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Egerton University (2008)

Effects of nitrogen levels and plant Populations on growth and yield of chickpea(cicer arietinum l.) Under dryland conditions in Kenya

KAMITHI, DAVID

Titre : Effects of nitrogen levels and plant Populations on growth and yield of chickpea(cicer arietinum l.) Under dryland conditions in Kenya

Auteur : KAMITHI, DAVID

Université de soutenance : Egerton University

Grade : Master of Science in Dryland Farming 2008

Mots clés : Chickpea ; Cicer arietinum L. ; Nitrogen Levels

Résumé
Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an annual grain legume is a hardy crop well adapted to semi arid areas. Information on optimum fertilizer rates and plant population density has not been developed for the semi arid areas of Kenya. This study conducted in Feb-June 2005 (1st season) and June-October 2005 (2nd season) at National Animal Husbandry Research Centre (NAHRC), Naivasha, determined the effect of applying four different nitrogen fertilizer rates (0, 20, 40 and 60 kg/ha) and four plant population densities (74,074 ; 89889 ; 111,111 and 148,148) on growth and yield of chickpea. The general objective was to evaluate the performance of desi chickpea in the drylands of Kenya under varying levels of nitrogen (N)and plant population’s (PPD). The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Data was subjected to analysis of variance using MSTATC computer package and means separated by Duncan Multiple Range Test and Least Significant Difference. Results indicated that increase of nitrogen from 0 to 60 kg/ha significantly increased secondary leaves/m2, dry matter production at all stages of growth. Interactive effects of nitrogen and PPD had highest dry matter at highest N and PPD levels during crop growth and at final harvest. Application of 40kg N/ha produced highest number of pods/m2 (ranging between 1020-1549 pods/m2) and grain yields (1658.7 to 2574.4 kg/ha). Lowest grain yield (1099.6 kg/ha) was realized where no nitrogen was applied. Nitrogen and PPD interaction effects on grain yield were significantly higher under the highest PPD (148,148 plants/ha) and 20, 40 and 60 kg N/ha. It’s advisable therefore, to apply 30kgN/ha during sowing and plant at a high plant population density of 148,148 plants/ha to realize over 3.3 tones/ha of grain yield per season. The same treatments gave net benefit ranging from Ksh 93,000.00 to 139,000.00/ha depending on rainfall and crop management

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