Guar seed ( Guar Gum) Cultivation in India is increasing day by day. Guar is a multipurpose crop. Its green pods are used as vegetable, grains as pulse and green plants as fodder and for soil manuring purpose. Since it is a leguminous crop, it also has soil enriching and erosion resisting properties. This booklet describes the scientific cultivation of guar including varieties, nutrient requirement, plant protection measures, economics of cultivation, etc, in detail.

  I. Introduction

Guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) has been grown in India since ancient time for vegetables and fodder purposes. At present it is grown more for mucilaginous gum production. The presence of a number of wild relatives of guar in Africa suggests that it was most probably originated in Africa. In India, it is grown in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. Guar plant produces a cluster of flowers, therefore, it is also known as cluster bean. Its taproot system is well developed. Therefore, it is also popular as drought hardy plant and can survive better under comparatively dry conditions.

II. Climate

Guar is a photosensitive crop. It grows in specific climatic condition, which ensure a soil temperature around 25°C for proper germination, long photo-period, with humid air during its growth period and finally short photo-period with cool dry air at flowering and pod formation. Accordingly, it is definitely a kharif season crop in North India, but some varieties have been found to grow during March to June as spring- summer crop and other varieties grow during July to November as rainy season crop under South Indian climatic conditions. It is a crop preferring warm climate and grows well in the subtropics during summer.

It also grows well in arid zone with 30 -40 cm rainfall. Heavy rains, producing waterlogged condition or more compact soils disturb its root system with surface feeding nature and reduce nitrogen fixing bacterial activity.

III. Soil

The guar crop prefers a well drained sandy loam soil. It can tolerate saline and moderately alkaline soils with pH ranging between 7.5 and 8.0. Heavy clay soils, poor in nodulation and bacterial activities, are not suitable for this crop.

Soils with medium to light constituents, without excessive moisture, are suitable for its cultivation. Even soils with poor fertility and depleted plant nutrients are suitable for growing Guar as a green manure crop. Pasture lands receiving little care can also be used for growing guar mixed with grasses.

IV. Varieties

The guar varieties developed recently, focus on plant characters which determine grain production or vegetable pod production or green fodder yield and quality. Some of them are described below.

1. Durgapur Safed
It is a selection from the local variety and is recommended for Rajasthan legion. It is an early maturing variety and takes about 105 days to mature. It is mainly grown for grain production. Its grains are suitable for gum (30%) extraction. Seeds are medium bold with buff colour. It yields about 15 quintals of grains per hectare. It is susceptible to diseases like leaf spot and bacterial blight.

2. FS-277
This variety is recommended for growing in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It has wide adaptability and can be grown under rainfed or irrigated condition for grain or green fodder purposes. It matures in about 130 days. Its p1ants are single stemmed and tall growing producing flowers profusely at alter- nate nodes. Seeds are white in colour containing about 30-32% gum. It produces about 1.9 quintals of dry grains per hectare or a yield of 300 quintals green fodder can be expected from this variety under irrigated conditions.

3. Ageta Guara-111
It is a selection from advanced generation of hybridization between guar strain no 235 and FS-277. It has a special character of early maturity and matures in about 95 days. Plants of this variety are dwarf, loaded with clusters of completely filled pods at each node. This variety under favourable conditions can yield about 30 quintals of grains per hectare. It is recommended for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Its seeds are gray in colour, small in size with 30.76% gum. The variety is susceptible to diseases like leaf spot and bacterial blight.

4. Guar No.2
This variety is recommended for all the states of the northern India. It can be grown under rainfed as well as irrigated conditions. It is primarily grown for green fodder. Its plants are branched and produce more leaves and tender branches. It yields about 250 quintals of green fodder. If allowed to mature it hardly produces 8-10 quintals of dry grains.

5. GH-10
This variety has wide adaptability and can be grown for grain purpose under late sown conditions. It matures in about 130 days. It yields about 18 quintals of dry grain per hectare.

6. HFG-119
It is a late maturing variety with wide adaptability for North Indian climate. Its plants are erect, branching, tall in height. Its seeds are gray buff colour. It is grown both for grain as well as green fodder purposes. It takes more than 13) days to mature. It produces about 350 quintals of green fodder or 16 -18 quintals of dry grain per hectare. Its seeds are medium bold, containing 30.7% gum.

