Organic French Beans Farming, And Production Practices

Introduction to Organic French beans Farming

French bean is one of the most significant leguminous vegetables in India. French bean is also known as kidney bean or common bean. It is grown widely because of its short duration and nutritive values. It is a good source of calcium, protein, iron, phosphorus, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin C. In India, French bean is grown for tender vegetables, shelled dry beans, and green beans.

A Step by Step Guide to Organic French Beans Farming, Production Methods

French beans are very tasty and also nutritious being leguminous. Their mature seeds and tender beans both are used as a vegetable. French bean is a short duration crop mostly grown in Kharif. But if irrigation facilities are properly available, it can be grown in Rabi and summer seasons as well.

Bean Field.
Beans field.

Different Varieties of French Beans

The French bean varieties are classified into two groups. Bush or dwarf types and Pole or climbing types. The below varieties found suitable for the northern region.

Dwarf types– Pant Anupama, Contender, Pusa Parwati, and Arka Komal.

Climbing types– RCMFB-l Kentucky Wonder.

The Seed Selection in Organic Beans Farming

Seed selection is a significant step in organic French beans production. French bean seeds should be carefully selected from farmers’ fields which is raised organically or from certified organic farms. In the absence of organically produced seeds, you can use the seeds (those are not treated with chemicals) from local high yielding varieties. Choice locally demands and disease-resistant varieties. There are both long and short duration varieties. The usually grown varieties are Arka Komal, YCD 1, Ooty 1, Indam 2, Premier Arka Anoop, and Arka Subidha, etc

Soil and Climate Requirement for Organic French Beans Farming

  • It grows on a variety of soil ranging from light sand to heavy clay but thrives well on well-drained loam soil. The crop requires 250 to 450 mm of soil moisture. Moisture stress affects fibre content, pod colour and firmness of pods.
  • The crop is sensitive to salinity. Salinity impairs seed germination, decreases nodule formation and retards plant development. Soil salinity less than 2dSm-1 reduces the yield of the crop. Soil pH value about 5.2 to 5.8 is optimum.
  • The crop requires fine seedbed and adequate soil moisture for good germination. The deep ploughing followed by 2 to 3 harrowing and planking is adequate to obtain required tilth. The land is enhanced with around 40 cartloads of manure per hectare to obtain a better yield.
  • French bean is grown throughout winter in plains, while it can be grown around the year except for winter in hilly regions. Although it can be grown on all types of soil, clay and loams are best suitable for gaining high yield.
  • French beans mostly choose light soil, but it can also be grown in heavy clay soil if sufficient fine organic matter is forked in. In winter or autumn dig in old compost or well-rotted manure at one bucketful to the square meter. Leave the ground rough in the winter to let the cold winds and frosts get to it. In the spring season give the soil a light forking and add some organic fertilizer.
  • French bean is a warm-season vegetable that cannot tolerate frost.
  • Cannot tolerate heavy rain and stagnation
  • Seed don’t germinate below 15°C
  • Plant drop blossom in rainy or hot weather.
  • Mean air temperature of 20 °C to 25°C is optimum for its growth and high pod yield.
  • High temperature (more than 35°C) and severe cold interfere with pod filling.
  • For vegetative growth, low temperatures are unfavourable.

Selection and Preparation of Land in Organic French Beans Farming

Sandy to heavy clay soils with a pH value range from 5.5 to 6 with more than 1% of organic carbon is best suited for beans cultivation. It is mandatory to conduct a soil test once a year to check the levels of pH, organic carbon, macronutrients (NPK), micronutrients, and microbial load in the field. If the organic carbon content is less than 1%, apply 25 to 30 tons/ha of FYM (farmyard Manure) to the main field and plough the field 2 to 3 times to mix the manure thoroughly. The suitable buffer zone must be provided between non-organic fields and certified organic fields at a distance of around 7 meters from non-organic fields to prevent drift of prohibited materials on to certified organic fields.

