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Black gram (Vigna mungo)

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Description
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Common names 

Black gram, urd bean, urad bean, black lentil, black matpe bean, mungo bean [English]; ambérique, haricot urd [French]; feijão-da-India, feijão-preto [Portuguese]; frijol mungo, fréjol negro, frijol negro, lenteja negra, urd [Spanish]; Urdbohne, Linsenbohne [German]; fagiolo indiano nero, fagiolo mungo nero [Italian]; mchooko mweusi [Swahili]; Đậu mười [Vietnamese]; عدس أسود[Arabic]; বিউলি, কলাই , মাসকলাই  [Bengali]; અડદ [Gujarati]; उड़द दाल [Hindi]; ケツルアズキ [Japanese]; ವಿಗ್ನಾ ಮುಂಗೊ [Kannada]; ഉഴുന്ന് [Malayalam]; उडीद [Marathi]; मास [Nepali]; Урд [Russian]; උඳු [Sinhala]; உளுந்து [Tamil]; మినుములు [Telugu]; ถั่วดำ [Thai]

  • Black gram fodder
  • Black gram straw, black gram haulms, urd bhoosa
  • Black gram seeds
  • Black gram chuni, Black gram bran, urd chuni, mashkalai bran, moong chuni
Synonyms 

Azukia mungo (L.) Masam., Phaseolus hernandezii Savi, Phaseolus max sensu auct., Phaseolus mungo L., Phaseolus mungo L. var. radiatus sensu Baker, Phaseolus radiatus Roxb. non L., Phaseolus roxburghii Wight & Arn. (ILDIS, 2009).

Taxonomic information 

Black gram (Vigna mungo) is a different species from mung bean/green gram (Vigna radiata). Both species are similar and are sometimes called by the same vernacular names (see Description below).

Related feed(s) 
Description 

Black gram (Vigna mungo (L.) Hepper) is an erect, fast-growing annual, herbaceous legume reaching 30-100 cm in height. It has a well-developed taproot and its stems are diffusely branched from the base. Occasionally it has a twining habit and it is generally pubescent. The leaves are trifoliate with ovate leaflets, 4-10 cm long and 2-7 cm wide. The inflorescence is borne at the extremity of a long (up to 18 cm) peduncle and bears yellow, small, papilionaceous flowers. The fruit is a cylindrical, erect pod, 4-7 cm long x 0.5 cm broad. The pod is hairy and has a short hooked beak. It contains 4-10 ellipsoid black or mottled seeds (Ecocrop, 2011; Jansen, 2006). Many Vigna mungo cultivars exist, each one adapted to specific environmental conditions. Early maturing, disease resistant and easily cultivated cultivars have been obtained (Jansen, 2006).

Vigna mungo resembles green gram (Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek) with two main differences: the corolla of Vigna mungo is bright yellow while that of Vigna radiata is pale yellow; black gram pods are erect whereas they are pendulous for green gram. Black gram is somewhat more hairy than green gram; the white hilum also protrudes from the seed. Black gram is sown on heavier soils and green gram is sown on lighter soils (Göhl, 1982).

Vigna mungo seeds are mainly a staple food and the dehulled and split seeds (dhal in Hindi) are a common dish in South Asia. They can be ground into flour and used for making papadum, a typical Indian flat bread (Jansen, 2006). Seeds, sprouts and green pods are edible and much appreciated for their high digestibility and lack of flatulence induction (Jansen, 2006; Fery, 2002). The seeds are normally too expensive to be used as a feed, even in areas of primary production (Rajaguru et al., 1985). The by-product of dhal processing (chuni or bran) constitutes about 15-20% of the seed weight and comprises hulls, germs and broken seeds. Chuni is a potential feed resource and large quantities are available in India and other Southern Asian countries where black gram is a popular food (Reddy et al., 2000).

Vigna mungo is also grown for forage and hay (Göhl, 1982). Its crop residues are an important feed for livestock in some regions of India (Sandeep Saran et al., 2000). Fodder is derived mainly from the leaves and stems, but seeds, pods and pod husks are also used. Vigna mungo is usually fed to cattle as a fodder but the plant, the seeds and the by-products are also consumed by other species (Fuller, 2004). Vigna mungo can be used as cover crop and green manure (Jansen, 2006). It is often used as dry season intercrop in rice or wheat as it has a beneficial effect on soil nutrient status (Parashar, 2006).

