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Cultivation of Chick Pea (Cicer arientinum L.)

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Chick Pea (Cicer arientinum L.)

Kiran Yadav

(GBPUAT, Pantnagar)


Role of pulses in Indian agriculture needs hardly any emphasis; India is a premier pulse growing country. The pulses are the integral part of the cropping systems of the farmers all over the country because these crops fit in well in the crop rotation and crop mixtures followed by them. Pulses are important constituents of the Indian diet and supply major part of the protein requirements. Pulse crops, besides being rich in protein and some of the essential amino acids, enrich the soil through symbolic nitrogen fixation from atmosphere.

      In India, the total food production in 1999-2000 was about 209 million tones, out of this only 13.4 million tones was contributed by pulses. The production of cereals increased by 460 per cent since 1950-51 the production of pulses has increased only 178 per cent. There is a shortage of pulses in the country. The price has increased considerably and the consumer is hard hit to buy his requirements. Thus, the availability of pulse per capita per day has proportionately declined from 71 g (1955) to 36.9 g (1998) against the minimum requirement of 70 g per capita per day. There is not much possibility of the import of pulses in the country. The production of pulses has to be increased internally to meet the demand.

      Gram commonly known as 'chick pea' or Bengal gram is the most important pulse crop in India. Chick pea occupies about 38 per cent of area under pulses and contributes about 50 per cent of the total pulse production of India. It is used for human consumption as well as for feeding to animals. It is eaten both whole fried or boiled and salted or more generally in the form of split pulse which is cooked and eaten. Both husks and bits of the 'dal' are valuable cattle feed. Fresh green leaves are used as vegetable (sag). Straw of chick pea is an excellent fodder for cattle. The grains are also used as vegetable (chhole). Chick pea flour (besan) is used in the preparation of various types of sweets. Chick pea is considered to have medicinal effects and it is used for blood purification. Chick pea contains 21.1 per cent protein, 61.5 per cent carbohydrates, 4.5 per cent fat. It is rich in calcium, iron and niacin.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

      Chick pea has been known in this country for a long time. It is said to be one of the oldest pulses known and cultivated from ancient times both in Asia and in Europe. Its probable place of origin lies in south western Asia, which is in the countries lying to the north-west of India such as Afganistan and Persia. According to Aykroid and Daughty (1964) the centre of origin of chick pea is eastern Mediterranean. According to De Candolle, the fact that gram gas a Sanskrit name would indicate that the crop has been under cultivation in India longer than in any other country.

AREA AND DISTRIBUTION

      Chick pea is one of the important pulse crop of the world cultivated over an area of 12.0 million hectares with a production of about 9.2 million tones of grain (1999). The important gram growing countries are India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Burma and Turkey. India ranks first in the world in respect of production as well as acreage followed by Pakistan.

      It is the most important pulse crop of India occupying an area of 6.3 million hectares with production of 5.1 million tones. The average yield of chick pea is only 806 kg per hectare. The major chick pea production areas are situated in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Punjab.

CLASSIFICATION

The Indian grams have been classified into two broader groups:

  1. Desi or Brown Gram (Cicer arientinum L.): In this group the color of the seed ranges from yellow to dark brown. Seed size is usually small. It is the most widely grown group. Plants are small with good branching ability. Chromosomes number is 2n = 14, 16.
  2. Kabuli or White Gram (Cicer kabulium): In this group the color of the seed is usually white. Grains are bold and attractive. Yield potential of this group is poor as compared to desi or brown gram. Plants are generally taller than the desi gram and stand more or less erect. The chromosome number is 2n = 16.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

      Chick pea belongs to family Leguminoseae. It is a small, much branched herbaceous plant rarely exceeding 60 centimeter height. The botanical description of main parts of gram plant is given as:

ROOT SYSTEM

      Chick pea has a well developed root system. The roots usually include a central strong tap root, with numerous lateral branches that spread out in all directions in the upper layer of soils. There are numerous nodules on roots. The rhizobium bacteria present in these nodules fix up atmospheric nitrogen.

Stem

      Stem is generally grayish in appearance. The stem is branched with granular hairs on it. The main branch in gram usually produces not more than one secondary shoot, but in some types the main branches may produce numerous lateral branches.

Leaves

      The leaves are pinnately compound, usually with one terminal leaflet. The number as well as the size of the leaflet, however, varies in different types. There are 9-15 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets of the pinnate leaves are small, and have serrated edges. The leaves are covered with grandular hairs. The color of the leaves also varies; some being light green while other is green or dark green. Certain types possess leaflets with red margins.

