, spider, ants
  • Application of NPV 250 LE /ha with teepol 0.1% and Jaggery 0.5% thrice at 10 – 15 days interval commencing from flowering stage. (Note: Insecticide / Ha NPV spray should be applied when the larvae are in early stage).
  • Bt @ 600 g, neem oil/ pungum oil 80 EC @ 2ml/lit
  • Spray NSKE 5% twice followed by triazophos 0.05%.
  • Apply any one of insecticides at 25 kg/ha. Chlorpyriphos 1.5 % DP, quinalphos 4D, carbaryl 5D
  • Spray insecticides like Carbaryl 10%DP.(OR) Quinalphos 25 EC @ 1000 ml/ha
Cut worm: Agrotis ipsilon

Symptoms of damage

  • The caterpillar remains the soil at a depth of 2-4 inches.
  • The caterpillars cut the tender plants at the base, and branches or stems of growing plants.
  • The caterpillars drag the cut parts into soil for feeding.
  • The buried stem or branches is almost the sure index of the place where the caterpillar is hiding
Identification of the pest
  • Eggs - are laid on earth clods, chickpea stem bases and on both sides of leaves.
  • Larva - is dark brown with red head.
  • Pupa -Pupation takes place in earthen cocoon.
  • Adult- moth are brownish with numerous wavy lines and spots, measuring 3 to 5 cm across wings


LarvaImage title



  • Deep summer ploughing.
  • Use well decomposed organic manure.
  • Adapt crop rotation.
  • Early sowing in the last week of October.
  • Intercropping with wheat or Linseed or Mustard reduces infestation.
  • In the early stages pick the insects and destroy.
  • Do not grow Tomato or Lady Finger in near by field.
  • Grow marigold on bunds
  • The adult insects can be controlled by light traps
  • Spray insecticides like quinalphos 25 EC @ 1000 ml/ha
  • In case of severe infestation Spray insecticides like spark 36 EC at the rate of 1000 ml/ha. Profenophos 50 EC @ 1500 ml/ha.
  • Dilute the above in 500 - 600 liters water and spray.

AdultImage title

Termites: Odontotermes obesus 

Symptoms of damage

  • Termite bores into the roots and stem. Due to the bore the plants soon dries.
  • Attack may continue to the standing crop also especially during the period of drought.

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Identification of the pest

  • These are social insects, live in termitaria, in distinct castes, workers, kings and queen.
  • Eggs are laid on plants and in the soil.
  • 'Worker' are small (4 mm) and have a soft, white body and a brown head.


  • Frequent intercultural operations and irrigation before sowing.
  • Field sanitation, timely disposal of crop stables and undecomposed plant parts.
  • Undecomposed FYM or composed should not be used
  • Two-three deep ploughing could also help control this pest.
  • Destroy the termite bunds in and around the field and kill the queen and complimentary form.
  • Seed treatment with chlorpyriphos @ 4ml/kg of seed.

Diseases of Bengalgram

Alternaria blight: Alternaria alternata

  • Image titleThe disease occurs during the flowering stage of the crop.
  • Leaves are infected most.
  • Shedding of lower leaves generally occurs in the infected plant.
  • The lesions are seen on leaflets as water soaked, small, circular and purple in colour.
  • Infected pods turn blackish in colour.
  • Infected seeds get shriveled.
  • Management
  • The plants should be planted distantly.
  • Avoid excessive vegetative growth.
  • Intercrop with linseed.
  • Avoid excessive irrigation.
  • Use compact varieties.
  • Use Mancozeb at the rate of 2.5g/lit or Use Carbendazim at 1g/lit

Ascochyta blight: Ascochyta rabiei

  • Image titleAll plant parts are affected.
  • Symptoms appear on leaves as water soaked lesions.
  • Symptoms include smaller circular brown spots on leaves.
  • Under favorable conditions, these spots enlarge rapidly and coalesce, blighting the leaves and buds.
  • In case of severe infection, the entire plant dries up suddenly.
  • The lesions are also developed on stems and petioles.
  • Late infections result in shriveled and infected seed.
  • The disease is seed borne in nature.
  • Left over debris in the fields serve as a source.
  • Wet and warm weather, and dense crop canopy are conducive to the spread of the disease


  • Sow disease-free seed.
  • Follow rotation crop.
  • Intercrop with wheat, barley, mustard
  • Seed treatment with Carbendazim @ 1g/kg of seed. or Hot water seed treatment (52 C for 10 min) to lower the infestation.
  • Spray the crop with Mancozeb @ 2.5g/lit if noticed during the growth period.or Spray Wettable sulphur at the rate of 2.3g/lit of water.

