‘Mongrels’ bless region
High demand fuels enthusiasm for mung beans in ideal North Burnett conditions
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.
WORTHWHILE: Russ Salisbury said while harvesting mung beans could be a slow process, the recent prices meant the effort was worth it.