The mucuna module was developed by Michael Robertson. The reader is referred to the science document for the plant module for a comprehensive description of the processes simulated by APSIM-Mucuna. The paper by Robertson et al. (2004) outlines the science content of the module, and some testing in Malawi. This document outlines some mucuna-specific issues that are not covered by the plant science document.

Notable features of APSIM-MUCUNA

The module simulates the main variety grown in southern Africa – Kalagonda

The module does not simulate production from second and further flushes of flowers and pods.

APSIM-Mucuna is not phosphorus-responsive, this is currently under development.

Crop growth is not sensitive to waterlogging.

Go to generic Plant model documentation

Cultivars and crop classes

There is one crop class.

There is one cultivar able to be simulated: mucuna_gen. This cultivar is typical of that found growing under smallholder conditions in southern Africa.


APSIM-Mucuna has received testing in Malawi only, with factors such as sowing date and soil types. Table 1 summarises module performance reported by Robertson et al (2004).

Table 1: Observed (O) and simulated (S) biomass at flowering and maturity and grain yield for velvet bean crops used for model testing. All variables are in kg/ha.

Location Season DASa Grain yield


Biomass N at maturity Grain N at maturity Biomass at flowering Biomass at maturity
Chitalab 1998-9 72 848 1623
Chitedze 1998-9 202 2126 2382 256 221 96 102 2374 1791 6848 8609
Chitedze 1997-8 202 2820 2752 314 270 NMc NM 7640 4747 10420 9189
Lisasadzi 1998-9 182 2187 1851 163 211 98 83 2401 2628 5418 6268
Makoka 1998-9 181 1343 2352 117 NM 60 105 2610 923 5925 8364
N’gabu 1998-9 173 1852 1643 257 277 83 85 2135 1017 8651 5893

a=days after sowing of maturity harvest

b=crop at Chitala suffered late leaf diseases, therefore only sampling at flowering is recorded

c NM=not measured

In which environments should this module be used with confidence?

APSIM-Mucuna can be used with most confidence in southern Africa. No testing has been done elsewhere.


MJ Robertson, Sakala W, Benson T, Shamudzarira Z (2004) Simulating response of maize to previous velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) crop and nitrogen fertiliser in Malawi. Field Crops Research (in press).