The Journal of Agricultural Science


Phenology and growth response to irrigation and sowing date of Kabuli chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) in a cool-temperate subhumid climate

M. RAJIN ANWAR a1c1p1, B. A. McKENZIE a1 and G. D. HILL a1
a1 Plant Sciences Group, Soil, Plant and Ecological Sciences Division, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

Article author query
anwar m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mckenzie b   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hill g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The photothermal response of three Kabuli chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) cultivars, at different growth stages, to eight irrigation treatments in 1998/99 and four irrigation treatments in 1999/2000 was studied on a Wakanui silt loam soil in Canterbury, New Zealand (43°38S, 172°30E). The rate of development from emergence to flowering (e-f) and sowing to harvest maturity were strongly and positively associated (R2=0·87, P<0·001) with mean temperature during those periods. All phenological stages considered (sowing to emergence, e-f, flowering to podding, podding to physiological maturity and physiological maturity to harvest maturity) depended upon accumulated thermal time (Tt) above a base temperature (Tb) of 1 °C.

An accurate prediction of time of flowering was made based on an accumulated mean Tt requirement of 629 °Cdays from e-f (R2=0·91, P<0·001). Fully irrigated crops had higher maximum dry matter accumulation (maxDM; 1093 g/m2), duration of exponential growth (DUR; 99 days), weighted mean absolute growth rate (WMAGR; 12·2 g/m2 per day) and maximum crop growth rate (MGR; 17·1 g/m2 per day). In 1998/99 the positive response of maxDM and MGR depended on a significant (P<0·01) interaction between irrigation and sowing date. The maxDM during the season was highly correlated with DUR and MGR (R2=0·79 and 0·65). It is concluded that to maximize chickpea biological yield in the dry season of the cool-temperate subhumid climate of Canterbury, irrigation should extend across all phenological stages.

(Published Online March 9 2004)
(Received September 16 2003)

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p1 Present address: Department of Soils & Fertilizers, National Agricultural Research Centre, 3-1-1 Kan-non-dai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8666, Japan.