Performance of no-till maize under drip-fertigation in a double cropping system in semi arid Telangana state of India


Availability of water for Agriculture is becoming increasingly difficult, besides the cost of power for applying it. Improving the water and nitrogen use efficiency has become imperative in present day’s Agriculture. Drip irrigation and fertigation provides the efficient use of limited water with increased water and nutrient use efficiency, respec- tively. A field experiment was conducted during post rainy season of two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), in sandy loam soils of Warangal, Telangana State, India to study the response of no-till maize (Zea mays L) after aerobic rice (Oryza sativa L) to drip irrigation and nitrogen fertigation under semi-arid environment. The experiment was laid out in split plot design with four replications. Three irrigation schedules viz. drip irrigation at 75% Pan Evaporation (PE); 100% PE and 125% PE were taken as main plots and three nitrogen levels through fertigation viz. 120, 160, and 200 kg ha-1 as sub plots. The growth parameters (plant height, LAI, drymatter accumulation), root volume and dry weight, yield attributes (cobs plant-1, kernels cob-1, kernel weight cob-1) kernel yield, stover yield and nitrogen uptake of no till maize increased with increase in water input from 75% PE to 100% PE irrigation schedule in drip irrigation but could not reach the level of significance at 125% PE. Tasseling and silking was hastened in 125% PE schedule. Increase in the level of N application through fertigation from 120 to 160 kg N ha-1 resulted in the increase of all the growth parameters, yield attributes, kernel yield, stover yield and nitrogen uptake. Barrenness and test weight were unaffected by either the irrigation schedules or nitrogen levels. The economic indicators (gross returns, net returns and net benefit: cost ratio) were higher with the irrigation schedule of 125% PE and nitrogen dose of 200 kg N ha-1 applied through fertigation. Increased water input from 75 to 125% PE resulted in decreased water use efficiency but enhanced nitrogen use efficiency while the reverse trend was found with respect to N levels under fertigation.


drip-fertigation, no-till maize, nitrogen- and water use efficiency, root volume, yield

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013