Cultivation of Black Gram (Urad) ; A Complete Information Guide

Cultivation of Black Gram (Urad) ; A Complete Information Guide

Cultivation of Black gram (Urad) ; A Complete Information Guide 

Black gram (urad) (Vigna mungu L.Hepper) belongs to the family Leguminosae It is an annual plant attaining a height of 30 to 100 cm. It is one of the important pulse crops grown throughout India. 
Black gram (urad) is probably a native of India as is seen from the Vedic literature. There is a mention of urd seed in Vedic texts such as Kautilya’s ‘Arthasasthra’ and ‘Charak Samhita’.

It is grown all over the country in Kharif, and summer seasons. In northern India, it is grown, in Kharif and summer seasons while in south India it is grown in the Rabi season also. 
India currently represents the largest producer of black gram accounting for more than 70% of the global productionIt is cultivated over an area of about 3.75 (2019-20) million hectares with a total production of 1.5 to 1.9 million tonnes. The crop is extensively grown in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

Common Names of Blackgram ;

Sanskrit  – Masha 

English  – Black gram, Mungo bean, Urad bean
Hindi  – Udad, Udid, Urad, Urid, Urdi 
Bengali  – Masha kalaay, Mashkalai dal 
Marathi  – Udeed 
Tamil  – Ulundu, Uluntu 
Gujarati  – Adad, Alad 
Kannada – Uddu, Uddina Bhele 
Malayalam  – Uzunu
Telugu – Uttulu, Minumulu 
Punjabi – Daal maash 
Nepali  – Maas

Usage of Black Gram (Urad) 

1)It is consumed in the form of ‘dal’ (whole or split, husked and unhusked) or parched. 
2)It is the chief constituent of ‘papad’ and also of ‘bari’ (spiced balls) which make a delicious curry. 
3)Urd differs from other pulses in its peculiarity of attaining when ground up with water a somewhat mucilaginous pasty character, giving additional body to the mass. 
4)In the south, the husked dal is ground into a fine paste and allowed to ferment and is then mixed with an equal quantity of rice flour to make ‘dosa’ and ‘idli’. 
5)It is also fried to serve as a savoury dish. Urad dal is also used in the preparation of ‘halwa’ and ‘imarti’.
6)It is used as nutritive fodder especially for milch cattle.
7)It is also used as a green manuring crop. 
8)Urd plant possesses a deep root system that binds soil particles and thus prevents soil erosion. 

Nutritive Value of Black Gram (Urad );

Cultivation of Black Gram (Urad) ; A Complete Information Guide

100 gms of a Black gram (Urd) contains the following nutritive values;






10.8 g


38 mg


1.8 0 g


983 mg


25.21 g


267 mg


18.3 g


3.35 mg


58.9 g


0.273 mg


138 mg


0.254 mg


379 mg

Niacin (B3)

1.447 mg


7.57m g

Folate (B9)

628 μmg

Medicinal Importance of Black Gram (Urad);

1) Blackgram enhances the energy level
2) It boosts our heart health.
3) It is very effective for improving skin health.
4) Blackgram lowers down the pain and inflammation.
5) Blackram is a diuretic hence it prevents the kidney stone.
6) Blackgram gives strength to our nervous system.
7) it is very helpful in managing diabetes.

Classification of Black Gram ;

Vigna mungo is subdivided into two subspecies.

(1) V. mungo var. niger: It includes varieties that mature early and have bold seeds of black color. 
(2) V. mungo var. viridis: It includes varieties having a longer maturity period. Seeds are of small size and green color. 

Climatic Requirements for Blackgram (Urd) Cultivation ;

Black Gram (Urad) requires a hot and humid growing season. It is generally grown as a summer and rainy season crop in northern India. It is grown in both the main seasons of the eastern and southern parts of the country. 

It can be grown successfully from sea level up to an elevation of 1800 meters. Heavy rains during the flowering stage are harmful and adversely affect crop yields.

Soil Requirement for Black Gram (Urad) Cultivation ;

  • Black Gram (Urad) does well on heavier soils such as black cotton soils which retain moisture better. However, it can be grown on all types of soils ranging from sandy loam to heavy clay, except the alkaline and saline soils. 
  • Loam or slightly heavy soils with neutral pH are best suited for its cultivation. 
  • It should be grown on heavier soils in places where rainfall is scanty and on well-drained medium soils in humid regions.

Important Varieties of Black Gram (Urad) 

a) Selected Varieties on the basis of Duration and Yield;


Duration (Days)

Yield q/ha

Pant – U-19






Azad -urd -1



PDU – 1


12 – 14

KU – 300






b) Selected Varieties on the basis of Special Characteristics;



Suitable for All season

LBG-20 (Teja), T-9, LBG-623, WBG-26 (Usha), PBG-1, LBG-752, MBG-207, PU 31

suitable for the spring season.