Distribution 

Vigna mungo originated from central Asia and India from where it was domesticated. It is now found in many tropical areas of Asia, Africa and Madagascar. It is cultivated in the USA and Australia as a fodder crop (Jansen, 2006; Arora et al., 1989). It is generally found in lowlands but can grow up to 1800 m above sea level provided there is neither frost nor prolonged cloudiness (Ecoport, 2011; Arora et al., 1989). Optimal growth conditions are average day temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C and annual rainfall of 600-1000 mm. It has poor tolerance of wet tropical climates but in high rainfall areas it can be grown during the dry period on residual moisture. It grows better on rich black vertisols or loamy soils, well-drained soils with a pH 6-7 (Baligar et al., 2007; Arora et al., 1989). It can withstand acidic soils (down to pH 4.5) if lime and gypsum are added to the soil (Baligar et al., 2007). It is drought-tolerant and thus suitable for semi-arid areas (Arora et al., 1989). Vigna mungo is sensitive to saline and alkaline soils (Sharma et al., 2011)

The main producer of black gram is India, which produces about 1.5 million t of seeds annually (Sharma et al., 2011). India consumes its entire production. The other main producers (Myanmar and Thailand) are the major exporters. Globally black gram accounts for more than 40% of total legume seeds traded (CRN India, 2011).

Forage management 

Forage and seed yields

In India Vigna mungo yields up to 15.6 t green fodder/ha and 340-1500 kg dry seeds/ha have been obtained (Ecocrop, 2011; Saha et al., 1981). Dry matter yield is about 3 times that of seed yield (Duke, 1981 cited by Baligar et al., 2007).

Pasture

In Bangladesh, Vigna mungo intended for pasture is broadcast with another legume such as chickling vetch (Lathyrus sativus) in a no-tillage system. It is then rotationally grazed by cattle which should be offered straw to prevent diarrhea or bloat (Islam et al., 1995).

Fodder

Harvesting of Vigna mungo seeds can be done by picking the pods or by uprooting or cutting the whole plants. The crop residues (stems, leaves and empty pods) are then available for fodder (Fuller, 2004).

Environmental impact 

Soil improver and intercropping species

Vigna mungo has a taproot. It is an N-fixing legume that improves soil fertility and soil physical properties (Parashar, 2006). Its cultivation does not require N fertilization but N fixation is improved by inoculation with local rhizobium strains (Sharma et al., 2011). Vigna mungo is responsive to P (40 kg/ha) and K (30 kg/ha) and only needs rough tillage and one or two weedings (Baligar et al., 2007; Jansen, 2006). 

Vigna mungo can be used in intercropping systems with legume species such as groundnut and cajan pea (Cajanus cajan), industrial crops (cotton, sugarcane) and cereals (sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet) as the main crops (Krishna, 2010; Jansen, 2006). It provides supplementary food to the farmers and nitrogen to the other crop. Associations with maize, groundnut or cajan pea can improve productivity of those crops by 42-53% (Krishna, 2010). In the dry season it is often sole cropped on rice fallow, before and after rice planting (Baligar et al., 2007; Jansen, 2006).

Weed control

In Vietnam, intercropping Vigna mungo with rice deprives weeds from residual water and thus provides an effective weed control (including against weedy rice) (Ferrero, 2005).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Fresh fodder

Fresh Vigna mungo forage is rich in protein (18-19% DM) and fibre (crude fibre 25-27% DM; NDF 45% DM) (Göhl, 1982; Saha et al., 1981).

Straw

Black gram straw and haulms have a variable composition, depending on the proportion of stems, leaves, pods, etc. Reported protein values range from 8.9 to 17.2% DM (Göhl, 1982; Reddy, 1997; Krishnamoorthy et al., 1995). NDF values are 54-57% DM (Reddy, 1997; Krishnamoorthy et al., 1995). Starch content is low (4.5% DM) (Singh et al., 2002).

Seeds

The seeds are rich in protein (24-26% DM) and starch (35% DM) (Rajaguru et al., 1985; Göhl, 1982; Wiryawan, 1997). The fibre content is inconsistent, with crude fibre values in the 5-6% DM range (Göhl, 1982; Wiryawan, 1997) or higher than 14% (Rajaguru et al., 1985). The major nutritional constraint with raw Vigna mungo seeds is their high content in condensed tannins and trypsin inhibitors.

Chuni

Chuni contains variable amounts of the seed coats and endosperm fractions. Some chunis are as high in protein as the seeds (26% DM, Krishna, 1985) while others contain less protein (15.4% DM) and more fibre (NDF 51% DM) (Islam et al., 1997).

