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ISSN: 2329-8863
Advances in Crop Science and Technology
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Impact of Applying Calcium on Yield and Visual Quality of Groundnut(Arachis hypogaea L.)

Kirthisinghe JP1*, Thilakarathna SMCR2, Gunathilaka BL2 and Dissanayaka DMPV3
1Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
2Department of Agriculture, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
3Export Agriculture Department, Narammala, Sri Lanka
Corresponding Author : Prof. Kirthisinghe JP
Department of Crop Science
Faculty of Agriculture
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Tel: 0094 716662173
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 10, 2014; Accepted February 13, 2014; Published February 15, 2014
Citation: Kirthisinghe JP, Thilakarathna SMCR, Gunathilaka BL, Dissanayaka DMPV (2014) Impact of Applying Calcium on Yield and Visual Quality of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.). Adv Crop Sci Tech 2:123. doi: 10.4172/2329-8863.1000123
Copyright: © 2014 Kirthisinghe JP. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Recently, Department of Agriculture (DOA), Sri Lanka had developed four new varieties namely, Thissa, Indi, Walawa and Tikiri. Groundnut is cultivated in the dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka mainly under rain fed in October season and, in paddy lands under irrigation in April season. Low yields and the poor quality kernels are the major constraints to cultivation of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in Sri Lanka. Groundnut is usually grown in well-drained soils with a pH of 6.5. Inadequate and unbalanced supply of nutrients may be one of the reasons for low yields in acidic and sandy soils. Farmers in Dambulla and Maspotha, apply 60-350 kg ha-1 of Gypsum for their cultivations and obtained a yield of 2000-2500 kg ha-1. Therefore, this study was conducted to find out the effect of Calcium using Gypsum on the yield and quality of Groundnut in Maspotha divisional secretariat area of Kurunegala district, in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka. Soil pH and EC were measured to determine the acidity and salinity levels. The field experiment was conducted during the October seasons 2011/2012 and 2012/2013. Randomized Complete Block Design was used with four treatments (0, 125, 175, 250 kg ha-1 of Gypsum) and three replicates. The crop management practices were done according to the standard procedures. The nut yield, number of pegs per plant, kernel and shell weight of fifty pegs per plot, dry weight of fifty seeds were measured. The seed quality and filling of seeds in each treatment were also evaluated. The results revealed that with application of 250 kg ha-1 of Gypsum increased the soil pH from 4.1 to 5.0 and increase the mean pod dry weight per plot of 40 plants, from 578
to 835 g with better quality kernels.

