Changing Plant Architecture and Density can Increase Chickpea Productivity and Facilitate for Mechanical Harvesting

Singh, U and Gaur, P M and Chaturvedi, S K and Hazra, K K and Singh, G (2019) Changing Plant Architecture and Density can Increase Chickpea Productivity and Facilitate for Mechanical Harvesting. International Journal of Plant Production (TSI). pp. 1-10. ISSN 1735-8043

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Tall and erect chickpea cultivar HC 5 (Haryana Chana 5) was primarily bred for inter-cropping with autumn planted sugarcane. Cultivar HC 5 is distinctly different in morphology from traditional bushy or semi-spreading chickpea cultivars and it is found suitable for machine harvesting. However, a general recommended planting density (30 cm × 10 cm) is being followed for cv. HC 5 as well. In this study, we hypothesized that high-density planting can improve crop productivity and also improve the plant architecture for mechanical harvesting. To test this hypothesis, four plant spacing treatments (30 cm × 10 cm, 30 cm × 7.5 cm, 22.5 cm × 10 cm, and 22.5 cm × 7.5 cm) were evaluated in two chickpea cultivars (HC 5 and JAKI 9218) for crop growth, grain yield and the desirable plant traits for mechanical harvesting. The highest grain yield of cv. HC 5 was observed with 22.5 cm × 10 cm spacing that increased the grain yield by 9% (p < 0.05) over plant spacing of 30 cm × 10 cm (conventional); this indicates that high-density planting could increase the productivity of the cv. HC 5. Where grain yield of cv. JAKI 9218 was reduced (p < 0.05) with the increase in planting density over 30 cm × 10 cm. Increased grain yield of cv. HC 5 with 22.5 cm × 10 cm spacing over 30 cm × 10 cm was mainly attributed to increase in plant density (33%); however, all the plant attributes (primary branch, secondary branch, pod plant−1) were reduced as compared to plant spacing of 30 cm × 10 cm. The decrease in intra-row spacing of cv. HC 5 resulted in a strong adverse effect on plant growth and yield parameters as compared to inter-row spacing and thus not recommended. High-density planting increased the plant height (erectness) and ground clearance of cv. HC 5 (height of first pod) (~ 30 cm), an essential prerequisite for mechanical harvesting, but not in cv. JAKI 9218. Hence, cv. HC 5 requires a dense planting for higher yield and appropriate plant structure for mechanical harvesting. Therefore, it is recommended to work out the optimum planting geometry/plant population to realize the potential yield of cultivars bred for mechanical harvesting.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chickpea, Planting geometry, Mechanical harvesting, First pod height, Yield
Subjects: Mandate crops > Chickpea
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 10:55
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2019 10:55
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The authors acknowledge the financial support received from Department of Agricultural Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India under the National Food Security Mission project ‘Developing chickpea cultivars suited to mechanical harvesting and tolerant to herbicides’.
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