Flowers

      The flowers are typical papilionaceous consisting of five sepals, five petals comprised of one standard, two wings and two keels, ten stamens, nine fused to form one stamina column and one free and a carpel with the style borne laterally on the ovary. The flowers are usually solitary and are present in the axils of the leaves. They are of various colors from white to shades of pink or blue. Anthesis starts between 9 AM and 10AM and may continue up to 3 PM. The flowers remain open for two days, the flowering process being over early on the second day. Self pollination is the rule, but cross pollination may occur to the extent of about 5-10% due to agency of insects. The pod is about 2 cm long and usually contains two seeds. A single plant produces about 50 to 150 pods.

Seed

      The seeds are spherical in shape, wrinkled and with a pointed beak. They vary a great deal in size as well as in color. Color of seed may vary from white, light fawn, yellowish-orange, brown, dark brownish and with a little bluish tinge. The seedcoat may be smooth or puckered and wrinkled. The cotyledons are thick and yellowish in color.

CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS

      Chick pea is a winter season crop but severe cold and frost are injurious to it. Frost at the time of flowering results in the failure of the flowers to develop seeds or in the killing of the seeds inside the pod. It is generally grown under rainfed conditions but gives good returns in irrigated conditions as well. Excessive rains soon after sowing or at flowering and fruiting or hailstorms at ripening cause heavy loss. It is best suited to areas having moderate rainfall of 60-90 centimeters per annum.

SOIL

      Chick pea is grown on a wide range of soils in India. In the north, gram is generally grown on moderately heavy soils. In Maharashtra and on the Deccan plateau, black cotton soils are used. Light soils, mostly sandy loams are preferred in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. Though gram is grown on all kinds of soils, sandy loam to clay loam is considered to be most suitable. The best type of soil for chick pea is one that is well drained and not too heavy. On dry and light soils, the plants remain short while on heavy soils having high water retention capacity, the vegetative growth is abundant, light becomes limiting and fruiting is retarded. The soil chosen for its cultivation should be free from excessive soluble salts and near neutral in reaction. However, it is not suited to soils having a pH higher than 8.5.

VARIETIES

      Unlike cereals high yielding photo-insensitive cultivars are not available in pulses and this appears to be the most important reasons for low productivity of pulse crops in the country. However, several improved varieties of chick pea have been evolved in different chick pea growing states.

Table 1: High Yielding Varieties of Chick Pea Recommended for General Cultivation in Different states

State                                                                   Recommended Varieties

Andhra Pradesh                    ICCV-2, ICCV-37, ICCV-4, ICCV-10

Assam                                  KWR-108, BG-256, L-550, KPG-59

Gujarat                                Pusa-319, Vijay, ICCV-4, Pusa-240, GG-1, Pusa-1053    

Haryana                              Haryana Chana-1, GNG-469, Pusa-362, Gora Hisari, Karnal Chana, Gaurav, H-208, H-335, Pusa-1053

Himachal Pradesh                 BBG-1, Haryana Chana-1, L-550

Jammu & Kashmir                GNG-469, L-550, PBG-1, Haryana Chana-1

Karnataka                           BDN 9-3, ICCV-10, ICCV-2 Annegiri-1

Punjab                                PBG-1, GNG-469, Haryana Chana-1, Gaurav, L-550, C-235, G-543, Pusa-1053, GPF-2, PDG-3

Rajasthan                           GNG-416, GNG-469, GNG-663, PBG-1, L-550, Pusa-256, RSG-44, Pusa-1053, PDG 84-1

Tamil Nadu                          ICCV-10, BDN 9-3, CO-3, CO-4

Uttar Pradesh                      KWR-108, Avrodhi, BG-256, K-850, Pant G-186, Pusa-372, Radhey, JG-315, Uday (KPG-75), Pusa-1003, Pusa-1053

Madhya Pradesh                  JG-74, JG-315, Vijay, Pusa-256, Phule G-5, Pusa-1053

Maharashtra                        Vijay, Phule G-5, Vishal, ICCV-10, Pusa-1053

Orissa                                 Radhey, ICCV-10, L-550, Pusa-372, Pusa-1003

West Bengal                       Pusa-372, KWR-108, KPG-59, BG-256, Pusa-1003

Bihar                                  KWR-108, Avrodhi, BG-256, Pant G-114, Pusa-209, L-550, Pusa-1003