Botrytis gray mold: Botrytis cineria

  • Image titleLack of pod setting is the first indication.
  • Under favourable conditions, foliage shows symptoms and plants often die in patches.
  • Shedding of flowers and leaves, covered with spore mass can be seen.
  • Lesions on stem are 10-30 mm long and girdle the stem fully.
  • Tender branches break off at the point where the gray mold has caused rotting.
  • Affected flowers turn in to a rotting mass.
  • Lesions on the pod are water-soaked and irregular.
  • On infected plants, the pods contain either small, shriveled seeds or no seeds at all.


  • Avoid excessive vegetative growth.
  • Intercrop with linseed.
  • Avoid excessive irrigation. Use compact varieties.
  • Deep summer ploughing Reduce plant density and increase in air passage between the plants.
  • Seed treatment with Carbendazim + Thiram (1:1) @ 3g/kg of seed is recommended or Spray the crop with Captan 5 - 6 kg/ha at 15 days interval./Spray of Carbendazim @ 1.5g/lit of water is recommended./Spray Mancozeb @3 g/lit of water.

Collar rot: Sclerotium rolfsii

  • Image titleIt comes in the early stages i.e up to six weeks from sowing.
  • Drying plants whose foliage turns slightly yellow before death, scattered in the field is an indication of the disease.
  • Seedling become chlorotic.
  • The joint of stem & root turns soft slightly contracts and begins to decay.
  •  Infected parts turn brown white.
  • Black dots, like mustard in shape known as sclerotia are seen appearing on the white infected plant parts
  • Deep ploughing in summer.
  • Avoid high moisture at the sowing time.
  • Seedlings should be protected from excessive moisture.
  • Destroy the residues of last crop and weed before sowing and after harvest.
  • All un decomposed matter should be removed from the field before land preparation.
  • Treat the seeds with a mixture of Carbendazim 1g per kg of seed.

Dry root rot: Rhizoctonia bataticola/Macrophomina phaseolina

  • Image titleThe disease appears from flowering to podding stage as scattered dried plants.
  • The leaves and stem are become straw colored.
  • Affected plants wither and spread across the entire field.
  • The roots of infected plants become brittle and dry.
  • Deep ploughing in summer
  • Grow cultivars resistant to dry root rot.
  • Drought should be avoided.
  • Sowing should always be done on the recommended time.
  • Germinating and young seedlings should be saved from high temperatures.
  • Seed treatment with T. viride @4g/kg or P. fluorescens @ 10g/ kg of seed or Carbendazim or Thiram 2g/kg of seed.
  • Spot drenching with Carbendazim 1g/lit or P. fluorescens / T. viride 2.5 kg/ha with 50 kg FYM.

Fusarium wilt: Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.ciceri


  • Image titleThe disease can affect the crop at any stage.
  • The field symptoms of wilt are dead seedlings or adult plants, usually in patches.
  • At seedling stage, 3-5 weeks after sowing, whole seedlings collapse and lie flat on the ground with dull green leaves and shrunken stem.
  • Dark drown or dark discoloration of the internal stem tissues is visible.
  • At adult stage, drooping of petioles, rachis and leaflets and finally entire plant occurs.  
  • Deep summer ploughing
  • Follow crop rotation measures continuously.
  • Always use disease free seeds.
  • Avoid sowing when temperatures are high.
  • Follow 6-year crop rotations with sorghum
  • Apply FYM 10-15 cart load/ha.
  • Seed treatment with T. viride @4g/kg or P. fluorescens @ 10g/ kg of seed or Carbendazim or Thiram 2g/kg of seed.
  • Spot drenching with Carbendazim 1g/lit or P. fluorescens / T. viride 2.5 kg/ha with 50 kg FYM.
  • Seed treatment with Carbendazim at the rate of 1g/kg of seed /
  • Seed treatment with Thiram + Carbandizm @ 1g+2g per kg of seed.

Powdery mildew: Oidiopsis taurica

  • Image titleCrop plants of all the age group are affected.
  • With the onset of the disease white powdery mass appear on the leaves.
  • Small patches of white powder coating initially develop on both surfaces of older leaves.
  • Affected leaves turn purple and then die.
  • When infection is severe, stems, young leaves, and pods are also covered with the powdery coating
  • Field and crop sanitation.
  • Dithane M-45 or Carbendazim at 2.5 g/lit should be sprayed.

Post Harvest Technology

Pulses constitute essential components of vegetarian diet. Pulses are major source of protein in Indian vegetarian diet. These are main source of protein providing most of the essential amino acids to a certain degree. Economically, pulses are cheapest source of protein. Pulses are Bengal gram, pigeon pea, black gram, green gram, lentil, etc. Pulses are mainly consumed in the form of dehusked split pulses, as these are rich in proteins. In vegetarian diet pulses are main source of protein.

