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Chromosome Number: 22
Taxonomic Classification
Class
:
Magnoliopsida
Order
:
Apiales
Family
:
Apiaceae
Genus
:
Foeniculum
 
Fennel is a stout, aromatic, annual herb (biennial with potency of regeneration). The volatile oil is used for manufacturing cordials and enters into the composition of fennel water, which is commonly given to infants as medicine. The root is regarded as a purgative. The fruits are used as stimulant in carminative and in cure of colic pains. The essential oil extracted from seeds is used for scenting soaps and flavouring material for cakes. In India, seeds are used for mastication and chewing alone or with betel leaves. It is mainly cultivated in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.
   
Climate and soil  
Fennel requires cool and dry climate for its cultivation. Dry and moderately cool weather conditions during seed formation increase seed yield as well as quality of the produce. Except sandy soil, fennel can successfully be cultivated in all types of soils having sufficient amount of organic matter. Black cotton soil and loamy soil containing lime with proper drainage are better-suited for its cultivation.
 
Varieties

RF 101

Its plants are tall, erect with stout stem. It bears large umbels with long, bold grains. It matures in 150–160 days with an average yield of 15.5 q/ha.

RF 125

Its plants are short-statured with compact umbels and long, bold grains. It matures in 110–130 days with a yield potential of 17.3 q/ha of seed.

RF 35

Its plants are tall, spreading, with medium-sized, hairless and green seeds. It is moderately tolerant to sugary disease, leaf-spot and leaf-blight. It matures in 225 days with an average yield of 12.8 q/ha.

Gujarat Fennel 1

Its plants are tall and bushy with oblong, medium-bold and dark green seeds. It is moderately tolerant to sugary disease and leaf-spot. It matures in 225 days, the average yield being 16.5 q/ha. It is suitable for early-sowing and is tolerant to drought.

Co 1

Its plants are medium-statured with diffused branching. It matures in 220 days with an average yield of 5.67q/ha. It is suitable for drought-prone, waterlogged, saline and alkaline conditions. It is suitable for hilly areas.

   
Cultivation  

Sowing

Mid-September to mid-October is optimum time for sowing fennel. Delay in sowing (up to 15 November) reduces the yield. In transplanted crop, nursery is raised in June or July. Then 7–8 weeks old seedlings are transplanted in the field in August.

For direct sowing the seed rate of 10–12 kg/ha is sufficient. Sowing should be done deep in case of direct sowing in rows 45–60cm apart. In some areas, seeds are broadcast in beds after the seedlings of chilli or cole crops are established in the field, preferably at the time of first weeding and hoeing. The field is irrigated after sowing.

Manuring and fertilization

Add farmyard manure @ 10–15 tonnes/ha at the time of field preparation. Then apply 90kg N/ha in three equal splits– first as basal dose of 40kg/ha P 2 O 5 , second and third 30 and 60 days after sowing.

Weed control

Fennel faces severe weed competition at early stages because of slow germination, wider row spacing and frequent light irrigations. First hoeing and weeding should also be done 30 days after sowing. If there is a crust formation and further emergence of weeds, hoeing and weeding should be repeated twice or thrice as required. Earthing up of plants at the time of last hoeing and weeding is also beneficial. Pre-emergence application of Pendimethalin @1.0kg/ ha supplemented with one hand-weeding 50 days after sowing controls weeds effectively.

Irrigation

Fennel is long-duration crop, requiring more irrigation than other seed spices. Seed germination in fennel requires one or two light irrigations. It is irrigated at an interval of 15–25 days . Water stress during flowering and seed formation may adversely affect the seed formation and grain yield.

   
Harvesting & Postharvest management

It matures in 170–180 days. All the umbels do not mature at the same time, so plucking of umbels is done when seeds are fully developed but still green. Harvesting is completed by plucking twice or thrice at 10 days intervals. After ripening umbels are dried in sun for 1–2 days and then in shade for 8–10 days. Longer exposure to sun changes the colour and lustre of seeds, reducing their quality.

Chewing type "Lucknawi" fennel is produced by plucking the umbels 30–40 days after pollination when the size of seeds is just half of the fully developed seeds and then dried in shade. It reduces the yield, fetching more net return compared to that harvested at full maturity of seeds.On an average, fennel yields 9–10q/ha.

Dried and clean seeds should be stored in jute bags in damp-free aerated store. The seeds are cleaned with the help of vacuum gravity separator or spiral gravity separator. To get good price and easy marketing, the produce should be graded and stored properly.

