Tem­per­a­ture the se­cret to grow­ing happy mung­beans

The per­fect tem­per­a­ture to plant

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL MCIN­TOSH

.WELL, the cal­en­dar says it is mid Novem­ber, how­ever the ac­tual weather we have had can­not make up its mind to be ei­ther very hot or fairly cool. We have had both of these tem­per­a­ture ex­tremes in Queens­land over the past twoodd weeks.

One thing I do know is the closer we get to Christ­mas the more phone calls I am get­ting about grow­ing our short and quick mung­bean crops. I have spo­ken strongly in the past about mung­beans dis­lik­ing that cooler weather we can ex­pe­ri­ence in spring­time. By cooler I mean max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures of, say, 25 de­grees C and min­i­mums of about 12 de­grees C. This will give a mean or av­er­age temp of about 18 de­grees. How­ever, for our sum­mer-lov­ing mung­beans the amount of ac­tual heat units ac­cu­mu­lated at this stage is go­ing to be very weak at 13 de­grees per day. Mungs are classed as chill­ing sen­si­tive. These cool­ish con­di­tions mean it is well over 45 days’ de­vel­op­ment till first flower, if those low tem­per­a­tures per­sisted and to ac­cu­mu­late that 550 day de­grees for flower ini­ti­a­tion.

Utopia for our mung­bean plants is that con­stant 28 to 30 de­grees C, how­ever that may only hap­pen in Col Douglas’s (our prin­ci­pal DAF mung­bean breeder) new glass house at the Her­mitage Re­search Cen­tre.

No, our mung­beans are mostly go­ing to be planted in De­cem­ber, Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary de­pend­ing on where you are in re­gional Queens­land and when the rain falls. Tem­per­a­tures will climb, most likely to about 50 or 60

de­grees C ground sur­face tem­per­a­tures and that is fairly warm for any crop. How­ever as many of us recog­nise, our short and quick mung­bean crops are a lot tougher than other sum­mer crops. Par­tic­u­larly if our mung­bean plants have some mois­ture around their root zones. Sure, the re­pro­duc­tive stage of mungs would pre­fer max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures of less than 40 de­grees C, how­ever, in re­al­ity in eastern Aus­tralia, our

pad­dock tem­per­a­tures are never go­ing to re­main at that easy tem­per­a­ture of 30 de­grees C.

You can see by my at­tached photo that al­ready mung­beans have been planted in some ar­eas and that ear­li­ness sim­ply may re­flect our lack of con­fi­dence on some sig­nif­i­cant De­cem­ber or Jan­uary rain fall­ing.

When farm­ers or agron­o­mists ask me when is the best time to plant

mung­beans, I re­ply about 25 to 30 days be­fore a sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall event of around 50mm or more.

This off-hand re­mark does bear a lot of truth and in my ex­pe­ri­ence is fairly good tim­ing for an in­un­da­tion event in our early flow­er­ing mung­bean pad­docks.

The weather fore­cast in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary is a com­plete mys­tery to most of us and I guess fu­ture storm rain is the most un­pre­dictable

of events. If mung­beans are on your radar, be sure of your seed sup­plies and their qual­ity. The AMA has the mung­bean seed scheme oper­at­ing, which pro­vides the best qual­ity seed you can get, how­ever it may not be to­tally dis­ease free from those very dif­fi­cult bac­te­rial dis­eases like tan spot and halo blight is­sues.

Here’s hop­ing you all get some rain events for sum­mer and grow prof­itable crops.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

SPROUT­ING SEEDS: Mung­bean seedlings emerg­ing on Dar­ling Downs in 2018 into a zero till pad­dock.

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