The Seed Rate and Seed Spacing in Organic French Beans Farming

Nearly 50 to 75 kg/ hectare of seed required for dwarf bean, whereas for pole type the seed rate is around 25 kg/ hectare. Seed rate changes with seed size. A seed rate of bold seed will changes with a test weight of 350 to 450 g, needed 120 to 140 kg seeds/ hectare while in small-seeded varieties it varies from 80 to 100 kg/hectare. The seed rate differs in intercropping with row properties. Seeds are usually sown in rows 30 cm apart. The plant to plant spacing is 12 to 15 cm and 8 to 10 cm is the optimum depth of sowing. An increase in plant density increases pod yield. For gaining good yield, the plant population should be 2.5 to 3.0 lakh plants/hectare. Wider spacing of 45 cm X 15 cm is suggested for organic cultivation for better ventilation and to minimize the rapid spread of foliar disease.

Sowing Time and Process in Organic French Beans Farming

French bean can be sown twice in the period of one year, in January-February and July-September in the plains and March to June in the hills. It is grown throughout the year in 3 season’s summer –February/March, Kharif – June/July, and Rabi – October/November. Sowing of the unirrigated crop is done by drill around 45 cm distance. The irrigated crop is taken on ridges and furrows at a distance of 60 cm and seeds are dibbled on both sides of ridges at 20 to 30 cm spacing. The seed rate for drilling is 80 to 90 kg/ha and dibbling 40 to 50 kg.

Irrigation Requirement in Organic French beans Farming

  • It is shallow-rooted and sensitive to both water stress and water excess condition.
  • A good crop can be achieved if a little moisture remains even in the rainy seasons.
  • The plants are susceptible to water stress at a critical period of growth those are flowering, pre- blooming, and pod filling.
  • Deform pods can result from water stress due to excessive evaporation loss or low moisture.

Organic Nutrient Requirements for French Beans Farming

French bean even though a leguminous crop, but it is poor in its capability of atmospheric nitrogen fixation, so it needs more nutrients in comparison compared to other leguminous vegetables. A well develops French bean crop removes 40 kg P, 130 kg N, and 160 kg K per hectare from the soil. Nitrogen is mainly required because it imparts energetic vegetative growth and dark green colour to plants and produces early growth. Though higher doses of nitrogen harmed nodulation and nitrogen fixation.

 The crop gives the best response to phosphorus application as it stimulates early root development and growth, boosts fruiting and seed production, and hastens maturity. Likewise, potassic fertilizer being a catalyst for various reactions improves water holding capacity of plant tissue stimulates enzyme activity, quality of the product, and increases the nitrogen-fixing ability of the plants. For an average fertile soil, 25 to 30 tons of farmyard manure (FYM) /hectare must be applied at the time of preparation of land. For a good yield 80 to 60 kg P2O5, 120 kg N, and 50 kg K2O per hectare are suggested. Full doses of P and K and half of the nitrogen should be placed in bands 7 to 8 cm away from the seed, at the time of planting and the remaining nitrogen is top-dressed during the flowering time. Fertilizer placement studies using radioactive 32P levelled fertilizer in French bean have shown that deeper placement at around 5cm depths results in the maximum utilization of phosphorus. French bean gives the best response to foliar application of micronutrients, mainly Mo, Mn, B, CU, Zn, and Mg each applied at the rate of 0.1% is found to promote quality and yield of pods.

Pests and Diseases Control in Organic French Beans Framing

Maintain the area around the seedlings weed free and aerated with regular hoeing. An oscillating hoe is the simplest and most satisfying tool for hand weeding. The crop is attacked by a wide range of insect pests including Aphidae, Coleoptera, and Hemiptera. More than 150 species of insects and other invertebrates have been listed as pests of French bean but only a few are recognized as being economically important. Blister beetle, hairy caterpillar, bean bug, and aphids are the important insect pests of the crop. Mainly Insects damage the crop by direct feeding on leaves, damaging to developing pods, stem, and through the transmission of virus-like bean dwarf mosaic virus. Insect pests can be controlled by several methods like pesticide application (mainly rotenone, malathion, parathion, and cryolite), biological control, and cultural practices.

