R. M. Solanki
Junagadh Agricultural University, India
R.M. Solanki earned his graduation in agriculture, M.Sc. (Agri.) and PhD in Agronomy from erstwhile Gujarat Agricultural University during 1989, 1992 and 1995, respectively. Dr. Solanki has 17 years of experience in research, teaching and extension activities in Agronomy and worked as Senior Research Assistant, Assistant Research Scientist and joined as Associate Professor of Agronomy in 2012. He has published and presented more than 40 research papers and 25 popular articles in international, national and regional journals. He worked as co-investigator in five research projects and made 35 recommendations for the farmers and scientific community. He has attended, participated and contributed 14 international, national and state level seminar, symposia, conference, congress and workshop related to Agronomy.
In Gujarat, chickpea occupied an area of 2.15 lakh hectares with a production of 2.10 lakh tones with an average productivity of 977 kgha-1, accounts 2.46% and 2.80% area and production of country, respectively (Singh, 2010). But the state’s productivity in comparison with other state’s average productivity is low. The reason for low productivity of chickpea in Gujarat may be due to lack of proper scheduling of irrigation, balance nutrition, weed management etc. Among various factors affecting, proper scheduling of irrigation is the key factor for enhancing productivity of crop, particularly through drip because water is a scare commodity, is key natural resource for any crop production particularly in arid and semi arid regions, where availability of irrigation water posses a serious threat to the sustainability of crop production therefore it is considered as liquid gold. In drip irrigation method, water is applied to the soil from the dripper without any pressure or at extremely low pressure. It is well suited to areas of acute water shortage. Deep percolation, surface runoff and evaporation losses can be minimized. As the water in the soil is maintained at near field capacity all through, plants take water with ease and never subjected to moisture stress.
Organic manures particularly, farm yard manure play a crucial role crop production. It acts on the soil physical properties, promotes formation of soil crumbs, thus makes the soil friable and thereby facilitates the proper movement of air and water as well as absorption of water. It also adds plant nutrients to the soil and organic acids during decomposition which act on the insoluble nutrient reserve in the soil and make the available. Biologically, it provides food for the beneficial soil micro organisms.
Recently high yielding varieties responsive to higher levels of irrigation and nutrients are evolved and therefore, better irrigation and nutrient management has prime importance in chickpea production. Drip irrigation system and integrated nutrient management offer great promise for exploiting the yield potential of chickpea. At present, drip system is preferably installed for widely spaced plantation and cash crop. Such use has great potential for utility of drip system, once installed, all round the year. Keeping this in view, the field experiment was planned to study the judicious use of irrigation water through drip and integrated nutrient management in chickpea.