   
Physiological Disorders
Fennel is most vulnerable to frost damage at the flowering and early seed formation stages. The frost damage can be minimized by spraying 0.1% solution of sulphuric acid, irrigating the crop prior to the incidence of frost, using wind breaks and creating smoke cover in the early morning.
Nutritional Value
 
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Chromosome Number: 16
Taxonomic Classification
Class
:
Magnoliopsida
Order
:
Fabales
Family
:
Fabaceae
Genus
:
Trigonella
 
Fenugreek seeds are used as condiments and for flavouring food preparations. They are aromatic, carminative, tonic and galactagogue. Externally they are used in poultices for boils, abscesses, ulcers and internally as emollient for inflammation of intestinal tract. The seeds contain important steroid ‘diosgenin’ which is used in preparation of contraceptives. It is mainly cultivated in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. More than 80% area and production of the country is contributed by Rajasthan alone.
   
Climate and soil  

Fenugreek requires moderately cool climate for proper growth and high yield. It can tolerate frost. Cloudy weather and high humidity particularly during active gain-filling period, increase the incidence of aphids and powdery mildew, which adversely affect the yield as well as quality. The crop is most vulnerable to frost damage at the flowering and early grain formation stages. The damage due to frost can be minimized by adopting the measures similar to those recommended for fennel.

Fertile and well-drained loamy or sandy loam soils are best-suited for its cultivation. However, it can be grown in all types of soils which are rich in organic matter contents with good drainage. It can also tolerate salinity compared to other leguminous crops.

 
Varieties

RMt 1

Its plants are semi-erect, tall and moderately branched with bold, typically yellow grains. It is moderately resistant to root-rot and tolerant to powdery mildew. It matures in 140–150 days with an average yield of 14.7 q/ha.

RMt 143

Its grains are bold with typical yellow colour. It is moderately resistant to powdery mildew. It takes 140–150 days to mature with an average yield of 16 q/ha. It is especially recommended for heavier soils of Chittor, Bhilwara, Jhalawar and Jodhpur area.

Co 1

Its plants are short and green with medium-sized, brownish-orange seeds. It is tolerant to root-rot. It matures in 95 days with an average yield of 6.80 q/ha.

Rajendra Kanti

Its plants are tall and bushy green with medium-sized, golden-yellow seeds. it is moderately resistant to powdery mildew, caterpillar and aphids. It matures in 120 days with an average yield of 12.50 q/ha.

Lam Selection 1

Its plants are bushy, green with medium-sized, golden yellow seeds. It is tolerant to root-rot, powdery mildew, caterpillars and aphids. It matures in 90 days with an average yield of 7.40 q/ha.

HM 103

Its plants are bushy, semi-erect with bold, yellow, attractive seeds. It is moderately resistant to leaf-spot disease. It matures in 140–150 days with an average yield of 20.1 q/ha.

Hissar Sonali

Its plants are bushy, semi-erect with bold, yellow, attractive grains. It is moderately resistant to leaf-spot and root-rot complex diseases. It matures in 140–150 days with an average yield of 19.0 q/ha.

   
Cultivation  

Sowing

Last week of October to first week of November is ideal sowing time for fenugreek in northern India. In southern part, it is grown in both kharif and rabi seasons. In kharif, yield is lesser than rabi crop. Sowing should be done from second fortnight of June to July-end in kharif and in rabi season first fortnight of October is the best sowing time. A seed rate of 25kg/ha is sufficient. Seeds should be treated with Rhizobium culture before sowing. The sowing should be done 30cm apart in rows with a plant-to-plant spacing of 10 cm. The depth of seed should not exceed 5.0cm.

Manuring and fertilization

Add farmyard manure or compost @ 10–15 tonnes/ha at the time of field preparation. A dose of 40 kg N and 40 kg P 2 O 5 /ha should be drilled in the soil at the time of sowing. If soil fertility is high, the dose of N may be reduced.

Weed control

Two hoeings and weedings are enough to keep the crop well-aerated and weed-free. First hoeing and weeding should be done at the time of thinning (25–30) and 50–60 days after sowing. Pre-plant application of Fluchloralin @ 0.75 kg/ha supplemented with hand-weeding 50 days after sowing keep it weed-free.

Irrigation

About 5–7 irrigations are required. The crop should be irrigated at IW/CPE ratio of 1.00. Irrigation should be applied 30, 70–75, 85–90 and 105–110 days after sowing. Special care should be taken to avoid water stress at pod and seed development stages.