North Eastern States            KWR-108, Avrodhi, KPG-59, BG-256

The brief description of some of the important varieties of chick pea is given below:

  1. Desi or Small Seeded Varieties
  1. Avrodhi: This variety matures in 150-155 days. This is a medium tall, semi erect type variety. Grains are brown in color. This variety is resistant to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  1. Pant G-186: It was developed at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar. It matures in 125 days. Yield potential is 22-25 quintals per hectare.
  2. Gaurav: It matures in 140-145 days. Plants are medium and semi erect type. Grains are bold and brownish yellow in color. It's moderately resistant to rust and blight diseases. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  3. Uday (KP-75): It matures in 140-145 days. This variety is suitable for late planting. Grains are medium in size and brown in color. It is moderately resistant to wilt. Yield potential is 20-25 quintals per hectare.
  4. Pusa-256: It matures in 145-150 days. Grains are bold and brown in color. This variety is equally suitable for timely and late planting. It is resistant to Ascochyta blight. Yield potential is 22-25 quintals per hectare.
  5. Pusa-362: It matures in 145-155 days. Grains are medium in size. This variety is suitable for late planting in irrigated conditions; it is resistant to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  6. Pusa-372: It matures in 120-140 days. Grains are medium in size. This variety is susceptible to wilt disease and suitable for late planting. Yield potential is 18-22 quintals per hectare.
  7. JG-315: This variety matures in 145-150 days. It is suitable for growing in rainfed areas. This variety is resistant to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  8. Haryana Chana-1: This matures in 135-145 days. Plants are dwarf with light green leaves. Grains are bright yellow in color. It is resistant to wilt disease and tolerant to pod borer. It is also suitable for late planting. Yield potential is 22-25 quintals per hectare.
  9. Gora Hisari: It matures in 140-150 days. Grains are bold and light brown in color with good cooking quality. This variety is suitable for irrigated areas only. Yield potential is 18-20 quintals per hectare.
  10. K-850: This variety was developed at C.S.Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur from a cross Banda local and Etah bold. It is medium tall (45-60 centimeters) with upright growth habit. It is an early variety maturing in 145-150 days. Flowers are violet. Pods mostly double seeded. Seeds are round, smooth, reddish-brown, attractive and very bold (340g/1000 seeds). This variety has been released for whole of Uttar Pradesh. It has a yield potential of 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  11. Pant G-114: It was developed from a cross G-130 and 1540. It is a medium maturing variety (150 days) having semi-erect, light green foliage. The seeds are brown and of medium size. The variety is moderately resistant to blight. It has high yield potential (30-35 quintals per hectare) and wide adaptation and consistency in performance in entire northern plains of the country. 
  12. H-208: This is a medium tall, semi-spreading and medium maturing variety. It has light green foliage. Seed is brown and medium bold. This variety has been developed at Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar. It is susceptible to the blight disease. Its average yield is 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  13. H-355: Developed from a cross G-140 and 526 in 1977. It matures in about 160 days. It is suitable for irrigated and wilt prone areas. Seeds are small in size and brownish-yellow in color. Its average yield is 20-25 quintals per hectare, it is especially suitable for wilt prone areas of Madhya Pradesh.
  14. Radhey: It is a medium maturing variety (150 days). Plants are tall, semi-spreading with light green foliage. Flowers are pink in color. Seeds are smooth, light brown and bold. It is suitable for growing in eastern, Central and Bundelkhand tracts of Uttar Pradesh. It has yield potential of 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  15. C-235: It is an outstanding variety, which is not affected even in years of severe epiphytotics of gram blight. It is fairly early maturing (145-150 days) and stem rot and blight tolerant. Seeds are yellowish-brown and medium in size. This is suitable for growing in Punjab and Haryana. The average yield is 20-25 quintals per hectare though it has a maximum yield potential of 30-35 quintals per hectare.