COMPOSITION :Green gram, red gram, bengal gram, horse gram, cluster bean, field bean, cow pea are some of the common types of pulses.In general, their protein content is high and is commonly more than twice that of cereal grains, usually constituting about 20 per cent of the dry weight of seeds. The protein content of some legumes like soyabean is as high as 40 per cent.


Carbohydrates  gFibre
Bengal gram, whole360101753442023125
Bengal gram, dhal37210216311563315
Bengal gram, roasted36911225211583409
Black gram, dhal347112413111543854
Cow pea32313241334774149
Field bean, dry34710251311604333
Green gram, whole334102413441243264
Green gram dhal34810241311754054
Horse gram, whole321122203552873117
 Kherasi dhal345102812572903176
Moth beans3301124135642022309
Peas green9373701164201391
Peas dry315162012564752987
Peas roasted340102312594813456
Rajmah34612231361      5    2604105
Redgram, dhal335132223581733043
Redgram tender116651011176571641

Pulse seeds are also sources of other nutritionally important materials, such as vitamins and minerals.

Carbohydrates: Food pulses contain about 55-60 per cent of total carbohydrates including starch, soluble sugars, fibre and unavailable carbohydrates.

Minerals: Pulses are importantly sources of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and phosphorus.

Vitamins: Pulses contain small amounts of carotene, the provitamin A.

TOXIC CONSTITUENTS OF PULSES : The seeds of pulses include both edible and inedible types. Even amongst the edible legumes toxic principles occur and their elimination is important in order to exploit them for edible purposes. Two thermoliable factors are implicated in toxic effects. Inhibitors of the enzymes trypsin, chymotrypsin and amylase haemagglutinins, which impede the absorption of the products of digestion in the gut. In addition, legumes also contain a goitrogen, a toxic saponin, cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids.

Elimination of Toxic Factors :  It has already been indicated that soaking, heating and fermentation can reduce or eliminate most of the toxic factors of the pulses. Correct application of heat in cooking pulses can eliminate most toxic factors without impairment of nutritional value. Cooking also contributes towards pulse digestibility. Heat causes the denaturation of the proteins responsible for trypsin inhibition, haemagglutination and the enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of cyanogenic glycosides. The mode of application of heat is important. Autoclaving and soaking followed by heating are effective. Another way of eliminating toxic factors is by fermentation, which yields products more digestible and of higher nutritive value than the raw pulses.


Processing: Processing of pulses is of primary importance in improving their nutritive value. The processing methods used are soaking, germination decortications, cooking and fermentation.

Soaking: Soaking in water is the first step in most methods of preparing pulses for consumption. As indicated above, soaking reduces the oligosaccharides of the raffinose family. Soaking also reduces the amount of phytic acid in pulses.

Germination: Germination improves the nutritive value of food pulses. The ascorbic acid content of pulses increases manifold after 48 hours germination. Germinated and sprouted pulses have been used to prevent and cure scurvy. The riboflavin, niacin, choline and biotin contents of all pulses increase during germination. The germination process reduces and/or eliminates most of the antinutritional and toxic factors in several pulses.

Decortication: A simple method is to soak the seeds for a short time in water; the husk takes up more water than the seeds and may be easily separated by rubbing while still moist. In the alternative, the soaked grains may be dried and the husk removed by pounding and winnowing. Roasting also renders the husk easier to separate. Roasted legumes like those of Bengal gram and peas are widely used in India.

Cooking: Cooking destroys the enzyme inhibitors and thus improve the nutritional quality of food pulses. Cooking also improves the palatability.

Fermentation: The processing of food pulses by fermentation increases their digestibility, palatability and nutritive value. Fermentation process improves the availability of essential amino acids and, thus, the nutritional quality of protein of the blend. In general, the nutritive value of the legume based fermented foods has been shown to be higher than their raw counterparts.

Pulse milling : Pulses are usually converted into Dhal by decutilating and splitting. Both dry and wet milling processes are employed. By and large carborundum emery rollers are used for dehusking and burr grinders for splitting. Decuticling is seldom complete in single pass requiring multiple passes, each pass producing 1.5 to 2% fines reducing recovery of dal.

Basic processes in dhal milling are cleaning, dehusking, splitting, separation and bagging. Major variation is involved with dehusking process only. Dhals like Arahar, urad, moong and lentil are difficult to dehusk as a result repeated operations by dehusking rollers are required. Rewetting and drying is done to loosen portions of husk sticking after repeated rolling. Linseed oil is used to impart shine or better appeal to the milled dal.

The removal of the outer husk and splitting the grain into two equal halves is known as milling of pulses. To facilitate dehusking and splitting of pulses alternate wetting and drying method is used. In India trading milling methods produce dehusked split pulses. Loosening of husk by conditioning is insufficient in traditional methods. To obtain complete dehusking of the grains a large number of abrasive force is applied in this case as a result high losses occur in the form of brokens and powder. Yield of split & pulses in traditional mills are only 65 to 75% due to the above losses compared to 82 to 85% potential yield.