   
Harvesting & Postharvest management

Harvesting should be done when the lower leaves start shedding and pods become yellowish. Harvesting should be done by cutting the plants with sickles. Delay in harvesting leads to shattering of seeds. The harvested plants are tied in bundles and allowed to dry for 4–6 days. Threshing should be done on clean cemented floor or tarpaulin. The grains are separated by beating followed by winnowing or threshing using a mechanical thresher. Its average yield is 10–11q/ha. However, 15–20 q/ha can be obtained under proper management.

After removing dust and light straw, dried and clean grains are filled in bags and stored in damp-free aerated stores. On commercial scale, grains are cleaned with the help of vaccum gravity separator, or spiral gravity separator. To get good prices and easy marketing, the produce should be graded and stored properly.

Nutritional Value
 
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Chromosome Number: 26
Taxonomic Classification
Class
:
Magnoliopsida
Order
:
Urticales
Family
:
Moraceae
Genus
:
Ficus
 

F ig is under cultivation since ancient times. Morphologically it is called as ‘syconium', which is a vegetative, fleshy tissue, with tiny true fruits enclosed inside. Fig is a gynodioecious species and some female types need pollination while others set fruits parthenocarpically. Pollination is effected by a wasp, which develops inside the syconium of a male fig. This symbiotic relationship is a classical case of coevolution between plant and insect. Fig fruits are often consumed as dried or canned. As a fresh fruit, it has a luscious taste. Fruits have been prized over centuries for the medicinal and dietary properties. Its cultivation is mostly confined to western parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow and Saharanpur), Karnataka (Bellary, Chitradurga and Srirangapatna) and Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore).

Fig is a highly nutritious fruit. It is rich in calories (269), proteins, and calcium (higher than milk), iron and highest fibre content. Fig has nutritive index of 11, as against 9, 8 and 6 for apple, raisin and date respectively. The chemical composition and flavour of fig varies with the cultivar. The total sugar content of fresh fig is 16% and of dried is 52%. The edible portion of dried fig (100g) supplies protein (4g), carbohydrate (69g), fat (1g), calcium (200mg), iron (4mg), Vitamin A (100iu) and thiamine (0.1mg). Fig is valued for its laxative properties and is used in the treatment of skin infection. The fruits help to maintain acid-alkali balance of the body. Latex is useful to coagulate milk.

Types of fig

Figs have been grouped into 4 types based on sex of the flower and pollination. . Only caprifig produces pollen, while other 3 pistillate types are dependent on pollen of caprifig or develop fruits parthenocarpically. Commercially-grown Indian figs belong to ‘common' fig group and set fruits parthenocarpically.

   
Climate and soil  

Fig tree is a deciduous, and subtropical. It favours areas having arid or semi-arid environment, high summer temperature, plenty of sunshine and moderate winter. The plant has better threshold limit for higher temperature than for the lower. Although plants can survive temperature as high as 45°C, the fruit quality deteriorates beyond 39°C. Mature trees can withstand temperature up to 4°C, but young ones need protection. However, deciduous nature of fig allows the plant to resist temperature as low as –10°C, when in dormancy. In mild climate, plants remain evergreen, lack well-defined flowering and fruiting season, and sometimes produce long barren limbs.

Climate has an important bearing on size, shape and colour of skin and pulp. A relatively cool climate stimulates production of larger and elongated fruits. Climatic conditions during fruit development considerably influence the fruit quality. Very high temperatures (> 39°C) induce premature fruit ripening. High humidity results in fruit splitting, while hot breeze during ripening leads to sweet but small fruits.

Medium to heavy, calcareous well-drained, deep (about 1m) soil having pH of 7–8 is ideally suited for fig cultivation. Although it does well even on light sandy, shallow soils, deep soils encourage better root establishment. The fruits produced on fertile, light soils are better suited for drying. The crop can tolerate drought, salts (chlorides and sulphates) but is sensitive to sodium carbonate and boron salts. In general, climate rather than soil is a limiting factor for its cultivation.

 
Varieties

Nearly 700 varieties of fig have been listed in the world. Varieties vary for vegetative vigour, pollination requirement, yield, fruit size, shape, skin colour, pulp quality and colour. Large sized figs belong to ‘common fig' group.

Poona fig is most popular cultivar grown in India. Bangalore, Bellary, Coimbatore, Daulatabad, Dindigul, Ganjam, Hindupur, Lucknow and Saharanpur, have clearly acquired the name from the location in which they are cultivated. Most of them resemble in plant and fruit morphology to that of Poona fig. Possibly these are either clones or ecotypes and hardly they warrant varietal status. Black Ischia, Shahi, Maisram and Brown Turkey have not achieved prominence. Dinkar, an improvement over Daultabad for yield and fruit quality, is gaining commercial significance.