Keywords
Groundnut; Gypsum; Kernel weight; Shell weight
Introduction
The groundnut, Arachis hypogaea L. was originated from South America and presently grown in tropical countries [1]. Recently, Department of Agriculture (DOA), Sri Lanka had developed four new varieties namely, Thissa, Indi, Walawa and Tikiri. Groundnut is cultivated in the dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka mainly under rain fed in October season and, in paddy lands under irrigation in April season. It is mainly grown in Moneragala, Hambantota, Kurunagala, Anuradhapura, Mullative, Rathnapura and Puttalum districts [2]. In Sri Lanka, Groundnut is used as an oil crop, as a snack and in confectionaries [2]. Groundnut is grown in well-drained sandy loam and clay loam soils. Deep well-drained soils having pH of 6.5 - 7.0 and high fertility are ideal for groundnut.
According to the DOA [2], the application of Calcium (CaCO3) is important for proper kernel development in groundnut. Calcium carbonate can be used as a calcium source, but, compared to Gypsum; it is slow releasing due to less solubility. Therefore, Gypsum (CaSO4- 2H2O) can be used at flowering to ensure the adequate availability of Ca in the fruiting zone to enhance the pod development.
Chapman et al. [3] reported that the less amount of soluble calcium in the pegging zone cause low peg formation. The researchers found that the groundnut pegs and pods treated with gypsum had a significantly less pod rot, than the untreated [3]. According to the DOA statistics (2011), the cultivated groundnut extent was 9251 ha and the production was 16800 Mt. with an average yield of 1.8 Mt ha-1.
Farmers in Dambulla area apply 60-350 kg ha-1 of gypsum for their cultivations and obtained a yield of 2500 kg ha-1. In Maspotha area, the yield of groundnut is around 750 - 1000 kg ha-1. Therefore, this study was conducted to find out the effect of gypsum for higher yield in Maspotha area.
Methodology
This study was conducted at the Maspotha divisional secretariat area in Kurunegala district, which belongs to IL1a agro ecological region [4] in October season under rainfed conditions for two consecutive years 2011/2012 and 2012/2013. The average annual rainfall was 1100-1400 mm. Soil type was reddish brown earth. The Groundnut variety Thissa was used for this study. The recommended time for planting is in October and April. The recommended fertilizer rate is 30 kg ha-1 N, 45 kg ha-1 P2O5, 45 kg ha-1 K2O [2] and no recommendation for Gypsum.
Raised beds were used in high lands with the spacing of 45 cm×15 cm. The plot size was 1 m×3 m. Two rows of plants were planted as guard rows for each plot. The total number of plants per plot was 40. After 25 days after planting at pegging earthing up was done to improve pod filling. When the crop was matured at 110 days after planting the whole plants were uprooted and pods were collected and dried. The experiment was laid according to Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four treatments. Each Treatment had three replicates. The treatments were as follows,
T1 - 0 kg ha-1 of gypsum (control)
T2 - 125 kg ha-1 of gypsum
T3 - 175 kg ha-1 of gypsum
T4 - 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum
Soil pH, CEC and Electrical Conductivity (EC) were measured at the planting of seeds, 5 days after application (5 DAA) of gypsum at the pegging stage and at harvest. Yield data were collected at harvesting. Randomly 5 plants were selected from each plot and counted the number of pegs per plant. Pods fresh weights (g), Pods dry weight (g), Kernel weight of fifty pods (g), Shell weight of fifty pods (g) were also measured. Dry weights of the seeds were taken after drying the seeds for three days using solar drying system. The quality of the kernel was assessed visually by sorting and grouping the seeds according to the size of the kernel of 50 pods into large, medium and small.
Data were analysed using the analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedure by statistical analyze system (SAS) and mean separation was done using Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at p=0.05.
Results and Discussion
Soil Properties
Initial pH, CEC (cmol kg-1) and EC (micro Siemens cm-1) values showed that the soil was in the acidic range and it was below the recommended pH range (Table 1). The pH and EC values were slightly increased after five days of applying gypsum and slightly decreased at harvest. CEC also increased with applying gypsum and slightly decreased at harvest.
Warren [5] observed that the gypsum will improve the pod filling without changing the soil pH. The researcher also explained that a good soil EC level will be somewhere above 200 μS cm-1 and 1200 μS cm-1 (1.2 mS cm-1). Any soils <200 does not have enough available nutrients to the plant and may be a sterile soil with minimum microbial activity. An EC above 1200 μS cm-1 may indicate that of high salt fertilizer or perhaps a salinity problem due to lack of drainage.
Plant performances
The seeds were germinated 10 to 14 days of planting. Flowers were formed about 30-40 days after the germination. The days to 50% flowering ranged between 35 to 50 days with a mean value of 41. The pegs developed to a depth of 4 to 5 cm to form pods. The number of pegs per plant significantly increased in T3 and T4 when compared to the control and T2 (Table 2). The treatment T4 showed the highest peg formation.
The results showed that there was a significant difference between T1, T2 and T3 compared to the control. It appears that gypsum requirement for increased peg formation lies more than 125 kg /ha.
The mean pod fresh and dry weight per plots is given in Table 2. The T4 treatment showed a significantly higher yield compared to other treatments. The T2 and T3 treatment showed a significant difference, and T1 treatment without gypsum showed a significantly lower yield than other treatments. Therefore, T4 treatment with 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum could be identified as the best performer.
The treatment T4 showed significantly higher pods dry weight yield when compared to other treatments (Table 2). The treatments T3 and T4 were not significant. The treatment T1 gave the lowest yield. Therefore, T4 with 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum could be identified as best treatment to obtain higher yields.
The mean kernel weight and mean shell weight
The mean kernel weight showed a significant difference (p<0.05) among treatments (Table 3). The treatment T4 showed a significantly higher kernel yield and a good quality appearance compared to other treatments. The treatment T1 gave the lowest yield with half-filled nuts. Therefore, according to the results, the treatment T4 with 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum can be recommended as the best treatment to obtain higher kernel yield.
The results showed that the mean shell weight was also significantly different (p<0.05) among treatments (Table 3).
The quality of the kernel
The results showed that the quality of the kernel of 50 pods was significantly different (p<0.05) among treatments (Table 4). With the application of 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum the T4 treatment gave better kernel size compared to other treatments. However, all the treatments with application of Ca showed an improvement in kernel size.
Conclusion
The application of 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum increased the mean pod dry weight from 578 to 835 g with better quality kernels in pH 4.1 soils at Maspotha divisional secretariat area in Kurunegala district in the intermediate zone of Sri Lanka in October season under rainfed conditions. Thus, with application of 250 kg ha-1 of gypsum, groundnuts produce the higher number of pegs per plant and increased kernel weight.
References





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