  16. G-543: It has dwarf stature as compared to C-235. In total number of branches, number of pods per plant, it is slightly superior to C-235. It has better resistant to gram blight and wilt than C-235. It is highly resistant to foot blight whereas C-235 is moderately susceptible. It gives about 20-25 quintals of grain per hectare. It is recommended to grow in Punjab and Haryana.
  17. BR-78: It is selection from local material. It is semi-erect and bushy in growth habit. Leaves are of dark green color with a rough surface. It matures in about 142-145 days. Seeds are green and medium in size. Its average yield is about 20 quintals per hectare. It is suitable to grow in entire Bihar.
  18. ST-4: It is a selection from indigenous stock. It is drought resistant. It is brown seeded, semi-spreading type. It matures in about 155-158 days. It has a yield potential of 20-25 quintals per hectare. It is suitable for growing in Ajmer and Kota divisions of Rajasthan.
  19. RS-10: It is a selection from indigenous stock. It is drought resistant. It is brown seeded semi-spreading type. It matures in about 155-158 days. It has a yield potential of 20-25 quintals per hectare. It is suitable for growing in heavy soils of South Bihar.
  20. RS-11: It is a white flowered mutant from RS-10. It is drought resistant. Seeds are medium bold and brown in color. It is medium in maturity. It has yield potential of 20-25 quintals per hectare. It is suitable for growing in heavy soils and irrigated conditions of Rajasthan.
  21. PUSA-209: It was developed at I.A.R.I, New Delhi, from a cross P-827 and C-235 and was released for general cultivation in 1980 for Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. The crop matures in about 145-165 days. Plant height is about 65 cm. Seeds are attractive and medium bold (135 g/1000 seeds) and light brown in color. Its yield potential is about 25-30 quintals per hectare.
  22. BDN- 9-3: it is a selection from Badanpur developed in 1978. It matures in 95-100 days. Seeds are yellowish-brown. Its average yield is 10-12 quintals per hectare. It is suitable for growing in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
  23. Annegri-1: It is an early maturing variety (100 days) developed from a selection in Karnataka. Seeds are yellowish-brown and of medium size. Its average yield is about 10-15 quintals per hectare.
  24. Phule G-5: It is a pink seeded variety with medium seed size, round smooth seed coat, preferred for parching purpose. Its average yield is 12-15 quintals per hectare.
  25. C-3: It matures in 90-100 days. Seeds are yellowish-brown and of medium size. Its average yield is about 15 quintals per hectare.
  26. B-124: It was developed from a cross N-31 and B-75. It matures in 135-140 days. It is a small seeded variety. Its yield potential is about 24 quintals per hectare. It is suitable for growing in West Bengal.    
  1. Kabuli Gram Varieties
  1. C-104: It is medium in maturity, seeds are of salmon color and very bold. It is suitable for growing in the irrigated areas in Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh also, it has given very good yield. It should be avoided in humid areas where there is severe attack of blight disease. The average yield is 15-20 quintals per hectare. This variety is suitable for culinary purposes. Its seeds are creamy white and have almost double the size of desi gram.
  2. L-550: It is tall, semi-spreading, medium maturing variety with light green foliage. It is very early in flowering among the kabuli types and matures about ten days earlier than C-104. It matures in 160 days. Its average yield is about 18-22 quintals per hectare. It has shown consistently higher yield in the northern plains and central zone of the country.
  3. L-144: It is a tall and quick growing in irrigated areas of Haryana and Punjab. Seeds are bold and whitish-orange. The average yield is 12-15 quintals per hectare.
  4. Pusa-1003: It matures in 130-135 days. This variety is suitable for growing in irrigated conditions. Seeds are bold. This variety is resistant to wilt. Yield potential is 28 quintals per hectare.
  5. Pusa-1053: It matures in 130-140 days. This variety is suitable for timely planting in irrigated conditions. Seeds are extra bold. It is essential to wilt disease. Yield potential is 25 quintals per hectare.
  6. Sadabahar: It matures in 145-160 days. Grains are green in color. It is tolerant to wilt. Its yield potential is 25-30 quintals per hectare.

