‘Mon­grels’ bless re­gion

High de­mand fu­els en­thu­si­asm for mung beans in ideal North Bur­nett con­di­tions

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

THEY may have been known as “mon­grel beans” by farm­ers back in the day, but mung beans are now en­joy­ing a re­vival in the North Bur­nett.

Monto agron­o­mist Ken­dell Muller is ex­pect­ing 1200–1600 hectares of beans to be har­vested from the area this sum­mer.

A grow­ing de­mand for the food in Asia has led to higher prices and more farm­ers get­ting on board with the trend.

“They used to be called mon­grel beans be­cause when they sprouted, the bean pods would fall out,” Mr Muller said.

“But now they have se­lected new va­ri­eties that don’t have this prob­lem.”

He said North Bur­nett, South Bur­nett and Cal­lide Val­ley re­gions were ar­guably the best places in Aus­tralia to grow mung beans, due to their pref­er­ence for al­lu­vial soils and lit­tle need for wa­ter.

Monto farmer Ja­son Larsen is plan­ning to plant his first ever mung bean crop next month.

“They are a cash crop and re­quire lit­tle wa­ter. That’s why I think they’ll be good for me,” he said.

The farmer has been plan­ning on grow­ing them for some time, but with prices reach­ing $1100–$1200

Ja­son Larsen The yield is what makes them such a good crop to grow here.

a ton, now is the per­fect time.

Mr Larsen said he would plant about 60 hectares, and es­ti­mates a har­vest of up to a tonne of beans per acre, or 0.4ha.

“The yield is what makes them such a good crop to grow here. They’d be lucky to get half a tonne in other ar­eas,” Mr Muller said.

Russ Sal­is­bury has been on board with mung beans for 20 years.

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

WORTH­WHILE: Russ Sal­is­bury said while har­vest­ing mung beans could be a slow process, the re­cent prices meant the ef­fort was worth it.

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