Some well-known fig hybrids from Califorma have performed well in comparison to Poona fig under Banglore conditions. They produce fruits parthenocarpically. Excel and Conardia figs that develop smaller canopies are suitable for high-density planting. The fruits do not split like Poona and Conardia fig. Conardia, Excel and Deanna are good for drying, canning and table purposes respectively.

   
Propagation

Although it is possible to propagate fig from seeds, cuttings, layers, grafts and by tissue culture, commercially cuttings are used for multiplication. About 25cm long cuttings having 3–6 nodes are usually made from wood of previous season and planted in moist sand either in seed pans or in nursery beds. This can be taken up during pruning or just after the onset of monsoon. The cuttings are raised in shade with regular watering. After about 75 days, they are transplanted to polythene bags containing garden soil, sand and farmyard manure (1:1:1), and field planted about 4–6 months later.

Higher success can be achieved by: (1) using cuttings with short internodes, collected from basal portion of the shoots located in the lower part of the crown;
(2) storing of cuttings in moist sawdust or sphagnum moss for about 4 weeks at room temperature; (3) treating with growth regulators like IBA; (4) pre-girdling at the base of canes (removing 2.5 cm width bark) a month prior to taking cuttings; and (5) planting cuttings in a slightly slanting (80°) position.

Side grafting on F. glomerata and F. palmata may be adopted for circumventing nematode problem in the soil. Brown Turkey, as rootstock, imparts vegetative vigour in fig Excel, Conadria and Deanna. Shield or patch budding, cleft or bark grafting enables to top-work a desirable genotype on established but inferior tree. Protocols are now available for micropropagation of fig shoot tips.

   
Cultivation  

Planting

The best time for planting is the onsent of the rainy season. The layout for planting can be either square or hexagonal system. The square system is more common and desirable. Spacing depends on variety and soil type. The recommended spacing for Poona fig is 5m × 5m (400 plants/ha), and for Excel and Conadria 2.5m × 2.5m (1,600 plants/ha). Pits of 60cm × 60cm × 60cm size are dug and exposed to sun for about 15 days, and then filled with a mixture of compost, top soil and sand (1:1:1); 2kg of neem or castor cake/pit. Planting can preferably be taken up on an overcast day. When grafts are used the graft-joint should remain above the ground level. Once the tree is planted the soil around the plant should be tamped firmly. Water is applied immediately after planting.

Training and pruning

Fig trees are trained initially to a single stem to encourage a wide, symmetrical crown with a mechanically-strong framework having evenly distributed laterals. The tree is allowed to grow for about a metre and then it is topped, which induces side branches all round the main stem. The interior of the bush should be maintained free of suckers, dry and sick branches.

Pruning in fig is practised annually to stimulate production of new growth, and bearing fruits. The time and type of pruning vary with location, variety and number of crops harvested annually. The best time to secure a mature crop is hot, dry summer. Therefore, pruning may be done 4–5 months in advance. Generally, a single marketable crop is harvested yearly in our country. Either heavy or light pruning can be adopted in fig. When heavy pruning is practised, trees are headed back severely every year, leaving about 2 buds on each one-year-old shoot. If light pruning is adopted, shoots which have yielded fruits are lightly headed back after harvesting. Copper fungicide should be used to protect the cut ends.

Notching is practised sometimes in Poona fig for activating dormant buds before the start of vigorous growth. Usually 1–2 buds are selected for notching in the middle portion of about 8-month-old canes. Notching involves removing of small slice of bark immediately above the dormant bud, giving 2 slanting cuts as deep as the bark. Notch should be about 2.5 cm long and the breadth depends on thickness of the shoot. The cut checks the free flow of sap and stimulates the bud just below it to throw out a fruiting shoot. The technique is useful for induction of fruiting laterals on vigorous upright branches and to increase the total bearing area of the plant.

Manuring and fertilization

Nutrient requirements vary according to the variety and soil type. For young plants fertilizers can be applied with the onset of monsoon and, just after pruning for those which have commenced yielding. The annual requirement can be best divided into 2 applications, half after pruning and remaining 2 months later when the syconia are developing. Nitrogen is essential for rapid growth of foliage and development of syconia, fruit colour and maturation and K for yield and quality. Better fruit quality can be achieved if N and K are applied in the form of ammonium sulphate and sulphate of potash respectively.