    CROPPING SYSTEM

       Chick pea is sown after the harvest of kharif crops. Chick pea in rotation with cereal crops help in controlling soil borne diseases. The most common cropping systems are as below:

  1. Kharif fallow-chick pea (in barani areas)
  2. Rice-Chick pea
  3. Pearl millet-Chick pea
  4. Sorghum-Chick pea
  5. Maize-Chick pea

      Chick pea is grown mixed with wheat, barley, linseed, rapeseed and mustard crops. It is grown mixed with toria in Tarai region.

    FIELD PREPARATION

      Chick pea is highly sensitive to soil aeration. This imposes a restriction for its cultivation on heavy soils and calls for special care in seedbed preparation. A rough seedbed is required for chick pea. In case the chick pea crop is taken after a kharif fellow, it would be desirable to go for a deep ploughing during the monsoon as the same would help in larger conservation of rain water in the soil profile for subsequent use by this crop. Very fine and compact seedbed is not good for chick pea. If requires a loose and well aerated seedbed.

SEED AND SOWING

      Date of sowing has been recognized as single non-monetary input affecting most the yield of chick pea in all chick pea growing areas. Experiments conducted under the All India Co-ordinated Pulse Improvement Project at different Centres over last several years have amply demonstared that second fortnight of October is the optimum time for sowing chick pea in most of the chick pea growing areas of northern India. For peninsular India, first fort night of October is the best time for chick pea sowing. Delay beyond this period results in conspicuous reduction in yield. Under humid sub-tropical conditions of Tarai, which are characterized by shallow water table and relatively more winter rainfall, first fortnight of November is most suitable. Early sowing of chick pea results in excessive vegetative growth and poor setting of pods. The early sown crop suffers more from wilt owing to high temperature at that time.

      The crop may be sown by seed drill or local plough at a row spacing of 30-40 centimeters. A seed rate of 75-100 kg per hectare depending upon seed size may be sufficient for one hectare. The seed should be placed 8-10 centimeters deep because the shallow be treated with 0.25 per cent. Thiram or Carbendazim (Bavistin) before sowing.

MANURES AND FERTILIZERS

      Chick pea being a leguminous crop fulfills the major part of its nitrogen requirement (about 75%) through the process of symbolic nitrogen fixation which works effectively from three to four weeks after sowing. However, soils with low organic matter and poor nitrogen supply may require 20-25 kg per hectare of nitrogen as starter does which can meet plant requirement before the formation of nodules. Besides nitrogen, pulses respond very favourably to phosphorous application if the soils are deficient in phosphorous supply. If both nitrogen and phosphorous are required to be supplied then diammonium phosphate (18-46-0) at the rate of 100 to 150 kg per hectare should be applied uniformly before the last discing ploughing. Responses to potassium application have been inconsistent. It is better if all the fertilizers are drilled in furrows at a depth of 7-10 centimeters.

WATER MANAGEMENT

      Chick pea is mostly sown as a rainfed crop. However, where irrigation facilities are available, give a pre-sowing irrigation. It will ensure proper germination and smooth crop growth. If winter rains fail, give one irrigation at pre-flowering stage and one at pod development stage. In no case first irrigation should be given at flowering time of gram crop. A light irrigation should be given because heavy irrigation is always harmful to gram crop. Excess of irrigation enhances vegetative growth and depresses chick pea yield.

WEED CONTROL

      Chick pea being a stature crop suffers severely by infestation of weeds. One hand weeding or inter culture with hand hoe or wheel hoe after 25-30 days and second if needed after 60 days of sowing may take care of weeds. Fluchloralin (Basalin) 1 kg per hectare in 800-1000 liters of water as pre-planting spray may be used as an effective herbicide. It should be well incorporated in the soil before sowing. In case Basalin is not available use Metribuzin or Prometrynen at the rate of 1.0-1.5 kg active ingredient in 800-1000 liters of water per hectare as pre-emergence spray. Hand weeding or inter culture with the help of hoe is always better than herbicides because inter culture operations improve aeration in the soil.

DISEASES

      The important diseases of chick pea are wilt, sclerotinia blight, grey mold, rust and Ascochyta blight. Symptoms of these diseases and their suitable control measures are given below:

Wilt

The main cause of this disease is a fungus, Fusarium orthocerus through other fungi are also associated with this disease. This disease causes considerable loss in most of the gram growing regions. The symptoms of the disease may be seen in the seedling stage as well as in an advanced stage of plant growth. The leaves start yellowing and afterwards drying. The plants too become yellowish and finally dry out. Roots turn black and ultimately decompose.

CONTROL MEASURES

  1. Treat the seed with Benlate T or a mixture of Benlate of Thiram (1:1) at the rate of 2.5 g per kg of seed.
  2. Grow the resistant varieties like C-214, Avrodhi, Uday, BG-244; Pusa-362, JG-315, Phule G-5 etc.
  3. In fields having heavy incidence of gram wilt, the cultivation of chick pea should be avoided for three to four years.
  4. As far as possible sowing of chick pea should not be done before third week of October.
  5. Deep planting of chick pea about 8-10 centimeters deep in the light soils reduces the gram wilt incidence.

