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OPINION: Spring mungs can be dicey prospect

STUNTED GROWTH: Last year's spring plant of mung beans suffered first with cool temperatures, which were followed by hot and dry conditions.
STUNTED GROWTH: Last year's spring plant of mung beans suffered first with cool temperatures, which were followed by hot and dry conditions. Contributed

IT IS now mid way through August and most of the state was fairly wet at this juncture of 2016.

Our chickpeas were powering along and while we had a few reservations about more wet weather, it was all very positive for our 2016 winter crop and for future summer crops with our excellent sub soil moisture levels.

As 2017 moves into spring, many of us can recall last year's early planting decisions and mung beans came in for plenty of positives and actual planting events in the springtime.

Many acres were planted in CQ, before August was completed.

The one drawback with mungs planted at this time of the year, is the cool conditions that can punctuate springtime and 2016 was no different.

Mung beans dislike cool soil and cool conditions.

By cool I refer to soil temps below 17°C and average daytime temps below that 20°C level.

Yes, I fully realise they will start germinating in the soil temps of over 10 degrees, however physiological processes do alter inside the mung bean plant under these colder temps.

From what I have read and by my experience with these cool conditions, it can alter the pH inside our little mung bean plants and this affects their growth habits.

Mostly these altered growth habits are manifested by shortening of the internode length. In other words they are stunted in growth.

Just like this photo from a spring 2016 Southern Queensland paddock of mung beans, in that first we experienced cool conditions for the stunting phenomenon and then just to add to our concerns, it turned hot and dry.

To say our mung beans are tougher than we thought is an understatement, as these stunted and dry out crops still yielded around .5 tonne per hectare.

So I am not the greatest fan of spring mung bean plantings, unless you can be very sure of planting into a warm soil profile and experience warm air temps for the life of your valuable mung bean crop.

Topics:  cropping mung beans paul mcintosh


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