Potential constraints 

Vigna mungo seeds contain trypsin inhibitors and condensed tannins, sometimes in larger amounts than chickpeas, faba beans and peas. This could limit their use if they are not processed for feeding to monogastric species. However, experimental results are inconsistent (Wiryawan, 1997; Yamazaki et al., 1988). The seeds are free from glucosides (Göhl, 1982; Wiryawan, 1997).

Ruminants 

Pasture and fresh fodder

Vigna mungo grown as green fodder and fed to adult Red Sindhi cattle as the sole source of feed was found to be palatable. Dry matter intake was 18.4 g/kg body weight. The N balance was positive but the Ca and P balances were marginally negative. It was concluded that Vigna mungo fodder was nutritious but required mineral supplementation (Saha et al., 1981). In Bangladesh, some dairy cattle feeding systems are based on legume pastures, combining Vigna mungo and Lathyrus sativus herbage with copra meal-based concentrates. Supplementing such diets with straw (2.5 kg/h/day) did not change DM intake but increased milk production (up to 8.64 L/d) and was more profitable (Islam et al., 1995).

Reported OM digestibility values in cattle varied between 57 and 73% (Harrison, 1942; Saha et al., 1981).

Straw

The crude protein of Vigna mungo straw was found to be more degradabale to that of Leucaena leucocephala leaves (Singh et al., 2002). Dry matter is also highly rumen-degradable (Reddy, 1997). OM digestibility of the roughage was good (68%), and ME estimated from gas production (9.1 MJ/kg DM) was higher than that of rice straw and groundnut straw (Krishnamoorthy et al., 1995).

However, using black gram straw as a sole feed ad libitum did not meet the nutritional requirements (and particularly the protein requirement) of Murreh Buffalo heifers (Sanjiv Kumar et al., 1995). Vigna mungo straw offered to sheep at 60% of the diet supported growth in sheep (average live-weight gain of 60-62 g/h/day), and was equivalent to wheat straw in terms of feed efficiency and feeding cost (Jadhav et al., 2001).

Seeds

There is no recent information concerning the use of Vigna mungo seeds in ruminants. Early research found the seeds to be relatively digestible in cattle (OM digestibility of 65%) (Sen, 1938 cited by Göhl, 1982).

Chuni

In India, black gram chuni was found to be palatable to buffaloes, and it was possible to include up to 40 % of chuni in the concentrate diets of male buffaloes also fed rice straw, with no effect on OM, DM and crude protein digestibility and with a positive effect on fibre digestibility (Reddy et al., 2000). At a 40% level, the degradability of DM and CP was estimated to be 55.6% and 71.6% respectively (Reddy et al., 2002).

In Bangladesh, black gram bran (100 g/d) given to goats fed fresh grass was found to be a potentially valuable supplement, resulting in a higher protein intake and higher weight gain (57 vs. 31 g/d in goats fed grass alone) (Islam et al., 1997).

Pigs 

Chuni

The inclusion of black gram chuni at the 15% level in the rations of growing and finishing crossbred barrows did not affect growth rate or carcass characteristics (Ravi et al., 1999).

Poultry 

Seeds

Vigna mungo seeds are not a common poultry feed due to their price (Rajaguru et al., 1985). The few reported ME values in poultry are not consistent (MJ/kg DM: TME 9.4; MEn 12.7; TMEn 13.3; from Wiryawan, 1997; Rajaguru et al., 1985; Yamazaki et al., 1988 respectively). Vigna mungo seeds were found in one experiment to have higher amino acid digestibilities than soybean meal (Yamazaki et al., 1988) but the opposite was found in another trial (Wiryawan, 1997). It is, therefore, difficult to estimate the nutritional value of Vigna mungo seeds for poultry. The inconsistent results may be caused by variations in antinutritional factors due to genetic or external causes. The lowest ME value was explained by the high content of condensed tannins of the particular seeds analysed (Wiryawan, 1997). Young broilers fed a diet containing 43% of black gram seeds as the sole protein source experienced severe weight losses which was attributed to the low protein content of the black gram seeds. Autoclaving for 5 to 20 min did not improve TME but TME and protein digestibility could benefit from specific enzyme treatments (Wiryawan, 1997).

