Nutrition in chickpea 2015 (northern NSW pulse agronomy project)

Author: Andrew Verrell and Leigh Jenkins (NSW DPI) | Date: 23 Feb 2016

Take home message

  • Phosphorus was a limiting factor to grain yield in 2015
  • Zinc was limiting yield at three locations
  • Iron was a limiting factor on a grey-brown vertosol with a 50 year cropping history

Introduction

The 2015 season was characterised by episodic cold weather events during flowering and terminal drought during grain fill. These seasonal conditions impacted heavily, reducing the potential yield of chickpeas across most areas of the northern NSW cropping zone.

The Northern Pulse Agronomy Initiative project had a range of experiments covering a number of agronomic themes in 2014. This paper will report on the outcomes of the nutrition experiments across northern NSW.

What we did?

Nutrients were applied in a nutrient omission format at seven locations across central and northern NSW. In nutrient omission trials one nutrient is deliberately omitted in each treatment while all other nutrients are applied at rates considered as non-limiting. It is therefore not possible to determine optimum nutrient application rates directly from the results of these experiments.

The 12 treatments were; Zero nutrients, All nutrients, - N, - P, - K, - Ca, - B, - Cu, - Zn, - Mn, - Mg, - Fe.

Application method varied between nutrients. Both P and N were applied at sowing, at 10 kg P/ha as Trifos and 10 kg N/ha as urea, respectively. Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu and Fe were applied as chelates in a foliar spray. K was applied as Potassium citrate and B as Boron ethanolamine as foliar sprays. Besides N and P (applied at sowing), all other nutrients were sprayed on the crop at mid vegetative period. PBA HatTrick was sown at all sites at 30 plants/m2.

What we found?

Grain yield data for the seven experimental locations is contained in Table 1. Rowena showed no significant responses to applied nutrients. The Trangie, Edgeroi and Coonamble sites showed yield responses to applied Zn of, 28%, 18% and 7%, respectively. Coonamble, Nowley, Moree and North Star had responses to applied P of, 4%, 15%, 15% and 11%, respectively.

The Coonamble site, a grey-brown vertosol which has been cropped since the early 1960’s, also showed an 8% yield response to applied Fe.

Table 1. Effect of selected nutrient omission treatments on grain yield (kg/ha) in chickpea at northern NSW sites in 2015

Treatment

Trangie
(kg/ha)

Rowena
(kg/ha)

Edgeroi
(kg/ha)

Coonamble
(kg/ha)

Nowley
(kg/ha)

Moree
(kg/ha)

North Star
(kg/ha)

Minus-Zn

559b

788a

1498b

1816b

1619a

1928a

2129a

Minus-P

626ab

986a

1613ab

1864b

1425b

1697b

2005b

Minus-Fe

1804b

All

714a

1019a

1772a

1947a

1643a

1956a

2226a

Values with the same letter are not significantly different at P>0.05

Conclusions

  • Frosts and cold periods during flowering at sites led to floral abortion and a reduction in yield
  • Extended dry periods at sites during September and October led to pod and seed abortion
  • Older cropping country is showing responses to applied P as well as Zn and in one instance Fe.

Acknowledgements

The research undertaken as part of project DAN00171 is made possible by the significant contributions of growers through both trial cooperation and the support of the GRDC. The authors would like to thank them for their continued support. Thanks to Mat Grinter, Michael Nowland and Jayne Jenkins and Scott Richards (all NSW DPI) for their technical assistance in the trial program.

Contact details

Dr Andrew Verrell
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Mb: 0429 422 150
Email: andrew.verrell@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Varieties displaying this symbol beside them are protected under the Plant Breeders Rights Act 1994.

GRDC Project code: DAN00171