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Effects of Soil Solarization on Pigeonpea and Chickpea

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Chauhan, Y.S. Burford, J.R. ; Sahrawat, K.L. ; Johansen, C.( editor ) ; Haware, M.P.( editor ) ; Rupela, O.P.(Affl: ICRISAT, Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, India. ) ; Sithanantham, S.( editor ) ; Nene, Y.L. ; Sharma, S.B. ; Saxena, N.P. ; Singh, S. ; Rao, J.V.D.K.K.,( J.V.D.K. Kumar Rao ) ; International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
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International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics ; Patancheru 502324, Andhra Pradesh, India
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Effects of soil solarization on pigeonpea and chickpea / Y.S. Chauhan
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transparent polythene sheeting during hot periods to control soilborne diseases. The effects, advantages, and limitations of this technique have been recently reviewed by Katan (1981)and Horiuchi (1984). The technique has been commercially exploited for growing high-value crops in diseased soils in environments with a hot summer (maximum daily air temperatures regularly exceeding 35° C). Examples include control of verticilli um and fusarium diseases in vegetable crops in Israel and control of Verticillium dahliae in pistachio orchards in California, USA (Katan 1981, 1984). Although the major benefit of solarization is reduction of soilborne pathogens by soil-heating effects, there are many other possible additional beneficial effects that can result in an increased growth response (IGR) of plants. Such additional effects include control of weeds and insect pests and release of plant nutrients (Katan 1981; Horiuchi 1984). It has been pointed out (J. Katan, Plant Pathology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, personal communication, 1985) that farmers of the Deccan plateau in India have long exploited a form of solar heating of soil, by plowing the soil so as to expose subsoil prior to the hot summer period (April-June), when maximum dai ly air temperatures usually exceed 40°C, and leaving it fallow. We were interested to determine whether this solar-heating process in this region could be enhanced by mulching with polythene sheeting, particularly for controlling the fusarium wilts of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) and chickpea (Cicer arietinum L) , which are major limitations to growth of these crops in the Indian subcontinent.


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