7. Pusa Sadabahar
This variety is suitable for green pod production. It is photo-insensitive and grows for longer duration producing green pods for pretty sufficient period. It can be sown as early as March and starts producing pods after 45 days of sowing, Plucking of pods continues till September. It is also suitable for green fodder and green manuring. The disadvantage with this variety is poor quality of pods. It yields about 60 -70 quintals of green pods per hectare. It is recommended for South India as rain fed crop.
8. Pusa Mausami
It is recommended for vegetable pod production in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Its plants are unbranched, produce slender, attractive, smooth pods of 1.2 cm length. The pods being non-fibrous are used as vegetable. The first plucking of pods begins 80 days after sowing. This variety can be grown under rainfed as well as irrigated conditions. It yields' about 50 quintals of green pods per hectare.

9. Pusa Navbahar
This variety has wide adaptability and can be grown through out .India during rainy season. It is especially popular for longer and better quality pods in South India. Its plants are unbranched and produce cluster of pods at each node, which become a harbour for diseases and pests during rainy season. Its pods are non fibrous. It has a prolonged period of plucking and yields about 60 quintals of green pods per hectare.

Some important varieties of guar popular in different regions of India are listed in table -1.

Table-I. Varieties of' guar for different regions

Northern India
Pusa Navbahar, Pusa Mausami, Pusa Sadabahar, GH-10, HFG-119, Ageta Guara-111, Guar No.2, FS-277, Durgapur Safed, S-299-7, G-1, G-2, G-4, HG-12, D-111, D-128, G-429, HG-75, B-17, B-2796, IGFRI-5212
Southern India
Pusa Navbahar, Pusa Sadabahar, GH-10, HFG-119, Saradbahar, IC 11704, P-28-1, CP-78, S-299-7, IC-11521, IC-11388.

V. Land Preparation

Guar crop requires a well prepared field, with adequate soil moisture for its seed germination. During early growth period, soil aeration encourages root development and bacterial growth. Therefore, field should be ploughed to fine tilth by giving two or three deep ploughing with soil-turning plough, followed by harrowing and planking. The field should be free from weeds and other crop residues. Arrangements for drainage channel-cum-water channel for heavy rain- fall areas or irrigated areas should be made while preparing the field. The farmyard manure should be mixed with soil at the time of last ploughing.

VI. Seed and Sowing

The important steps involved in the sowing of guar are described here.

1. Time of sowing
Summer crop of guar in northern India is sown in March, while kharif crop in June. For grain crop, the best time of sowing is during July. Early sowings result in more vegetative growth, lodging and loss of yield. The best sowing time for fodder crop is April. In Peninsular India, guar is sown in September. In South India, it is sown at any time between February to October. Guar sowing time is adjusted to May-June to increase supply of vegetable pods. Crop sown in June in Haryana and in July in Punjab gives better production of vegetable pods.

2. Seed rate
Seed rate of guar crop varies from 15 kg to 45 kg per hectare depending upon soil moisture and spacing. About 20 kg seed per hectare is sufficient for grain crop. Seed rate for crops grown for fodder or green manuring is about 40 kg per hectare. Seed rate is normally increased under late sown condition, dry condition, and soil salinity or alkalinity conditions.

3. Spacing
A spacing of 45 cm between rows and 15 cm, between plants is given for crops grown for grain production. However, spacing is generally reduced under late sowing and poor soil fertility conditions. Closer spacing of 30 X 12 cm is provided for fodder crop. A wider spacing of 60 X 30 cm is desirable for crops grown for green vegetable pod production.

4. Seed treatment
In humid areas, where there are more chances of disease out-break, seeds are treated in the following ways.

i. Dry seed is coated with Ceresan or Thiram at the rate of 3 gm fungicide per kilogram of seed to kill the spores of fungus resting on the seed coat.
ii. Seed is immersed in hot water at 560 C for 10 minutes and then dried at room temperature before sowing. This kills all the fungus mycelium and inactivates their spores to spread disease in the crop.

5. Inoculation of seed ,vith bacterial culture
Guar plant develops, nodules on its roots, in which a special kind of bacteria live and convert the free nitrogen of the atmosphere into a form of fertilizer which is absorbed by the roots of the plant. This symbiotic relation of the bacteria and root nodules is useful in saving cost of nitrogenous fertilizers. Therefore, before sowing the seeds are inoculated with these bacteria so that their population increases in the soil, with the growth of the plant. This is done by preparing a 10% sugar or gur solution in boiling water. This sugar solution is allowed to cool. On cooling 3 -4 packets of guar bacterial culture are mixed with solution to make a thin paste. This paste is coated over to the seed. Seed is dried under shade for 30 -40 minutes before sowing.