Chuni

Black gram chuni could partially replace fish meal and maize grain in layer diets. However, diets containing 5 or 20% chuni resulted in a lower (but not significantly different) egg production, lower digestibility and lower N and Ca retention (Khulbe et al., 1973).

Crustaceans 

Pod husks

Pod husks of Vigna mungo are an excellent alternative to rice bran as a feed for Artemia sp. in terms of survival, growth, fecundity, and production of nauplii (Yoganandhan et al., 2000).

Nutritional tables

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 88.4 1.3 86.6 89.6 4
Crude protein % DM 23.7 2.4 20.8 26.8 7
Crude fibre % DM 6.5 3.6 3.7 14.5 7
NDF % DM 18.6 4.1 14.2 22.4 3
ADF % DM 6.6 1.6 5.2 8.4 3
Lignin % DM 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.5 3
Ether extract % DM 1.5 0.5 0.9 2.2 6
Ash % DM 5.1 1.3 3.7 7.4 7
Starch (polarimetry) % DM 48.7 2.4 45.4 51.1 4
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.4 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 2.2 1.3 1.0 4.3 5
Phosphorus g/kg DM 4.9 1.1 3.9 6.5 6
Magnesium g/kg DM 3.0 1
Zinc mg/kg DM 99 1
Copper mg/kg DM 18 1
Iron mg/kg DM 560 1
 
Amino acids Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Arginine % protein 6.7 1
Cystine % protein 1.2 0.4 0.6 1.5 4
Glycine % protein 3.7 1
Histidine % protein 2.1 1
Isoleucine % protein 4.6 1
Leucine % protein 7.2 1
Lysine % protein 7.0 0.3 6.5 7.3 4
Methionine % protein 1.3 0.1 1.1 1.4 4
Phenylalanine % protein 5.9 1
Threonine % protein 3.4 1
Tyrosine % protein 1.7 1
Valine % protein 5.1 1
 
Secondary metabolites Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Tannins (eq. tannic acid) g/kg DM 3.8 3.6 3.9 2
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 91.9 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 89.8 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 16.5 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 13.4 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 57.0 1
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 79.9 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 14.7 *
NE growing pig MJ/kg DM 10.2 *
 
Poultry nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
AMEn broiler MJ/kg DM 12.7 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

AFZ, 2011; Bandemer et al., 1963; Bhannasiri, 1970; Gowda et al., 2004; Rajaguru et al., 1985; Ravindran et al., 1994; Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:47

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 16.0 1
Crude protein % DM 19.4 1
Crude fibre % DM 26.8 1
Ether extract % DM 2.5 1
Ash % DM 16.0 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.3 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 19.7 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.4 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 68.4 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 65.4 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.3 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.9 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 82.0 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Harrison, 1942

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:47

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Dry matter % as fed 27.3 1
Crude protein % DM 13.9 1
Crude fibre % DM 19.1 1
Ether extract % DM 4.6 1
Ash % DM 26.4 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 15.2 *
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 76.7 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 73.0 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 11.1 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.9 *
Nitrogen digestibility, ruminants % 54.0 1

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Göhl, 1982

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:48

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 13.0 4.1 8.9 17.2 3
Crude fibre % DM 28.6 1
NDF % DM 55.7 54.5 56.9 2
ADF % DM 34.2 31.9 36.4 2
Lignin % DM 4.6 1
Ether extract % DM 1.6 0.4 2.8 2
Ash % DM 10.2 2.1 8.8 12.6 3
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.7 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 17.4 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.6 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 62.0 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 58.4 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.3 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.3 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Krishnamoorthy et al., 1995; Patel, 1966; Reddy, 1997

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:47

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 9.0 1
Crude fibre % DM 29.9 1
Ether extract % DM 2.3 1
Ash % DM 12.2 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.3 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 27.1 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1.9 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 84.6 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 43.2 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 7.5 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:47

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 16.6 1
Crude fibre % DM 24.6 1
Ether extract % DM 0.7 1
Ash % DM 11.0 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 17.4 *
 
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Calcium g/kg DM 7.8 1
Phosphorus g/kg DM 2.1 1
 
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 86.3 *
 
Pig nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Energy digestibility, growing pig % 51.5 *
DE growing pig MJ/kg DM 9.0 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.

References

Sen, 1938

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:47

References
References 
Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Boval M., 2016. Black gram (Vigna mungo). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://feedipedia.org/node/236 Last updated on March 30, 2016, 14:16

English correction by Tim Smith (Animal Science consultant) and Hélène Thiollet (AFZ)
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