Legume Research

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Legume Research, volume 44 issue 3 (march 2021) : 334-338

Nutrient Management in Groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea L.) - Bt Cotton (Gossypium Hirsutum L.) Intercropping System

P.M. Vaghasia1,*, K.L. Dobariya1
1Main Oilseeds Research Station, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh-362 015, Gujarat, India.
  • Submitted08-12-2018|

  • Accepted09-08-2019|

  • First Online 09-11-2019|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-4108

Cite article:- Vaghasia P.M., Dobariya K.L. (2019). Nutrient Management in Groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea L.) - Bt Cotton (Gossypium Hirsutum L.) Intercropping System . Legume Research. 44(3): 334-338. doi: 10.18805/LR-4108.
A field experiment was carried out during the rainy (kharif) seasons of 2012, 2013 and 2014 at the Main Oilseeds Research Satiation, Junagadh Agriculture University, Junagadh to ascertain the optimum nutrient requirement for groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) - Bt cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) intercropping system to obtain higher productivity and profitability per unit area per unit time by efficient utilization of natural resources on medium clay soil under irrigated conditions. Groundnut was raised as main crop and Bt cotton was planted as intercrop with 3:1 ratio. The experiment was conducted with fourteen treatments involving sole groundnut and sole cotton with different combinations of fertilizer doses and were tested in randomized block design (RBD) with three replications. All the above fertilizer treatments were imposed based on the area. The results revealed that  100% RDF to groundnut (main crop) + 150% RDF to cotton (intercrop) in 3:1 row ratio proportion increased growth, yield attributes and yields of groundnut and Bt cotton as well groundnut equivalent yield. So, 100% recommended dose of NP fertilizer (12.5:25.0 kg NP/ha) to groundnut + 150% recommended dose of N fertilizer(240 kgN/ha)  to Bt cotton with 3:1 row ratio proportion was optimum to realize maximum yield under groundnut- Bt cotton intercropping system in irrigated conditions.
India has emerged as a major global partner in the production, processing and trade of raw cotton and its finished products. Global demand for cotton is projected at 42.75 million tonnes by 2020. Despite a stiff competition from synthetic fibers, the share of cotton to the global textile pool is 45% (Srinivasan, 2009) and this is higher in India (65%). Due to more income generation from transgenic cotton hybrids, groundnut area in major groundnut producing states of India (Gujarat andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) is replaced by cotton (Singh and Ahlawat, 2011). Same trend is also observed in Asia, but at global level, areas of both crops are almost moreover static. In Saurashtra region, groundnut-cotton intercropping is popularizing among the farmers due to higher yield potentiality and to some extent drought resistance capacity. Groundnut is grown under rainfed condition in Saurashtra and also a suitable crop in intercropping system with cotton. Among all the approaches of increasing the agricultural productivity, intercropping is one of the highly promising possibilities. Cotton is sown at wider row spacing, hence provides space for cultivation of short-duration intercrop like groundnut. This practice stabilizes the productivity, besides enhancing the total returns. Among the agronomic packages of any crop, nutrient management is the most important factor deciding the crop performance and maintaining soil fertility is important in sustaining groundnut and cotton productivity and profitability (Singh and Ahlawat, 2011). Although, the use of chemical fertilizers is the fastest way of counter acting the pace of nutrient depletion. Information on the resource use efficiency of transgenic cotton and groundnut intercropping system is very limited in Gujarat. Hence, considering all the facts, the present experiment was planned to find out the most suitable nutrient management practice for maximization of groundnut and Bt cotton yield in intercropping system.
Field experiments were conducted in medium black soil with pH 7.9(1:2.5 soil to water) containing 0.43% organic carbon, 231 kg/ha available N, 31.2 kg/ha available P and 341 kg/ha available K at the Main Oilseeds Research Station farm of Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh. The total rainfall received during the cropping period was 425 mm in 2012, 1520 mm in 2013 and 1271 mm in 2014. There were fourteen treatments viz. T1 : Sole  groundnut (50% RDF),T2: Sole groundnut (75% RDF), T3: Sole groundnut (100% RDF), T4: Sole groundnut (50% RDF)3:1 Skip row, T5: Sole  groundnut (75% RDF) 3:1 Skip row, T6: Sole groundnut (100% RDF) 3:1 Skip row, T7: Sole Bt cotton(100% RDF),T8: Sole Bt cotton (150% RDF), T9: Groundnut (50% RDF) + Bt cotton (100% RDF) 3:1, T10: Groundnut (75% RDF) +  Bt cotton (100% RDF) 3:1, T11: Groundnut (100% RDF) + Bt  cotton (100% RDF) 3:1, T12: Groundnut (50% RDF) + Bt cotton (150% RDF) 3:1, T13: Groundnut (75% RDF) + Bt cotton (150% RDF) 3:1 and T14: Groundnut (100% RDF) + Bt cotton (150% RDF) 3:1 row proportion were laid out in a randomized block design with three replications. Three levels of fertilizer for groundnut (50, 75 and 100% recommended dose of 12.5-25-00 kg NPK/ha) were tried in combination with two levels of fertilizer for cotton (100 and 150% of recommended dose of 150-00-00 kg NPK/ha). As per treatment, 50% N each through urea was applied at sowing and square initiation stage of cotton. Cotton NHH 44 Bt was sown by dibbling with 180cm × 60cm geometry. In intercropped cotton, 3 rows of groundnut GG 7 were planted in between two cotton rows. Groundnut was harvested in last week of October. Cotton was harvested in 3 pickings up to first week of January.
Growth, yield components and yield of groundnut
The results of groundnut + Bt  cotton intercropping system showed that significantly higher numbers of branches per plant, number of pods per plant and 100 kernel weight of groundnut were registered under sole crop. Maximum number of branches per plant (7.33), number of pods per plant (22.72) and 100 kernel weight (60.86 g) was recorded in treatment of 100% RDF to groundnut crop (T3) which was remained at par with sole groundnut(100% RDF) 3:1 row Skip (T6) but significantly higher than rest of treatments. Fertilizer application might have increased the amount of available nutrients, which encouraged the production of more number of flowers, gynophores and matured pods. Similar observations were reported by Koraddi et al., (1991) who found that the growth and yield attributes of groundnut were significantly reduced in intercropping system against sole crop. This might be attributed to the competition for available nutrients and shading effect under intercropping situation (Sathyapriya et al., 2009). There was no significant difference in oil content of groundnut because of different nutrient management practices to component crop of cotton.
Pod and haulm yields of groundnut were significantly influenced by different treatments (Table 1 and 2). The maximum pod yield (1808, 1982, 2037 and 1942 kg/ha, respectively) was recorded by sole groundnut with 100% recommended dose of fertilizer treatment (T3) during the years 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and in pooled, which was at par with T1 and T2 during individual years and T2  in respect of pooled data. In respect of haulm yield, it was found significant during the year 2014-15 and in pooled. Significantly higher haulm yield (3137 and 2822 kg/ha, respectively) was recorded by sole groundnut with 100% RDF (T3) during 2014-15 and pooled results. No significant differences were found in haulm yield during the years 2012-13 and 2013-14.  This was in accordance with the finding of Koraddi et al., (1991) that growth and yields attributes were significantly reduced in intercropping system. It also emphasized that the better performance of sole crop of groundnut could be attributed to more assimilation and distribution of photosynthates were mainly responsible for more number of pods/plant, higher dry matter production and yields of groundnut in sole cropping.