6. Method of sowing
Seed of guar can be sown by broadcast method, when. There is sufficient soil moisture during the beginning of the rainy season. The field is roughly divided into long stripes of convenient size. The seed is evenly spread by hands over the surface of the field, while walking through the long stripes of the field. The field is ploughed after spreading the seed. This method does not ensure proper spacing and creates problems while hoeing, weeding and removing excessive rain water.

Line sowing with the help of pora behind the plough or by seed-drill is useful in sowing the seed at proper spacing and depth. This results in better seed germination. Line sowing is also useful for carrying out hoeing-weeding and removing excessive rain water.

VII. Manures and Fertilizers

Guar crop needs 10-12 tonnes of well decomposed farmyard manure, especially when it is being cultivated on poor sandy soils, or after taking an exhausting crop. This manure is applied a month before sowing.

Nitrogenous fertilizers are applied only in small quantity (about 20 kg of nitrogen) because most of nitrogen to the crop comes from the atmosphere through bacterial action. Phosphatic fertilizers about 60 kg, potassic 20 kg per hectare along with 20 kg of nitrogen are applied as basal dose as the time of sowing, with the help of pora just 4 -5 cm below the seed. Spray the crop with 0.15% solution of sodium molybdate after 30 days of sowing after the seedling emergence increases the yield of both fodder and grain.

VIII. Irrigation

The kharif season crop grown during rainy season as a rule, does not need any irrigation if rains are adequate and well distributed. If rains are too heavy, the excess water should be drained off promptly. For dry season crops, irrigation. at fortnightly intervals in the early summer and at ten days intervals later are given. Normally the crop requires 4-5 irrigations.

IX. Crop Rotations

Crop rotation is a system of growing crops in such a way that the same field does not get the same crop year after year. This helps in controlling diseases and pests of the crop and also in maintaining soil fertility. A number of crops of the same season like bajra, guar, cotton, rice, sorghum, sugarcane etc, are put in crop rotation sequence. Some common crop rotations with guar are given below.

Rice -cotton -guar -bajra
Guar -rice -sorghum
Sorghum -guar -cotton
Cotton -guar -rice -sorghum

XX.  Intercropping 

The guar for forage is generally grown mixed with jowar or bajra. This makes a well balanced, nutritious and palatable feed for cattle. Intercropping guar with other kharif season crops like cotton, sorghum, maize, etc serve dual purpose. It provides additional and timely returns and improves the soil fertility for the partner crop. Guar crop can also be taken as intercrop in sugarcane crop.

XI. Weed Control

Guar field in kharif season is always full with a number of weed plants, Hoeing and weeding in the initial stages of plant growth with the help of khurpi, tined harrow reduces the weed-crop competition and increases soil aeration for bacterial growth. The application of Basalin at the rate of 1.0 kg a.i. per hectare as pre- planting dose suppresses the growth of grasses and other weeds.

XII. Disease Contol

The most common diseases of guar are wilt, bacterial blight, powdery mildew, and anthracnose. These diseases along with their control measures are described here.

1. Wilt
This disease is caused by Fusarium monolifonne. The pathogen is soil- borne and, therefore, its damage is of localized nature. It causes infection to the base of plants including roots and seedlings. The roots show dis-colouration and plant wilts. Poor emergence of seedlings is the first symptom of the disease. The seedlings rot before or soon after emergence.



a. Mixed croping of guar with sorghum reduces the damage up to 55 per cent.
b. Addition of organic manures also reduces the disease incidence.
c. Seed treatment with Agrosan GN or Thiram or Captan at the rate 3 g/kg seed prevents the disease spread during germination and seedling emergence.

2. Antharacnose
This disease is caused by Colletotncum capsici. The disease is more severe in high rainfall subtropical to temperate areas than in tropical areas. The fungus is seed -borne and symptoms may start as early as in seedling stage. The most characteristic symptoms of the disease are black, sunken, crater like cankers on the pods, stem or cotyledons. The lesions remain isolated by yellow -orange margins. They give out a dull salmon conloured ooze from the centre when humidity is very high.


a. Use healthy seed., b. Avoid excess watering; c. Give wider spacing; d. Use hot water treated seed ; e. Spray fungicides like Dithane M -45 or Dithane Z- 78 at the rate of 2 kg in l000 litres of water per hectare.

