Effect of Irrigation on Winter‐Sown Chickpea in a Mediterranean Environment
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R Malhotra, K. B Singh, Mohan C. Saxena. (22/4/2008). Effect of Irrigation on Winter‐Sown Chickpea in a Mediterranean Environment. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 178 (4), pp. 237-243.
In the dry Mediterranean environments of the West Asia and North Africa region, irrigation is frequently used to supplement rainfall to increase crop productivity and yield stability. Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an important pulse crop of the region, often suffers from drought and can benefit from such a practice. To investigate the response of chickpea to irrigation, experiments were conducted in the field at Tel Hadya, Syria, from 1985 to 1988 using 24 improved chickpea genotypes sown in winter. Irrigation scheduling was done using the daily water balance computed from rainfall and pan evaporation data. Yearly rainfall was 316, 358, and 504 mm and supplemental irrigation amount was 130, 120, and 80 mm in 1985-86, 1986-87, and 1987-88, respectively. Irrigation increased seed yield by 916 kg ha(-1) (44.0%) over the 3-year period. Irrigation requirement for chickpea coincided with flowering and seed development period. The top 10 highest-yielding genotypes under irrigated conditions were ILC 464, ILC 1272, ILC 237, ILC 613, ILC 95, ILC 4291, ILC 142, ILC 147, ILC 295, and ILC 3256. Their mean seed yields ranged from 3877 to 3208 kg ha(-1). Among these four genotypes, ILC 464, ILC 1272, ILC 3256, and ILC 4291 with mean seed yields of 3877, 3726, 3208, and 3266 kg ha(-1), respectively, were with predictable response to favourable conditions. Aboveground biomass contributed 49% of the total increase in seed yield from irrigation followed by plant height (26%) and early maturity (16%). These results indicate that it may be possible to breed chickpea for improved response to irrigation, and irrigation can enhance the yields of winter-sown chickpea grown in the lowland Mediterranean drylands.
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