Introduction: -Lentil also popularly known as Masur is one of the most important proteins and fiber-rich pulse crop. It is one of the members of the legume family. Lentils are grown in pods and is available in red, black, brown and green varieties. It is most preferred and used as Dal thereby splitting into 2 cotyledons. Lentil belongs to the species of Lens Culinaris. Its plant is bushy and the seeds are lens-shaped. The common names in different parts of the world for lentil are such as Adas (Arabic), Mercimek (Turkey), Messer (Ethiopia), Masser or Masur (India) and Heramame (Japanese).
Lentil being hypogeal, the cotyledons of the germinating seed stays in the ground and inside the seed coat thus it is less affected by frost, wind erosion or insect attack.
For lentil, no pollination process is involved as it is self-pollinated.
Health Benefits of Lentil: –
Lentil has wide health benefits which are briefly illustrated here.
⦁ It promotes health of the heart
⦁ Helps in Pregnancy
⦁ It lowers the risk of Cancer
⦁ It helps against Fatigue
⦁ It helps in digestion
Climate Requirement in Lentil: –
The climate requirement for the growing of lentil is depended upon the region where it is grown. Lentils are planted in winter and spring under low temperature in case of temperate climate where the growth occurs in later spring and the summer. The lentils are planted under the relatively high temperature at the sub-tropical regions during the end of the rainy season where the legume starts to grow in the winter season whereby during this period the rainfall is limited. For regions like West Asia and North Africa, some lentils are planted before snowfall as a winter crop. Here the growth of the plant takes place at the time of snow melting. This situation leads to much higher yields.
Soil Requirements in Lentil: –
Various types of soil are favorable for the growth of lentil. But it gives the best result in case of deep sandy loam soil consisting moderate fertility. The pH range of 7 is most preferred for proper growth. Soils that are saline, alkaline or waterlogged should be avoided. In order to get the seed their uniform place and depth, the soil should be kept weed free.
The popular varieties of Lentils are LL 699, LL 931. Apart from these are Bombay 18, DPL 15, DPL 62, L4632, K 75 and Pusa 4076.
Land Preparation: –
In case of heavy soils, one deep plowing should be done thereby following 3-4 cross harrowing. In order to prepare seed-bed, less tillage is required for light soils. For proper grinding of land 2 to 3 ploughings are sufficient. The field should be leveled properly in order to have proper distribution of water. The field should be properly moisturized at the time of sowing of seeds.
Sowing of Seeds in Lentil: –
The favorable time for sowing of seeds ranges from mid of October to the first week of November.
The seeds of the lentils should be placed in a queue keeping 22 cm apart. Row spacing should be reduced to 20 cm in case of late sowing conditions. The seeds to be sown keeping 3-4 cm depth. Pora method or seed cum fertilizer drill methods can also be adapted for doing sowing of seeds or else it can be done manually.
The rate of Seeds in Lentil: –
The rate of seed is approximately 12 to 15 kg/acre.
Before sowing seeds should be treated with Captan or Thiram @ 3gm/kg in order to have a better yield.
Fertilizers Applied in Lentil: –
Urea and Superphosphate are the fertilizers that areapplied while lentil cultivation. 5 kg of Nitrogen (12 kg of Urea), 8 kg of P2O5 (50 kg of Superphosphate) is needed at the time of sowing and is applied per acre when seeds are inoculated and if it is not so then this dose is doubled.
Weed Control in Lentil: –
The most common weeds that are found in Lentil are Chenopodium album (Bathua), Vicia sativa (ankari), Lathyrus spp (chatrimatri), etc.
These weeds can be controlled by applying the process of hoeing at least 2 times keeping an interval of 30 to 60 days. In order to have proper crop stand and yield, a weed-free period of 45 to 60 days should be maintained. The application of Stomp 30 EC @ 550 ml/acre with one hoeing at 50 days after sowing is used as a pre-emergence application in order to have effective weed control.
Lentil being grown as a rain-fed crop requires 2 to 3 irrigations in case of irrigated conditions thereby depending upon the climatic conditions. First irrigation should be done after 4 weeks of sowing while the second should be done at the flowering stage. Pod formation and flower initiation are the main stages of water requirement.
Pests and Diseases in Lentil: –
Pod Borer, Rust and Blight are the common pests and diseases found in Lentil. To control Pod Borer, 900 gm of Hexavin 50 WP along with 90 liters of water is sprayed per acre at the time of flowering. If necessary, this spray can be repeated further.
To control Rust disease, a spray of 400 gm M-45 to 200 liters of water is applied per acre.
In order to control disease Blight, 400 gm of Bavistin along with 200-liter water is sprayed per acre to the farm area.
Lentils become ready for harvest when the plant gets dried and the pod gets matured. Harvesting of Lentils should be done at the proper time in order to have a better yield. The over-ripening of pods of the Lentils should be avoided or else the yield may be lost. Sticks can be used for beating the plants in order to do threshing. After this, the seeds are dried and cleaned up in the sunshine. 12 % should be the moisture content at the time of storage.
The expected yield of Lentil comes to 118.95 tonnes in India covering all major lentil producing states.