Some soils may be deficient in micronutrients. However, a grower should get the soil tested and consult the soil specialist for specific advice. Application of compost, which is done mostly in the beginning of monsoon also supplies micronutrients to some extent.

Aftercare

After the plants are set in the field, regular watering is essential until they are well established. A basin of 60cm diameter should be prepared around the plant and is widened as the canopy size increases. Basin cleaning is taken up regularly to keep it weed-free. The side shoots and suckers should be removed as and when they emerge.

Maintenance of weed-free orchard is very important. During early years of orchard, raising green manure or intercrop is recommended. Green manure sunhemp suppresses the weed growth and augments the supply of organic matter in the soil. Intercropping vegetables and legumes is beneficial.

Irrigation

Fig plants can sustain heat and drought. But commercial fig production is possible if plants are timely irrigated. Such plants produce greater shoot growth and higher yields of superior quality fruits. Loose and sandy soils require larger quantities of water than heavy soil. Either drip or flood irrigation can be practised. The drip irrigation minimizes water requirement and allows fertilizer application through irrigation water.

Flood irrigation may be repeated every 10 days in summer. The frequency may be adjusted depending on the soil type and weather. Excessive irrigation during fruit development causes the terminal buds to initiate growth at the expense of fruit development. Also excessive irrigation or heavy rains during ripening result in fruit cracking and production of insipid fruits. In the absence of adequate and regular irrigation the fruit development is affected, resulting in small and hard fruits. Once harvesting of fruits is completed, irrigation may be reduced and regular schedule is resumed after pruning. If drip irrigation is adopted, 15–20 litres of water/day/plant may be supplied. The thumb rule is to replenish 50% of pan evaporation losses.

   
Harvesting & Postharvest management

Harvesting of figs depends on their use. About 90% of the figs produced in the world are dried. But figs produced in India are mostly sold as fresh. Fresh figs should be harvested when they are soft and slightly wilted at the neck and droop and little or no milky latex flow at the cut end of the stalk. Sudden increase in fruit size and opening of ostiole are other maturity indices. Harvesting process is mechanized in some parts of the world. But in our country, figs are hand picked from the trees by cutting or twisting the neck at the stem end. The fruits are collected and spread in shallow trays. Since fresh figs are very delicate, extra care is required in handling.

When figs are grown for drying, they are allowed to ripen and to dry partially on the tree and fall naturally to the ground. Hence, during this period, area beneath the canopy should be maintained clean and dry. Once in 2–3 days, the figs are gathered for further processing.

Bearing in fig commences a year after planting, the life span of the tree being 35 years. The harvesting season varies with region and the yield depends on variety and cultivation practices. The second crop is mostly of poor quality fruits.

Fig is classified as a climacteric fruit, and to a little extent ripening continues once the fruit is harvested. After picking, figs are carefully sorted. The diseased and damaged ones are culled. Fruits are graded for size as 50g, 40–50g and 30–40g. They are packed in a corrugated box carton of 3 ply having 12 holes for ventilation. They are arranged in the carton in 2 layers, each of 28 (4 rows of 7 figs in a line). Fig leaves are used for cushioning. Owing to perishable nature of fruits, growers prefer to sell their produce to some extent in local or nearby markets. Figs can be held for a short period (7–10 days), at 0°C and 85–90% relative humidity.

Figs are one of the first fruits to be preserved by drying. Apart from drying and canning, figs are processed into paste and jelly.

   
Physiological Disorders
Fig is susceptible to sun-burn, fruit splitting and fruit drop. Sun-burn is noticed mostly in young plants and those subjected to excessive pruning. The trunk and shoots that are exposed to direct sun are prone to sun-burn. The affected parts crack and the bark peels off, providing easy access for fungi and other infection. Developing a good canopy by proper pruning and coating the exposed limbs with lime protect the plants from sunburn. Fruit splitting is attributed to sudden change in atmospheric humidity during ripening. This makes the fruit unfit for consumption as the pulp is exposed to insect and microbial infection. Fruit drop may result from excessive drought and heat, cold nights or light frost. Lack of pollination also causes fruit drop in figs.
Nutritional Value
 
TOP
 
Chromosome Number: 22
Taxonomic Classification
Class
:
Magnoliopsida
Order
:
Fabales
Family
:
Fabaceae
Genus
:
Phaseolus
 
French bean is an important leguminous vegetable. It is consumed as tender pods, shelled green beans and dry beans. A nutritious vegetable, it contains proteins (1.7g), calcium (50mg), phosphorus (28mg), iron (1.7mg), carotene (132mg), Thiamine (0.08mg), Riboflavin (0.06mg) and vitamin C (24.0mg/100g of edible pods). It is largely grown in hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and north-eastern states during summer and winter and autumn crop in parts of Utter Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In northern plains, it is cultivated on a limited scale as autumn or spring crop, because of susceptibility to low as well as high temperatures.
   
