The first flowers appear seven to eight weeks after planting and are self-pollinating. The pods are borne at the top of the plant are 7.5–10cm long and have between 10 and 15 seeds. Seeds are oval in shape and 100 seeds weigh between 3 and 7g. Seed colour at maturity can range from yellow, greenish-yellow, light green, dull green, black, brown and green mottled with black.
In Australia, the term mungbean refers to the green-seeded types. Mungbeans are classified as a pulse and are commonly used in many Asian dishes, seed appearance and quality are therefore of vital importance. The first commercial mungbean varieties were grown in the 1960s in Australia using varieties introduced from Taiwan. About 95% of the mungbeans produced in Australia are exported.
Marketing of mungbeans is very different to other pulse crops as consumers purchase mungbeans as a vegetable. In this respect production guidelines need to be adhered to and the final grading and processing of the crop is of vital importance.
Facts and figures
- Mungbeans are a member of the pulse grain crops
- As mungbeans are a very short season crop (90–110 days), they are very management intensive
- The soil profiles of paddocks should be assessed for adequate stored water before sowing
- The visual quality of the grain is very important as mungbeans are marketed as vegetables
- Mungbeans are a relatively small summer crop and require specialised marketing
- Over 95% of Australian mungbean production is exported each year
- Helicoverpa and Mirids is a major threat to mungbean production
India, Burma, Thailand and Indonesia produce almost 90% of the world’s mungbean. Australia’s exports of mungbean have increased with Queensland being the major producer of exported mungbean.
About 90% of the mungbeans produced in Australia are exported to countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand, where they are marketed as a vegetable rather than a bulk grain, so visual quality is very important.