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‘Mongrels’ looking good

Monto agronomist Kendell Muller talks Jason Larsen through the benefits of mung bean farming. Photo: Emily Smith / Central and North Burnett Times
Monto agronomist Kendell Muller talks Jason Larsen through the benefits of mung bean farming. Photo: Emily Smith / Central and North Burnett Times

THEY may have been known as "mongrel beans" by farmers back in the day, but mung beans are now enjoying a revival and South Burnett growers can benefit.

Monto agronomist Kendell Muller is expecting 1200-1600 hectares of beans to be harvested from the area this summer.

A growing demand for the food in Asia has led to higher prices and more farmers getting on board with the trend.

"They used to be called mongrel beans because when they sprouted, the bean pods would fall out," Mr Muller said.

"But now they have selected new varieties that don't have this problem."

He said the South Burnett, North Burnett and Callide Valley regions were arguably the best places in Australia to grow mung beans, due to their preference for alluvial soils and little need for water.

Monto farmer Jason Larsen is planning to plant his first ever mung bean crop next month.

"They are a cash crop and require little water," he said.

"That's why I think they'll be good for me."

The farmer has been considering growing them for a while, but with prices reaching $1100-$1200 a ton, now is the perfect time.

Mr Larsen said he would plant about 60 hectares, and estimates a harvest of up to a tonne of beans per acre, or 0.4ha.

"The yield is what makes them such a good crop to grow here," Mr Muller said.

Russ Salisbury has been on board with mung beans for 20 years and says "it's worth it".

Topics:  mung beans south burnett

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