Yard Long bean Cultivation in India and its Profitability
Yard Long Beans are a widely consumed vegetable in India. It is an easy-to-cultivate crop with high profit in the right area and market. Hybrid varieties are available which are developed by Agricultural universities in India. It is consumed all over India and has a good rate except for peak seasons when the price may dip. The plants grow quickly and seed-to-harvest time is short. Yard-long beans are vines that require trellis or support. For commercial cultivation, plastic nets are used for support. Each plant can give up to 3 Kilos of fruit but an average of 1 KG is easily achieved.
Cultivation Points for Yard long beans
Every crop has its own set of requirements. The fertilizer requirements differ from crop to crop, and so do the soil, weather conditions, climate, and water requirements. Consider the below points before you cultivate yardlong beans. Apart from the ability to cultivate the crop, it is also important to understand the market for a good profit. If a lot of people are already cultivating yard-long beans in your area, chances are that there is an excess in the market which drives the price down. If the product is scarce, the chances of the price going high is normal. Check with your mandi and local market on the availability of yard-long beans and also their acceptability. If there are customers for the product but not enough product, you can fill the gap and make a profit from Yard long bean cultivation.
Climate for Cultivation: Yardlong Bean prefers tropical weather. Warm weather is preferred. The plants will do well with temperatures up to 35-degree celsius but above that will stress the plant. They do not tolerate frost so cold weather is not preferred at all. You may still be able to cultivate yard-long beans in temperatures up to 40 but weather below 18 degrees is not preferred at all.
Ideal Soil for Yard-long bean Cultivation: The biggest advantage of yard-long bean cultivation is that it grows in almost any soil including sandy and Clay soil. With sandy soil, you may need to water the plant more often and with clay soil, you may want to water it a lot less. Since the Yardlong bean tolerates short spells or waterlogging, you should not be concerned a lot about soil conditions that are poor in draining water, but always ensure that there is good drainage and channels for water removal are in place in case of heavy rains or flooding conditions. Soil ph should range between 5.5 and 7.5. Slightly acidic soil is tolerated and long-yard beans grow Well in Heavy clay soil too. Application of Dolomite before sowing is recommended in some cases.
Varieties of Yardlong beans: There are a lot of varieties of yard-long beans and each variety has its pros and cons. Some yield a lot better while others have a shorter seed-to-harvest time. Others can prevent pests too. Generally, there are 2 varieties one with red/purple pods and the other one has green pods. In India, though both varieties do sell, the green variety is preferred. Arka Mangala is one of the preferred varieties of green Yard long bean which has high yield and is developed by the Indian Institute of horticulture research.
Propagation: Propagation is done through seeds. Treating the seeds with fungal powder is optional but soaking the seed before propagation for at least 4-5 hours will improve seed sprouting and also speed up the time. Seeds usually sprout in 24 hours and the plant will develop leaves in 2-3 days. Seeds are usually sown directly on the ground but the nursery can be prepared too. Plants propagated in nurseries require to be transplanted in 7-9 days.
Season: Yardlong beans can be cultivated year-round as long as irrigation is well provided. In Kerala 3 crops are grown a year, with each crop lasting 4 months. Most of south India can cultivate the crop at least 2 times a year and even 3 times given that there is provision for irrigation. The crops do exceptionally well in summers as compared to monsoons in Kerala. The plant requires full sun and during monsoon, this is usually a problem due to mostly cloudy days.
Land Preparation: Tilling the soil is required to loosen the soil. Using a rotavator will ensure that there are no lumps and you can make beds easily. Beds are usually 1 meter wide with 30 centimeters in height during monsoons and 20 centimeters high in summer. The increase in height during monsoon ensures that there is no water logging. Spacing between beds is 50 centimeters. Once the beds are prepared, lay drip line pipes for irrigation, and then on top of it put mulching sheets. Mulching sheets will cost 15,000 Rs per acre but will save you a lot in weeding, especially in places where weeds are high. Preparation of the trellis during the land preparation stage is also mandatory. Plants grow quickly and trellises should be in place before sowing. Trellises are usually 8 feet tall and are two poles stretching a plastic wire net.