Sclerotinia Blight

       It is caused by a gungus Scleritinia sclerotiorum. This diseas causes losses in Punjab, Haryana and Wester Uttar Pradesh. The disease affects all the plants except the roots. The infection in the initial stage is visible on the stem near the ground. The affected plants first become yellow, then brown and ultimately dry out. On close observation, brown colored spots may be seen on affected stem which later girdle it. White cottony growth of the fungus with hard, black colored sclerotia may be seen on these spots on the stem.

    CONTROL MEASURES 

  1. Use only healthy seeds free from sclerotia.
  2. Grow disease resistant varieties like G-543, Gaurav, Pusa-261 etc.
  3. After harvest, the diseased plants should not be allowed to stand in the field but should be destroyed by burning.
  4. Treat the soil with a mixture of fungicides like Brassicol and Captan at the rate of 10 kg per hectare.

Grey Mold

      This disease is caused by a fungus Botrytis cinerea survives in the soil. This disease causes considerable damage in tarai area of Uttar Pradesh. Brown necrotic spots appear on twigs, petioles, leaves and flowers of the plant on attaining full vegetative growth. The branches and the stem also get affected parts. The affected stem finally breaks and the plant dies.

CONTROL MEASURES

  1. Plant the crop late i.e. first fortnight of November.
  2. Spray the crop with 0.2% carbendazim (Bavistin).

Rust

      This disease is caused by a fungus Uromyces ciceris arietini. The disease is more severe in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The symptoms are visible in early February. Small, round to oval, light or dark brown pustules are formed on the under surface of the leaves. The pustules later turn black. Afterwards, these pustules appear on upper surface of leaves, petioles, twigs and pods. The affected leaves pre-maturely fall and therefore the yield is considerably reduced.

CONTROL MEASURES

  1. With the appearance of first symptoms, spray the crop with 0.2% Mancozeb 75 WP followed by two more sprays at 10 days interval.
  2. Plant only resistant varieties like Gaurav.

Ascochyta Blight

      This disease is caused by Ascochyta rabi, a fungus which survives on plant trash left in the soil. This is an important disease prevalent in Punjab and parts of Himachal Pradesh. All the plant part except the root is affected. Small round, yellowish-brown spots are seen on the leaves in the months of January and February. The spots also spread to petioles and branches where they are elongated and become dark brown in color. The affected plants finally dry up.

CONTROL MEASURES

  1. Plant only healthy seed. Before planting treat the seed with fungicides like Thiram or Carbendazim (Bavistin) at the rate of 2.5 g/kg of seed.
  2. Follow three year crop rotation.
  3. Plant resistant varieties/tolerant varieties like G-543, Pusa-256, Gaurav, GNG-146, PBG-1 etc.

 INSECT PESTS

Some of the important insect pests of chick pea with their control measures are given below:

Cutworm

      Gram cutworm is a serious pest in low lying areas where fields are cloddy. The larvae of this insect remain hidden under these clods during the day time and cause damage during the night. The caterpillars cut the plants at ground level. The pest is sporadic in nature and can be controlled by the application of Lindane 6% granules at the rate of 20-25 kg per hectare mixed in the soil.

Gram Pod Borer

      This is the most serious pest of chick pea and causes damage up to 75 per cent reduction in yield. The caterpillar not only defoliates the tender leaves but also makes holes in the pods and feed upon the developing grains. While feeding on the developing seeds the anterior body portion of the caterpillar remains inside the pod and rest half or so hanging outside. When seeds of one pod are finished, it moves to the next. Unless the pest is controlled in the initial stages of infestation it takes the heavy toll of the crop. As a matter of fact this pest is the most limiting factor in gram production.

CONTROL MEASURES

  1. Spray Monocrotophos (Nuvacron) 36 EC at the time of pod formation at the rate of 1 millilitre mixed in 1 liter of water. The amount of solution may vary from 600-800 liters per hectare. The spray should be repeated, if needed after 15 days.
  2. Alternatively, spray Endisulfan 35 EC at the rate of 1.25 liters mixed in 1000 liters of water per hectare.

   Crop becomes ready for harvest when leaves turn reddish-brown and start shedding. Plants are either plucked out by hand or cut with sickle. The crop is allowed to dry in sun on threshing floor for about five to six days. Thereafter, threshing is done either by beating the plants with sticks or by trampling under the feet of bullocks.

YIELD

      Chick pea has the potential to yield far higher than the national average. A well managed crop yields about 20-25 quintals of grain per hectare which is about three to four times higher than the national average.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.