Climate and soil  

French bean is a tender, warm season vegetable that cannot tolerate frost. Its seeds do not germinate below 15°C and plants drop blossoms in hot or rainy weather. A mean air temperature of 20°–25°C is optimum for its growth and high pod yield. Extreme high temperatures interfere with pod filling, while low temperatures are unfavourable for vegetative growth. A favourable soil temperature is 18°–24°C.
French bean is grown over a wide range of well-drained, alluvial friable soils, but it cannot withstand extreme acidic and alkaline soils. Clay soils impede the emergence of seed growth leading to uneven or poor stand. The optimum soil pH is 5.5–6.8. Liming is needed if soil pH is less than 5.5. For optimum nitrogen fixation, good soil aeration is required.

 
Varieties

The French beans are classified into string and stringless beans based on the extent of fibre in pods. Wax-poded varieties are not common and mostly confined to home garden. The beans are grouped according to their growth habit—pole or climbing beans and bush beans, which are dwarf in nature. Important varieties grown in India are:
Arka Komal
It takes 70 days for flowering. Pods are green, straight, flat and tender, pod yield being 90q/ha.
Bountiful
Its pods are borne in clusters on main stem. Pod yield is 100–120q/ha. The pods remain tender for 4–5 days after harvesting.
Contender
It takes 50–55 days for first picking. Pods are round, green, 13–14cm long, stringless, meaty and slightly curved, seeds light brown. Pod yield is 80–95q/ha. It is tolerant to powdery mildew and mosaic.
Jampa
Pods are round, smooth, become fibrous when mature. They should be harvested at tender stage. Pod yield is 80–85q/ha. It is highly resistant to wilt and withstands warmer conditions.
Kentucky Wonder
Its pods become ready for picking in 60–65 days. Pods are 20m long, flattish, meaty, stringless, 4—5/cluster. Seeds are light brown. Pod yield is 100–120q/ha.
Lakshmi
Pods are 13–14cm long, stringless, green and round. Three pods are found in a cluster. Pods become ready for picking in 65–70 days. Seed colour is white. Pod yield is 120–140q/ha. It is tolerant to angular leaf-spot disease.
Pant Anupma
It is an early-bearing variety with upright growth. The pods are round, smooth, tender, stringless and green. The poods become ready for picking 55–60 days after sowing. It yields 89q/ha. It is resistant to angular leaf-spot and moderately resistant to mosaic virus.
Premier
Pods are 11–13cm long, seeds black, ready in 55–60 days, adapted to late sowing. Pod yield is 75–90q/ha.
Pusa Parvati
Its pods become ready in 45–50 days. Pods are 15–18cm long, round, tender, stringless and green. Pod yield is 80–85q/ha. It is resistant to mosaic and powdery mildew disease.
Sel. EC 57080
The pods are green, stringless, tender, round and fleshy. They are ready for picking in 55–60 days, the pod yield being 115q/ha.
Sel. EC 10801
The pods are green, round and fleshy with chocolate coloured seeds. Pod yield is 100q/ha.
SVM 1
Its pods are green, round, stringless and 13–14cm long. They become ready for picking 65–75 days after sowing. Pod yield is 105–125q/ha. It is resistant to angular leaf-spot.
VL-Boni 1
The pods are long, round, fleshy, stringless and pale-green. They are ready for picking in 45–60 days, the pod yield being 105–115q/ha.