Planting, Spacing, and Density: You can plant 26600 plants per hectare with the right spacing and arrangements. The seeds can be directly sown in the beds or you can germinate the plants in a nursery. When germinating in a nursery, the seeds should be sown in grow trays and irrigated regularly. The Plants should be moved to the field in 7 days. The plants grow fast and delaying the transplant could affect the plant’s roots. Sowing is usually the most preferred method. When sowing directly, the bed should be irrigated first and moist. The seeds should be soaked for 5-6 hours and treated with fungicide. Apply insecticides to prevent ants from consuming the seeds in the pit. Sow the seeds 2 centimeters deep and irrigate immediately. The plant-to-plant distance is 30-50 centimeters. 10769 plants can be sown in one acre of land.
Intercropping: intercropping is not common with Yardlong beans, but when done with marigolds chances of high yield are possible with reduced pests. Due to flowers, additional pollination happens and marigold by themselves attracts a lot of pests. Another crop that can be intercropped is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are plants that can also be harvested in approximately 4 months. By the time your crop of yardlong beans is harvested, you can get an additional income by harvesting the sweet potato plants.
Irrigation: Irrigation is the first thing you need to arrange for if you plan to cultivate a yardlong bean. Yard-long beans can tolerate a bit of waterlogging but they cannot tolerate water stress. Keeping the soil moist throughout cultivation is important. Drip irrigation with a mulching sheet should be sufficient. The mulching sheet will prevent moisture loss in the soil and drip irrigation will save water. Flood irrigation is often not recommended due to high weed problems and the wastage of water.
Fertilizers: Fertilise the plants every 10 days. Applying 10 grams of fertilizer 15 centimeters away from the plant’s base every 10 days should be sufficient. Supplement with Nitrogen and potash for the first month. Depending on the soil requirements you may need to add phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and minerals that are deficient. Do a thorough soil test before planting to determine what’s missing in your soil. Increase the dosage of fertilizer depending on the plant’s growth and requirements
Pests: Aphids, Leaf miners, Thrips, Pod worms, Spider mites, and greasy cutworms are all common pests in Long yard beans. The pests are wide-ranged and prevention from pests is usually recommended instead of treating them once they occur. Weekly or biweekly application of pesticides is recommended for Long yard beans. While most farmers prefer organic pesticides to chemical ones, there are times when chemical pesticides have a better effect, especially when the crop has already shown signs of pest infestation. Apply pesticides immediately when you notice pests. Do not delay pest applications.
Diseases: Common Diseases are leaf spots, Bean rust, Root Rot, white mold, Brown spot, Bacterial blight, Damping off, and mosaics among other diseases. Diseases can be prevented with proper care. Some of the diseases are caused due to excessive moisture. Fungal diseases like Leaf spots can be controlled by fungicides and chemicals. Treating when diseases are seen and within a day can control the spread of the disease. Remove diseased plants and dispose of them.
Training and Pruning: Pruning yellow leaves will prevent diseases and will keep the plants healthier. Though there are no other pruning methods needed, Some people have found better results in pruning side vines that are weaker. This improves the main vines’ yield and the quality of the pods. This is not mandatory but it will surely be recommended if you want good seed pods with high quality.
Harvesting: Harvesting begins around 45 days from Seed sowing. Harvesting is to be done early in the morning or late afternoon. Harvest mature pods immediately when ready. Leaving them in the stalk will usually result in hardening in some varieties. Long-yard beans are not stringy and even though fully mature will not have a problem, but it’s always better to harvest them when right as the pods which are too mature lose taste. Harvesting is to be done daily.
Post Harvest: Once harvested, the pods are to be stored in a shaded area in cardboard or well-ventilated baskets. Transport to market immediately or within 3-4 hours. Long-yard bean loses their freshness rapidly. They must be disposed of immediately after plucking. Slightly sprinkle water to retain freshness for a few hours.
