Introduction: Hello friends, how about Lentils farming in polyhouse? well, we can help with it. Lentils are legumes that contain edible seeds that are surrounded by protective outer skin. Lentils are a very excellent source of protein with the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is one of the important protein-rich pulse crops. Lentil is also known as Masur and Malka (bold seeded).
Lentil is a valuable human food and mostly consumed as dry seeds. In India, Lentil mostly consumed as ‘Dal’ by removal of outer skin and separation of cotyledons. It is very easy to cook and easily digestible with a high biological value.
A full guide to Lentils farming in polyhouse for maximum profit
Lentil is mostly eaten as Dal by splitting into 2 cotyledons, deep orange-red or orange-yellow. Whole grain is used in various dishes. Lentils provide a source of starch for textiles and printing. Lentil is mixed with wheat flour in bread and cake production. India is the highest producer of Lentil or Lens culinaris in the world.
The Lentil growing states in India are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.
Different varieties of Lentils are given below;
Lentils can be divided into two types they are large lentils and small lentils. There are dozens of different varieties of each type. Three main common lentil varieties are flat brown ones, small yellow ones, and large pea-shaped ones.
Requirements for Lentils farming in Polyhouse
Polyhouse is one kind of greenhouse where polyethylene is used as the cover. In India, polyhouse farming is the popular greenhouse technology for its low cost of construction. Poly houses are mostly naturally ventilated climate controlled.
Polyhouse technology is useful in improving the productivity of crops qualitatively and quantitatively by 3-5 times as compared to the open environment. This technology helps to facilitate round the year production of preferred crops. And also permits off-season production by way of controlling light, temperature, carbon dioxide level and nature of root medium.
Polyhouses are built of a Pre-Galvanized channel cum Tubular structure and Polyethylene film wherein different crops are grown under a favorable controlled environment and other conditions.
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In developing countries like India, polyhouse farming is a popular greenhouse technology due to its low cost of construction and very easy maintenance. The size of the polyhouse structure can differ from small shacks to big-size buildings as per the need. The Turmeric plants inside the polyhouse farming are hale and hearty. Fertilizer application is easier and is controlled automatically with the help of a drip irrigation system. Polyhouse gives the right environmental facilities to plants in any season.
Soil type and field preparation for Lentils farming in polyhouse
Well, drained, loam soils with neutral reaction are best for Lentil farming. Acidic soils are not fit for cultivating Lentil. The soil must be friable and weed-free so that seeding could be done at a uniform depth.
In polyhouse, Lentil can be grown on all type of soil. Saline, Alkaline or waterlogged soils must be avoided. On heavy soils, one deep plowing followed by two to three cross harrowing must be done. After harrowing, the field must be leveled by giving a gentle slope to ease irrigation.
Lentil is well suited to neutral to alkaline soils with a pH level of 6 to 8 (CaCl2). A soil pH near 7 is best for Lentil farming.
The seed rate of Lentils
In polyhouse, the seed rate of Lentil is 12-15 kg per acre.
Seed reparation and germination for Lentils farming
Unless nodulated field pea or Lentil has been grown recently on a field, the seed must be inoculated with Rhizobium leguminosarum just before planting (within 24 hours). Follow the instructions for inoculation, and protect seed from high temperatures and drying winds until planted. Various forms of inoculants are obtainable, some of which can be placed in the furrow with the seed.
Good quality Lentil seed does not require to be treated with insecticides or fungicides, because it germinates rapidly and seedlings emerge quickly. Seed treatment compounds can interfere with the modulation procedure.
Use of high-quality seed is the first step in establishing a rapidly emerging, vigorous stand and producing high quality, quantity, profitable crop. Proper inoculation, fertilization, pest and disease control or any recommended practice will be of limited value if planted seeds do not produce a healthy, vigorous stand. Seed quality includes mechanical purity, germination and vigor, and levels of seed-borne disease.
Advantages of planting high-quality seed will be;
- Increase tolerance to seedling diseases.
- Promote rapid and uniform stand establishment.
