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Coimbatore, Feb 7

LRG 41, a notified red gram variety, released by the agricultural research station, Lam, Andhra Pradesh, is being recommended for cultivation in the South Zone.

The variety is said to be drought- and pod borer pest-tolerant.

It is a long duration variety maturing in 200-210 days and the potential yield is estimated at around 1.5-2.0 tonnes a hectare under rain-fed situation and around 2.0-2.5 tonnes/hec under irrigated condition.

The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University conducted a frontline demonstration of the LRG 41 red gram at Boluvampatti village of Thondamuthur block during kharif 2009 (July). It was sown as intercrop in arecanut field with a spacing of 8' x 1'.

Field inspection officials said the variety produced more number of branches, pods/plant and bold seeds with 4-5 seeds/pod.

“Besides giving high yield, the variety is also tolerant to the pod borer pest,” the TNAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Murugesa Boopathi, said and urged scientists and department officials to popularise LRG 41.

He requested the scientists and Department officials to explore the possibilities for large-scale seed multiplication and distribution to farmers.

Rain-fed crop

Asked why red gram, the Vice-Chancellor said ‘it is grown as a rainfed crop in 29,000 hec in the State.

‘Because of climate change, labour shortage and poor adoption of advanced technologies by farmers, the area and production of redgram has decreased drastically over the years, resulting in a steep rise in the price level.

‘The State and the Centre, therefore, decided to implement various schemes so farmers take to cultivation of red gram.'

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 8, 2010)
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