Pesticides only poorly control aphids, whiteflies, and thrips, because of the rapid development of insecticide resistance. So, the use of insect-resistant varieties to decrease losses caused by insect feeding is important. French bean mainly suffers from several diseases which mostly include fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases. Bacterial diseases like brown spots, common blight, wilt, and halo effect production severely.

Fungal diseases include angular leaf spot, Alternaria leaf spot, anthracnose, ascochyta leaf, and pod spot, rust (Uromyces phaseoli), white mould (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum), root rot, and damping-off (Pythium spp.). Root disease becomes more dangerous when bean roots are unable to escape the pathogen due to edaphic factors. Drought, low temperatures, water-logged or flooded conditions, and soil compaction can hamper root growth and predispose bean plants to severe Fusarium root rot infection. Seed yield loss is particularly severe when the disease occurs in pod filling and flowering periods.

The most common viral diseases which result in a considerable loss in many bean growing areas are the beet curly top virus (BCTV), bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), sometimes called Ruga verrucous. The use of fungicides, pesticides, and bactericides can decrease the severity of the disease. Though, pathogens causing most of the above diseases are seed transmitted or live for long periods on plant residues, in soil or alternate hosts. Therefore, the use of disease-resistant varieties and healthy seeds in combination with appropriate cultural practices are important for the management of bean diseases and pests.

Slugs as they can run all your bean plants in no time. Use a beer trap or organic slug bait. Black bean aphid can be a problem in August and July. You can also spray with the natural insecticide ‘Pyrethrum’ or wash off with a strong jet of water. Growing marigolds nearby beans can benefit as they attract beneficial insects like ladybirds who love to eat blackflies.

Footrot and downy Mildew can be a problem but with good crop rotation, this can simply be controlled.

Disease management

  • Anthracnose
  • Leaf Spot
  • Common mosaic
  • Collar and
  • Stem Rot

Common organic control measures are;

  • Choose disease-free seeds.
  • Remove and destroy affected plants.
  • Control the vectors to control diseases.

Appropriate time of harvesting and sowing must be practised. Foliar spray of around 3% Panchagavya at the interval of 10 days from 1st month after planting will help decrease these diseases. Spraying of Pseudomonas fluoresces and Trichoderma viride by 10gm/litres of water may also be practised to control these diseases

Insect management

  • Bihar hairy
  • Blister Beetle
  • Caterpillar
  • Bean bug
  • Aphids

Common control measures are;

Spray around 4% Neem seed powder solution (Take 4 kg Neem seed powder and mix it well with 10 litres of water and keep overnight. Next day morning, filter it and mix with 100 litres of water and spray. (Or) Spray neem oil 3 %. (Neem oil from expellers). Spray with around 10% of ginger, garlic, chilli extract on 45th, 60th and 75th day after planting is also suggested as an alternative.

When and How to Harvest French Beans

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Harvested Beans.
A Step By Step Guide To An Organic French Beans Farming, Production Methods, Cultivation Practices, Yield Of Beans, And Planting Procedure.
  • Frequent picking will encourage extra pod formation and produce a bigger crop. Always pick young and tender pods. If you leave them to grow more than 10cm they become tough. Hold the stem and pull the pod in a downward direction to avoid damage when picking French beans.
  • The crop will be generally ready for picking by 40 to 50 days after sowing based on the season of cultivation and variety.
  • Harvest in cool periods, such as early morning or late afternoon.
  • You can harvest your French beans from July till the first frost. It is more important to pick your pods frequently (at least once or twice a week) to get more beans.
  • Instantly after harvesting shifts the harvested produce to shade.
  • Further, there will be 2 to 3 pickings to be done at 4 to 5 days interval.

The Yield in Organic French Beans Farming

Around 12 to 15 tonnes/hectare of marketable French bean yields can be achieved by adopting good organic production technology.

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