- Enhance tolerance to early-season stresses, for example, adverse temperature and moisture conditions.
- Promote rapid root development leading to better nutrient and water use efficiencies.
- Result in enhanced pest, disease, weed, and insect control.
- Give a more uniform stand with more uniform maturity, allowing improved harvest efficiencies and more uniform product.
- Produce higher yields and superior seed quality.
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Seed purity is determined by the nature and quantity of unwanted contaminants in the pure seed. Impurities contain unwanted crop seed, weed seeds, and inert material. They can adversely impact Lentil crop yield and quality, as well as increase production costs.
Seed germination tests assess the ability of the seed to make a healthy plant under favorable growing conditions. These tests are usually conducted under controlled conditions that provide ideal moisture, temperature, and light for a prescribed period. Unfortunately, these germination tests often overestimate actual field emergence. Seed lots with low germination cannot often generate strong, healthy seedlings.
Planting procedure of Lentil seeds
The Lentil seeds must be planted in rows. After leveling the soil, mark several rows depending on the type of soil. Space the rows to about 8 to 10 inches apart and sow the seeds to about 2-3 inches apart. The sowing depth of the seeds should be at least 1 to 1.5 inches.
Treat the seeds with Captan or Thiram at the rate of 3 gram per kg of seed before sowing. Light irrigation after sowing the seeds will help the seeds to germinate faster.
Irrigation requirement for Lentils framing in polyhouse
Lentil is mostly grown as a rain-fed crop. It requires 2 to 3 irrigations in case of irrigated conditions depending upon the climatic conditions.
First irrigation must be given at 40-45 days of planting and second at pod filling stage. Most critical phase for moisture stress is pod formation followed by flower initiation. In the absence of winter rains and where the contribution of soil moisture is negligible, two light irrigations can be applied for significant yield improvement. More irrigation can affect crop performance adversely.
How to control weeds in Lentil crop
Controlling weeds is important because weeds consume most of the nutrients from the soil. You must remove the weeds while preparing the soil, and then remove additional weeds 4-5 weeks after planting the seeds.
Pests and diseases for Lentils farming in polyhouse
Red-legged earth mite (Halotydeus destructor) – It is a black-bodied mite with red legs; it damages seedlings as they emerge.
Cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora) – Moisture stressed crops are susceptible to aphid infestation, particularly when the atmosphere is dry and when warm weather occurs in autumn and spring.
Lucerne flea (Sminthurus Viridis) – It is a small (2.5 mm), wingless, light green hopping insect. It chews through plant leaves in layers resulting in “window-pane” like holes.
Native budworm (Helicoverpa punctigera) – The caterpillar damages maturing seed in pods during the flowering and podding period of plant growth.
Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta lentis) – It causes black lesions on the stem and the wilting of plants. Variety selection, seed treatment, and fungicide sprays are very important management practices.
Botrytis gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) – It attacks the base of the stem and the collar region of young Lentil plants.
Phoma is a seed-borne infection that effects in black-brown discoloration of the root near where the seed is attached. Blackening can spread up the root and cause lesions at the base of the stem. Black lesions could completely girdle the base of the stem and root where the infection is severe.
When and how to harvest Lentils in polyhouse
Harvest lentils when the lowest pods on the plant start to turn light brown color and light shaking of the pod produces a rattle. Seed moisture count must be 14 percent, and generally, if you follow the rule above for when to harvest the moisture count will be close to this.
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Lentils are generally used as dry beans or peas. For dried seeds, harvest stage of pods when they have matured and hardened. Leave lentils unshelled until ready to use them. Dried lentils are harvest 110 days after sowing. Lentil can be used as snap beans; harvest these green about 70 to 80 days after sowing.
Harvesting must be done at a proper time when plants dry up and pods mature. Over-ripening of pods must be avoided as products may be lost due to shattering. Plants must be beaten by sticks to thresh. After threshing, Lentil seed is cleaned and dried up in the sunshine. Moisture content must be 12% at the time of storage.
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