   
Cultivation  

Sowing
French bean is sown from July to September and January to February in plains; March to beginning of May in hills; September–November in southern India and October-end in both north-east and central zone.
About 25–50 tonnes of farmyard manure/ha should be applied at the time of preparation of land. Organic manure is supplemented with chemical fertilizers to obtain good yield. A dose of 40kg N, 60kg P and 50kg K/ha is recommended. Half of N and full doses of P and K should be placed in bands 7–8cm away from seed to avoid injury at the time of planting and the remaining N is topdressed at flowering time.
French bean also responds to micronutrients. The foliar application of B, Cu, Mo, Zn, Mn and Mg each of 0.1% is effective in enhancing quality and pod yield.
About 50–75kg seed is enough for one hectare crop of bush bean, while 25–30kg is sufficient for pole type varieties. Pole beans are spaced more between rows compared with narrow spacing of bush beans. More plant population increases yield, but narrow spacing reduces colour intensity and uniformity of French bean. The optimum spacing is 30m × 5cm for bush bean and 90cm × 7.5cm for pole type. Thus 2,50,000 and 80,000 plants of bush and pole types can be accommodated in a hectare respectively.
The seeds should be inoculated with strains of Rhizobium phaseoli for quick nodulation and high yield. The seed should be treated with its culture @ 30g sugar solution/kg seed. The seeds are dried in shade for half an hour before sowing.
Aftercare
Beans are susceptible to injury during cultural operations after plants begin to flower. Cultivation or working among plants, where foliage is wet should be avoided, because spores of anthracnose and angular leaf-spot diseases are easily spread under wet conditions.
Bush beans do not require staking, while pole varieties are staked for obtaining high yield. The vine grows clockwise around the support. Two wooden or iron poles are used at the two ends of the rows and lines of the wires are stretched. Fine rope or sutli is fixed in zigzag fashion between the lines of the wires. In temperate climate, pole beans are grown in mixture with corn or okra as the stalk is used for support of the vines.
Annual grasses cause main problem in the French bean planted early in the growing season. The weed crop competition starts 2–3 weeks after planting. Inadequate weed management practices reduce the yield drastically. In most of beans hoeing is done by hand. The narrow spacing reduces crop-weed competition and hoeing increases yield. About 2 weedings may be needed till the plant can smother the weeds. A pre-emergence application of Alachlor @ 2–2.5kg/ha is recommended for an effective control of weeds.
In hills, French beans are intercropped with maize, amaranth and foxtail millets. The maize + French bean–wheat cropping sequence is commonly followed. In plains, French bean is intercropped with early potato. In midhills of Himachal Pradesh, pole beans are sometimes grown as relay after tomato crop to use the same stakes.
The application of GA3 (50ppm) on 30 days old plants is effective in increasing plant height, number of leaves and pod yield. However, 2–4 foliar sprays of growth retardant CCC (400ppm) reduces vegetative growth, causes early flowering and increases yield.
Irrigation
French bean is shallow-rooted. It is sensitive to both water excess and waterstress conditions. Good crop can be obtained if a little moisture remains during the rainy season. About 6–7 irrigations are needed during the growing season. The plants are susceptible to water stress at critical periods of growth—pre-blooming, flowering and pod-filling stages. The frequency of irrigation depends upon season, soil type and organic-matter content. Thus, the moisture level should be near to field capacity particularly during flowering and pod-formation stage. Deformed pods can result from water stress due to low moisture or excessive evapo-transpiration losses. Flooding in French bean causes anoxia leading to root rot. Therefore, moisture should be evenly distributed throughout the growth period. About 150–400mm of water is usually sufficient for French bean.

   
Harvesting & Postharvest management

French beans are harvested when pods are tender (approximately 7–12 days after flowering). Bush beans mature relatively in a short period of 50 days requiring 2–3 pickings, while pole beans take 60–75 days for maturity and 3–5 pickings. The beans are generally harvested by hand. Delayed harvesting reduces the quality of pods as they become fibrous. Mechanical pickers are also devised for harvesting of beans especially for processing type varieties. These employ 'Once over' destructive harvest, which strips leaves and remove pods from the plants.
Shelled beans are harvested when their seeds achieve full size and become relatively firm. Their seed moisture is very high compared with pods. The seeds are separated from pods and empty pods discarded because these become fibrous. Shelled beans have the characteristics of remaining firm.
Yield in French bean varies considerably with location, fertility of soil, variety and sowing season. The bush beans yield 50–60q/ha, whereas pole types between 110 to 140q/ha. The yield is generally high in temperate climate compared with tropical conditions.
French beans are highly perishable and rapid cooling after harvesting is important to maintain quality. After harvesting, beans are washed and culled and diseased, inferior pods are destroyed. Before these are placed in storage or transit, the beans should be cooled as rapidly as possible. Optimum storage and transit temperatures are 5°–7°C. Under these conditions storage life increases up to 20–25 days. At temperatures below 1°–2.5°C, chilling injury occurs 10–12 days after
storage.

In India, bulk of French bean is consumed as fresh, while in advanced countries like USA more than 80% crop is processed. Processors have strict requirements for specific varieties such as deep seed coat/white colour and uniform crop maturity though white colour is preferred. The varieties with fleshy pods are widely used for commercial freezing.
   
