Superiority of Winter Sowing over Traditional Spring Sowing of Chickpea in the Mediterranean Region
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K. B Singh, Rajinder Malhotra, Mohan C. Saxena, Geletu Bejiga. (28/2/1997). Superiority of Winter Sowing over Traditional Spring Sowing of Chickpea in the Mediterranean Region. Agronomy Journal, 89 (1), pp. 112-118.
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), when traditionally grown as a springsown crop in the Mediterranean region, often suffers from heat and moisture stress, resulting in low and unstable yields. In contrast, sowing the crop in winter with cultivars tolerant to cold and to ascochyta blight [caused by Phoma rabiei (Pass.) Khune & J.N. Kapoor; syn. Ascochyta rabiei (Pass.) Lab.] minimizes the effects of terminal heat and drought stress and increases and stabilizes productivity. Therefore, a study was conducted with the objective of assessing the comparative seed yield advantage of winter over spring sowing in Mediterranean environments. Nineteen to 23 ascochyta blight‐resistant and cold‐tolerant breeding lines were compared in winter and spring sowing for 10 yr (1983–1993) at three locations in Syria and Lebanon. The set of lines used in this study differed each year. Averaged over 10 yr, winter‐sown chickpea produced 70% (692 kg ha−1) more seed yield than the spring‐sown crop. The longer growing period of winter‐sown chickpea resulted in higher biomass production, which contributed mainly toward increased seed yield. The yield potential of lines sown during winter was approximately 4000 kg ha−1, and yields were more stable than in the spring‐sown crop. The correlation between seasonal rainfall and seed yield was positive and significant in both seasons. In 1988–1989, when the Tel Hadya site experienced severe drought, the springsown crop resulted in virtually no seed yield, whereas the winter‐sown crop produced an average yield of 542 kg ha−1 by a partial escape of the severe drought. Winter‐sown plants were taller than those in the spring sowing, permitting harvesting by combines. Because of these advantages, winter sowing of chickpea is gaining popularity in the Mediterranean region.