Black Gram (urad) Cultivation & Farming


Black gram, also known as urad, is an important pulse crop grown extensively in India. It is highly valued for its nutritional content and versatility in culinary applications. In this article, we will delve into the details of black gram cultivation and farming in India, covering various aspects such as soil requirements, sowing methods, crop management, harvesting, and more.

Soil Requirements

Black gram thrives in well-drained, loamy soil with a pH range of 6 to 7.5. It can tolerate a wide range of soil textures, from sandy to clayey, but performs best in medium-textured soils. Good soil fertility is essential for higher yields, so it is advisable to enrich the soil with organic matter such as farmyard manure or compost before sowing.

Climate and Season

Black gram is a warm-season crop that requires a tropical or subtropical climate for optimal growth. It prefers temperatures between 25°C and 35°C. The crop is highly susceptible to frost and cold weather, so it should be sown after the danger of frost has passed. In India, the ideal time for black gram cultivation varies across different regions, but generally, it is sown from February to March or July to August.


There are several popular black gram varieties cultivated in India. Some of the commonly grown varieties include:

  1. T-9
  2. Pant U-19
  3. KU-3
  4. TAU-1
  5. UH-1

Each variety has its own unique characteristics and adaptability to specific agro-climatic conditions. It is recommended to choose the variety that suits your region and market demand.

Seed Selection and Treatment

Selecting healthy and viable seeds is crucial for a successful black gram crop. Choose seeds that are bold, uniform in size, and free from diseases or damage. Before sowing, treat the seeds with Trichoderma or Pseudomonas-based bioagents to protect them from soil-borne diseases.

Sowing Methods

Black gram can be sown using various methods, including broadcasting, line sowing, or dibbling. The choice of sowing method depends on the farmer’s preference and prevailing farming practices in the region. However, line sowing is generally preferred as it allows better weed control and facilitates proper spacing between plants.

Seed Rate and Spacing

The recommended seed rate for black gram is around 2-3 kg per acre. Maintain a row-to-row spacing of 30-45 cm and a plant-to-plant spacing of 10-15 cm. Adequate spacing ensures sufficient light penetration and airflow, which reduces the chances of disease incidence and promotes better yield.


Black gram requires adequate moisture for optimal growth and development. The crop should be irrigated at regular intervals, ensuring that the soil moisture is maintained at an optimal level. Over-irrigation should be avoided as it can lead to waterlogging and root rot. The frequency and quantity of irrigation may vary depending on the soil type and prevailing weather conditions.

Nutrient Management

Proper nutrient management is essential to obtain high yields in black gram cultivation. Conduct a soil test to determine the nutrient status of the soil and accordingly apply organic manures or fertilizers. Generally, the crop requires nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the ratio of 20:40:20 kg per hectare. Split the fertilizer application into multiple doses to ensure efficient utilization by the crop.

Weed Management

Weeds compete with black gram plants for nutrients, moisture, and light, thereby affecting their growth and productivity. Manual weeding, along with the timely use of herbicides, is essential to control weeds effectively. Pre-emergence herbicides like pendimethalin or fluchloralin can be used to prevent weed emergence before sowing, while post-emergence herbicides like quizalofop or fenoxaprop can be used to control weeds after crop emergence.

Disease and Pest Management

Black gram is susceptible to various diseases and pests, which can significantly impact the crop yield. Common diseases include powdery mildew, leaf spot, and root rot, while pests like pod borer and whitefly can cause damage to the crop. Regular field monitoring and the application of appropriate fungicides or insecticides can help manage these threats effectively. Consult with local agricultural extension services for recommended control measures.


Black gram is harvested when the pods turn yellowish-brown and the seeds attain their maximum dry weight. The crop is generally harvested by hand picking or by using a sickle. After harvesting, the plants should be dried in the field for a few days. Threshing can be done manually or by using threshing machines to separate the seeds from the pods. Proper post-harvest handling and storage practices should be followed to prevent seed damage or spoilage.

Areas of Cultivation in India

Here are some of the major areas where black gram cultivation takes place:

  1. Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest producers of black gram in India. The districts of Dewas, Ujjain, Indore, and Shajapur are known for their extensive black gram cultivation.
  2. Uttar Pradesh: In Uttar Pradesh, black gram cultivation is prominent in districts like Pratapgarh, Kanpur, Faizabad, and Allahabad. The favorable climate and suitable soil conditions contribute to its cultivation in these regions.
  3. Rajasthan: Black gram cultivation is widespread in Rajasthan, particularly in districts such as Kota, Bundi, Jodhpur, and Jaipur. The arid climate and sandy loam soils in these areas are conducive to black gram farming.
  4. Maharashtra: In Maharashtra, the regions of Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, and Buldhana witness significant black gram cultivation. The Vidarbha region, in particular, is known for its production of high-quality black gram.
  5. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: Black gram is a popular crop in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The districts of Warangal, Nalgonda, Guntur, and Krishna are major contributors to black gram production in these states.
  6. Bihar: Black gram cultivation is prevalent in Bihar, with notable production in districts like Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Bhagalpur, and Patna. The fertile Gangetic plains provide suitable conditions for its growth.
  7. Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu is another state where black gram cultivation is prominent. Districts such as Salem, Erode, Tiruchirappalli, and Madurai are known for their black gram farming activities.
  8. Karnataka: Black gram cultivation is practiced in various districts of Karnataka, including Hassan, Tumkur, Chitradurga, and Mysore. The state’s favorable agro-climatic conditions make it suitable for black gram farming.
  9. Gujarat: In Gujarat, black gram cultivation is observed in districts like Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Banaskantha, and Kutch. The state’s diverse agro-climatic zones allow for the cultivation of various crops, including black gram.
  10. Punjab and Haryana: While primarily known for their wheat and rice production, Punjab and Haryana also witness black gram cultivation. The districts of Karnal, Kurukshetra, and Fatehabad are known for growing black gram in these states.

These are just a few of the regions where black gram cultivation is prominent in India. The crop’s adaptability and economic significance have led to its cultivation in several other states and districts as well.


Black gram cultivation and farming in India offer great potential for farmers. With the right agronomic practices, pest management strategies, and attention to soil fertility, black gram can be a profitable crop. It is important for farmers to stay updated with the latest advancements and best practices in black gram cultivation to maximize their yields and profitability.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the ideal climate for black gram cultivation? Black gram thrives in a tropical or subtropical climate with temperatures between 25°C and 35°C. It requires warm conditions for optimal growth.

2. How long does it take for black gram to mature? The maturity period of black gram varies between 60 to 90 days, depending on the variety and prevailing weather conditions.

3. Can black gram be grown as an intercrop with other crops? Yes, black gram can be grown as an intercrop with crops like maize, pigeon pea, or cotton, provided proper spacing and agronomic practices are followed.

4. What are the common pests that affect black gram cultivation? Some of the common pests that affect black gram cultivation include pod borer, whitefly, and aphids. Regular monitoring and timely pest control measures are essential.

5. Where can I find reliable market information for black gram? You can consult local agricultural extension services, market committees, or online platforms that provide real-time market information for black gram.