Yield: An average of 2 KG can be easily plucked throughout the cycle of the long-yard bean crop. During monsoons, the yield may be a bit less at around 1.5 kg per plant and during summers with proper irrigation, the yield could be up to 3 KG per plant with proper irrigation and fertigation. Even with the lowest yield, you can expect around 15 tonnes of yield per acre from long-yard beans.
Area of cultivation: though long yard bean can be cultivated all over India as long as there is no frost, it is popularly grown in Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand where there is an active market for the product. Though other states do have a market, there is not much cultivation of long-yard beans as much as in these states. Most long-yard beans are transported from these areas to other states.
Market information: The long yard bean is a widely accepted vegetable and is procured in all markets but unavailability in most northern states increases demand for the vegetable. Cultivation of Long yard beans is more prominent in the southern and western parts of India which already has a good market and the prices are steady. During seasons the market price is approximately 20 rs while off-peak season prices range from 40 -80 rs per kilo.
Weed Control: Weed control is very important for Long yard bean cultivation as pests and diseases are commonly a problem in the crop which are caused by weeds and diseased plants or dead leaves. To control weeds, herbicides can be used but could be detrimental to the Long yard bean plant too. Mulching is one of the best options for preventing weeds in Longyard beans utilization. This not only reduces the cost of weeding but also prevents a lot of diseases that are caused by weeds. mulching also prevents water evaporation and reduces the need for constant irrigation.
Seed: A variety of seeds are available in the market for long-yard beans. Among all the varieties, the Arka Mangala seed is one of the most promoted and well-researched. A hybrid variety which is from the IIHRS (Indian institute of Horticulture) the area Mangala seeds are known to be successful and tested to get the most yield. There are plenty of other seed varieties by namdhari and other private vendors too which have their own set of significant benefits and are suitable for certain growing conditions.
Profit & yield Per acre of Long Yard Bean cultivation
While the expenses for cultivating long-yard beans are a bit higher than most other crops considering their requirements for trellises and constant requirement of fertilizers and pesticides, it’s one of the profitable crops to grow, provided they have a good market. Off-season crops are usually more profitable and crops cultivated in summer are usually more profitable with higher yields. Let’s look at some of the figures to understand the profitability of long-yard bean cultivation
Expenses in a Long Yard bean cultivation (1 Acre)
|Basal Fertilisers and manure||4000|
|Pesticides and chemicals||8000|
|Labour (including harvesting)||30000|
|Transportation & Packaging||5000|
On the higher side, the expenses could range anywhere between 1 lakh to 1.5 Lakh per acre of cultivation of Long yard beans. Labor for picking, drip irrigation, and trellises amount to a major cost and is more than half of the total expenses incurred in the cultivation of Long yard beans. If this cost can be reduced, profit can be increased significantly.
When it comes to yield and income, let’s take some estimates to understand the profitability considering various prices and yields.
Varying prices with a yield of 10 Tonne per acre.
In the above scenario, you would only break even if you have a yield of 10 Tonnes and get a price of 15 Rs per kilo. While the profits could be a lot higher if you take an average of 40 Rs per kilo There could be a lot of market fluctuation. You should find a way to get a yield of 15 tonnes per acre if you want to make a safe profit at a price range of 20 rs per kilo.
If the yield is 15 tonnes per acre, you would be looking at a profit range of 1.5 Lakh per crop if you have a price of just 20 Kilos. Increasing the yield will impact your overall profit easily. The below figures indicate the same.
Profit if the total yield is 15 tonnes per acre.
While Yardlong Bean cultivation is profitable, it’s important to keep a close watch on the crops during the entire period. Crops could be destroyed by pests in just 3-4 days if left unattended and pests attack them. Losses are usually not easily recoverable. During the seed sowing phase, ensure that you resow seeds where germinations do not happen in 3-4 days. Remove all sick plants and weeds from the field regularly. Inspect for pests Daily. Remove yellowing leaves from the field and dispose of them away from the field to reduce pest attacks and diseases. In general, leave your farm area clean at all times during the cultivation period. With proper care and nutrition, an average yield of 11 tonnes per acre is easily available and has been achieved by farmers. Commercially, Namdhari NS621 seeds are used in Kerala and have been found successful.