PDU 1 and Mash 414

Yellow Mosaic Virus (YMV) resistant

Pant U – 19, Pant U – 30 Sarala, Jawahar urd – 2, Teja (LBG – 20), ADT – 4

Powdery Mildew (PM) resistant

TAU – 2 , IPU 02 – 43

Stem fly resistant

KBG – 512

Cercospora leaf spot resistant

Jawa har urd – 2, Jawahar urd – 3 


Rotations and Mixed Cropping 

Blackgram or urd is grown mixed with jowar, maize, bajra, and cotton crops during the Kharif season. 
Urad is profitably grown as intercrop in widely spaced crops like arhar and sugarcane. One to two rows of urd Type 9 can be planted between two rows of arhar planted 75 cm apart. Urad will mature in 80-85 days. urd yields to 7 quintals of grain without affecting the growth and yield of arhar. 
Similarly intercropping of urd can be done with spring-planted sugarcane. Planting of two rows of urd between two rows of sugarcane had given an additional urd yield of 5-7 quintals per hectare without any adverse effect on the performance of cane crop. 
The important crop rotations with Black Garam (urad)  in northern India are as given below;
1. Maize – Potato- urad 
2. Maize – Toria – urad 
3. Maize- wheat – urad 
4. Paddy – wheat – urad 
5. Urd-wheat-urad

Field Preparation for Black Gram (Urad) Cultivation ;

  • The field is prepared by one ploughing with mouldboard plough and followed by two to three harrowings followed by planking. The held should be well leveled and free from weeds. 
  • For summer crops, after harvesting of Rabi crops, give two to three harrowings followed by plankings 
  • To ensure good germination pre-sowing irrigation should be given.

Seed and Sowing for Black Gram (Urad) Cultivation ;

(1) Time of Sowing 

(a) Kharif: Sowing is done with the onset of monsoon in the later part of June or early part of July. 
(b) Summer: The sowing could be done from the third week of  February to the first week of April. Sowing done thereafter yields low due to rains at the time of maturity.
(2) Seed Rate And Spacing 
(a) Kharif: During Kharif season 12-15 kg seed is sufficient for sowing one hectare. Vegetative growth of the plants is more due to favorable climate during Kharif season, hence wider spacing is used. The crop should be sown in furrows opened at a distance of 45 cm. 
(b) Summer: About 20-25 kg seed is required for sowing of one-hectare area. Sowing should be done in furrows opened at a distance of 20-25 cm. Seed drills could be used for this purpose. 
3) Seed Treatment: Before sowing, the seed should be treated with Carbendazim 1 gm+ Thiram 1.5 gm per kg of seed Seed should also be inoculated with suitable Rhizobium culture if urad is being taken for the first time in the field or after a long duration

Use of Manures and Fertilisers in Black Gram (Urad) Cultivation ;

  • Being a leguminous crop, urd needs a small quantity of nitrogen for the early growth period on those soils which are poor in organic matter. Such soils should get about 15-20 kg nitrogen per hectare as a starter dose 
  • However, phosphatic and potassic fertilizers should be applied as per soil test values. In case, soil test facilities are not available, one can ap 50-60 kg P205, and 30-40 kg K20 per hectare. 
  • Also, apply Sulphur @ 20 kg /ha along with NPK  It will not only enhance the yield but also provide benefits to succeeding crops.
  • Apply Foliar spray of the 2% DAP and 2% Kcl at the time of Pre -flowering stage to enhances the yield.  
  • The fertilizers should be applied by drilling at the time of sowing in such a way that they are placed about 5-7 cm below the seed.

Water Management  in Black Gram (Urad) Crop ;

For rainy season crops, irrigation is not needed but good drainage is essential. Irrigation facilities should be available for raising urd crop during the summer season. The number and frequency of irrigation depend upon the soil type and weather prevailing during the growth period. Generally, the crop should get irrigation at an interval of 10-15 days. From flowering to the pod development stage, there is a need for sufficient moisture in the field.

Weed Control in Black Gram (Urad) Crop ;

One or two hand weedings should be done up to 40 days of sowing depending upon the weed intensity. Weeds can be controlled by the use of chemicals too. Use Basalin 1 kg a.i. per hectare in 800-1000 liters of water as a pre-planting spray. It should be well incorporated in the soil before sowing.  Pendimethalin or Metalachlor @ 1.0-1.5 kg/ha are found very effective as a post-emergence spray.

Harvesting and Threshing of Black Gram (Urad) 

Urd should be harvested when most of the pods turn black. Over maturity may result in shattering. The harvested crop should be dried on the threshing floor for few days and then threshed. Threshing can be done either manually or by trampling under the feet of bullocks.

The yield of Black Gram;

A well-managed crop, as indicated above, may yield about 15-20 quintals of grain per hectare.

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