Physiological Disorders

Flower initiation and development are greatly delayed under sub-optimal temperatures, especially below 10°C, where fertilization may not occur, producing small and misshapened pods. Blossoms drop and ovule abortion are common problems at high temperature (35°C). Therefore, planting crop at a suitable time and place are of utmost importance.
Transverse cotyledon cracking takes place when dry seeds of beans are sown in wet soils. This occurs since susceptible cultivars imbibe water rapidly. Seed moisture content below 12% also enhances cracking of cotyledons. White-seeded cultivars are more prone to this malady. The resistant cultivars show a germination of 60–80%, while susceptible ones 20% or less. Therefore, resistant varieties with hard seed coat, optimum seed moisture content and planting of crop at suitable time are essential to avoid this disorder.
The necrosis of hypocotyl is associated with low Ca content in seed after germination. Soils rich in Ca and Mg offset this problem. 

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Chromosome Number: 26
Taxonomic Classification
Class
:
Magnoliopsida
Order
:
Scrophulariales
Family
:
Oleaceae
Genus
:
Jasminum
 

French jasmine has a unique place in perfumery because of its high value of oil traded as ‘concrete'. Its flowers produce a gentle pleasing delicate aroma. The concrete or absolute extracted through solvent extraction is used in manufacturing of high value perfumes and their umpteen fragrance formulations. In India, its cultivation has spread in southern states after development of a culture, ‘Pitchi'. It blooms for 6–7 months (mid-May to early-December) in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. India is now second largest producer of jasmine ‘concrete' after Egypt, exporting most of its produce to Europe.

French jasmine is a climbing shrub, but is trained into bushes under cultivation. It has compound opposite leaves, made up of 7–11 leflets. It produces bisexual flowers in first year of planting. Because of its heterogamous nature of flowers there is no setting of seed. Therefore, it is raised through stem-cuttings. The flower buds do not emit any fragrance. But on opening in early morning, the petals emit fragrance. They continue to give out sweet, pleasing aroma for about 16hr after plucking. The oil evaporates fast in sunlight.

Jasmine is a hardy drought tolerant crop, growing luxuriantly in well-drained, loamy soils of 6–8 pH but it is highly susceptilble to waterlogging. A mild climate with well-distributed rainfall of 80–100cm and sunshine alround the year is desirable. It is highly labour-intensive plantation needing 10–35 persons/ha, mainly employed for plucking of flowers. Therefore its commercial plantation should be raised where such manpower is readily available. A small solvent distillation unit is needed for extraction of oil from its flowers from about 4ha plantation area which should be located nearby the plantation site. Once planted, the crop remains in field for 10–15 years.

The land preparation is done by deep ploughing (2 times). The plants are raised through rooting of 20cm long stem-cuttings, prepared from near mature wood and planted in pits during rainy season. Pits of 30cm × 30cm × 30cm size are dug at 1.8m × 1.5m or 2m × 2m spacing, and connected by a irrigation channel. It is filled with a mixture of top soil and dry leaf powder mixed with farmyard manure to which 15g Aldrex is added to protect the plants from termite attack. The vines are pruned from late-December till mid-January at 90cm length, maintaining 9–11 shoots to obtain maximum flower yield. After pruning, soil around bushes should be dug out to facilitate aeration and induce growth. Sometimes, when vegetative growth is large, a light pruning in July may be done to induce lateral branching and flowering. The plantation needs fortnightly irrigation during dry season.

The application of 100, 150, and 100g of N, P and K/bush annually produces maximum flower yield. The plantation should be kept weed-free. Spraying of Gramoxone at monthly interval controls weeds. Usually, January–April is ideal season for intercropping to obtain additional income. The flower crop (mature buds and open flowers in early stage) is picked in early morning (5–8am). The open flower crop is processed for extraction of oil immediately. It continues to produce blooms from May to early-December. The yield in first year is low (500kg) but it increases to 5 tonnes in second year and 10 tonnes/ha in third year onwards. Although decline may commence after 10 years, relatively satisfactory economic yield continues to be received up to 15 years in a well-managed plantation. Usually, food-grade hexane or petroleum ether is employed as a medium of solvent extraction and oil along with waxes is extracted and separated out at low temperature and dried in vacuum. On an average, 340–400kg of flowers are needed to produce 1kg of concrete; the commercial yield of concrete being 10kg/ha over the years.

For production of its ‘absolute' (mainly used to measure purity of the produce), the ‘concrete' is dissolved in absolute alcohol and waxes are removed through filtration. The ‘absolute' or ‘otto' is a semi-viscous, dark coloured material, emitting fragrance of fresh jasmine flowers. 

   
 
 
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