3. Powdery mildew
This disease is caused by Oidium ~pp. White powdery growth occurs on leaves, spreading to cover the stem and other plant parts. In severe cases, the entire plant dries up.

 I. Control

a. Dustig with sulphur powder
b. Spraing with systemic fungicides Benlate or Bavistin and Calixin gives effective control of powdery mildew.
c. Sowing healthy seed after treating with Thiram.
d. Follow a crop rotation to reduce the soil- borne innoculum of the fungus.

4. Bacterial blight
This disease is caused by Xanthomonas cyamophagus. The disease is characterized by irregular, sunken, red to brown leaf spots surrounded by a narrow yellowish halo. Several spots coalesce to from irregular patches. The spots may also develop on pods.



a. Grow resistant varieties like HC-75, HFC-119, etc.
b. Treat the seed with thiram at the rate of 3 gm/kg seed. Also adopt hot water treatment at 560 C for 10 minutes.
c. Eradicate affected plants and burn them.

5. Leaf spot
This disease is caused by Myrothecium roridum. Dark brown round spots appear on leaf. In case of severe infection. Several spots merge together and leaflets become chlorotic and usually drop off. If plants are infected in the early stages of growth, there may not be any flowering.



Spray with Dithane Z- 78,0.2% at the interval of 15 days, twice or thrice.

XIII. Pest Control

Guar is a rainy season crop. Therefore, a number of insect pests feed and grow on its leaves and pods. Some important ones are described here.

1. Hairy caterpillars
Ascotis imparata and Spilosoma obliqua, Amsacta lactinae and Euproctis scintilans are the insects that cause heavy damage. The adult lays eggs in clusters over the surface of the leaves. The larvae cause characteristic skeletonisation of leaves during the early gregarious stage and later they completely defoliate the plant. The pest can easily be controlled by systematic collection of larvae during the early gregarious stage or spraying with Endosulfan @ 0.07 percent.

2. Jassid
Empoasca fabae, Empoasca Kraemeri and Amrascakerri are serious pest of the crop. The nymph are wingless and found in abundance on the lower surface of the leaves. The nymph and adult pierce the plant tissues and suck the cell sap. Leaves become yellow at the margin. They can be controlled by: (i) soil application of systemic granular insecticides such as Aldicarb 10 G at the rate of 10 -15 kg per hectare. (ii) spray of Endosulphan 35 EC at the rate of 2litres in 1000 litres of water, or (iii) dusting of BHC 10% dust at the rate of 20 -25 kg per hectare.

XIV. Harvesting and Yield
The pods of the guar become ready for plucking, depending upon the variety, from 40 days onwards after sowing. Picking is done at an interval of 10 –12 days. When crop is grown for fodder, the plants are cut when they are in flowering stage or when the pods are beginning to emerge. This stage comes 50 to 80 days after sowing. For green manuring the crop can be ploughed down as soon as the pods begin to develop. The yield of the green material crop is about 120 quintals per hectare. When crop is grown for seeds, it is left until the pods are mature, then harvested with the help of sickles and dried and threshed.

A good crop under favourable climatic conditions yields about 300 quintals of green fodder or 15 quintals of dry seeds or 60 quintals of green pods per hectare.

XV. Uses and Importance

Guar plant as whole is useful, nothing goes waste. Its green pods are used as vegetables when cut into bits and cooked mixed with potato, they form delicious dish. Also pods are salted and dried to eat after frying. Its green and dry plants are fed to cattle. In fact, It is the only dependable kharif legume fodder in North  Indian dry climatic conditions. Guar fodder mixed with maize or bajra or sorghum fodder improves the nutritive value of the fodders. It is also grown mixed with grasses on the pasture lands. Meals from processed guar seed are used for cattle.

On sloppy lands its thick, branched, erect crop covers the soil below and saves it from soil erosion. And in very poor sandy soils or extensively exhausted soils, guar crop is used as green manure crop to improve the fertility and physical properties.

Guar seed is an important source of gum and industrial raw material. It has been estimated that on the whole-seed basis, guar seed contains about 30.7% gum. This gum is used in paper industry, in explosives, in mining and in various food products such as ice. cream, cheese, salad dressings, and fruit drinks.

1 comment:

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