Milling of Pulses : In India, there are two conventional pulses milling methods ; wet milling method  and dry milling method. The latter is more popular and used in commercial mills.Image titleTraditional dry milling method Traditional dry milling method ('DHAL'  MILLING) : There is no common processing method for all types of pulses. However, some general operations of dry milling method such as cleaning and grading, rolling or pitting, oiling, moistening, drying and milling have been described in subsequent paragraphs.

Cleaning and grading : Pulses are cleaned from dust, chaff, grits, etc., and graded according to size by a reel type or rotating sieve type cleaner.

Pitting : The clean pulses are passed through an emery roller machine. In this unit, husk is cracked and scratched. This is to facilitate the subsequent oil penetration process for the loosening of husk. The clearance between the emery roller and cage (housing) gradually narrows from inlet to outlet. As the material is passed through the narrowing clearance mainly cracking and scratching of husk takes place by friction between pulses and emery. Some of the pulses are dehusked and split during this operations which are then separated by sieving.

Pretreatments with oil :
The scratched or pitted pulses are passed through a screw conveyor and mixed with some edible oil like linseed oil (1.5 to 2.5 kg/tonne of pulses). Then they are kept on the floor for about 12 hours for diffusion of the oil.

Conditioning of pulses : Conditioning of pulses is done by alternate   wetting   and drying. After sun drying for a certain period, 3-5 per cent moisture is added to the pulse and tempered for about eight flours and again dried in the sun. Addition of moisture to the pulses can be accomplished by allowing water to drop from an overhead tank on the pulses being passed through a screw con­veyor. The whole process of alternate wetting and drying is continued for two to four days until all pulses are sufficiently conditioned. Pulses are finally dried to about 10 to 12 per cent moisture content.

Dehusking and Splitting : Emery rollers, known as Gota machine are used for the dehusking of conditioned pulses About 50 per cent pulses are dehusked in a single operation (in one pass). Dehusked pulses are split into two parts also, the husk is aspirated off and dehusked, split pulses are separated by sieving. The tail pulses and unsplit dehusked pulses are again conditioned and milled as above The whole process is repeated two to three times until the remaining- pulses are dehusked and split.

Polishing: Polish is given to the dehusked and split pulses by treating them with a small quantity of oil and / or water.Image title

Commercial milling of pulses by traditional methods

The traditional milling of pulses is divided into two heads, namely, dry milling and wet milling. But both the processes involved two basic steps : (i) Precon­ditioning of pulses by alternate wetting and sun drying for loosening husk and (ii) subsequent milling by dehusking and splitting of the grains into two cotyledons followed by aspira­tion and size separation using suitable machines.  100 per cent-dehusking and splitting of pulses are seldom achieved particularly in cases of certain pulses like Red gram, black gram and green gram. Of them Red gram is the most difficult pulses to dehusk and split. Only about 40 to 50 per cent Red gram grains are dehusked and split in the first pass of preconditioning and milling. As sun drying is practiced the traditional method is not only weather dependent but also it requires a large drying yard to match with the milling capacity. As a result it takes 3 to 7 days for complete processing of a batch of 20 to 30 tonnes of pulses into dhals. Moreover milling losses are also quite high in the traditional method of milling of pulses. 

In general, simple reciprocating or rotary sieve cleaners are used for cleaning while bucket elevators are used for elevating pulses.

Pitting or scratching of pulses is done in a roller machine. A worm mixer is used for oiling as well as watering of the pitted pulses.

Blowers are used for aspiration of husk and powder from the products of the disc sheller or roller machine. Split dhals are separated from the unhusked and husked whole pulses with the help of sieve type separators.
Sieves are also employed for grading of dhals.

In general, the raw pulses may contain 2 to 5 per cent impurities (foreign materials), some insect infested grains and extra moisture.   Though the clean pulses contain about 10-15 percent and 2-5 per cent germs, the yield of dhals commercial dhal mills varies   from  68-75   per  cent.    It may be noted that the average potential yields of common dhals vary from 85 to 89 per cent.  These milling losses in the commercial pulses mills can be attributed lo small brokens and fine powders found during scoring and simultaneous dehusking and splitting operations.


Value added Products from Pulses Roasting of Pulses Preparation of Papad Soyabean Milk TOFU (Soy Panner)
   Puffing of Soyabean Preparation of Khakara & Soy Chocolate Processing of soymilk paneer 
Instant Food Mix Dehydrated Paneer Mix Preparation of Pakoda Mix Preparation of Instant Adai Mix Preparation of instant vada mix
   Preparation of instant bajji mix Kuruma Powder Mix, Idli Podi, Paruppupodi  
Extruded Products    
Bakery Products