Table 1: Groundnut pod yield and cotton yield as influenced by different treatments.


Table 2: Groundnut haulm yield and cotton stalk yield as influenced by different treatments.

In intercropping situation, application of 100% recommended dose of fertilizer to groundnut and cotton individually according their area basis produced higher pod yield of 1484 kg/ha which was closely followed by groundnut (100%RDF) + Bt cotton (150%RDF) 3:1. The poor performance of groundnut in intercropping was mainly attributed to lower plant population (25% base population in intercropping as compared to sole groundnut). Further, the shading effect of cotton (90 days after sowing onwards) and competition for resources, particularly water and nutrients also contributed to lower values of yield attributes and yield.
Growth, yield components and yield of Bt cotton
Nutrient management practices in intercropping system had pronounced significant effect on the plant height, number of bolls per plant and monopodial branches per plant in pooled results. The higher plant height (142.5 cm), bolls per plant (44.45) and monopodial branches per plant (4.31) were recorded in treatment of 150% recommended dose of fertilizer to sole Bt cotton but, it was at par with 100% recommended dose of fertilizer. This higher yield in sole crop might due to the competition free environment as compared to intercropping system. In intercropping situation, the plant height, number of bolls per plant and monopodial branches per plant increased with higher levels of fertilizer to intercropping system. Significant differences were found in cotton yield in pooled results (Table 1) while stalk yield, significant differences was recorded during the year 2014-15 and in pooled results (Table 2). Significantly the highest cotton yield (2296 kg/ha) and stalk yield (3002 kg/ha) was recorded by sole cotton with 150% RDF treatment (T8) in pooled results. Groundnut as an intercrop with short and compact stature did not offer competition to cotton and thus the growth condition of cotton in both sole and intercropping was identical. The positive impact of inclusion of groundnut as an intercrop owing to its ability of biological N fixation and reducing weed menace in between cotton rows favoured development of yield attributes in cotton, leading to higher cotton yield. These results are in agreement with those of Koraddi et al., (1991), Sathyapriya et al., (2009), Singh and Ahlawat (2011) and Honnali and Chittapur (2014).
Groundnut pod equivalent yield
The groundnut pod equivalent yield was found significant during all individual years and in pooled results (Table 1). Significantly the highest groundnut pod equivalent yield (3910 kg/ha) was recorded by groundnut with 100% RDF + Bt cotton with 150% RDF in 3:1 row ratio proportion (T14) in pooled results, which remained  at par with treatments viz., T9, T10, T11,T12 and T13. Higher crop equivalent yield under intercropping system showed an efficient utilization of resources resulting in better productivity of component crops in the system. This study as indicated that the base crop yield reduction was well compared with the intercrop yield. The results are in agreement with the findings of Sathyapriya et al., (2009) and Kalaghatagi and Guggari (2010).
Monetary returns for the inter-cropping system are presented in Table 3. All the intercropping treatments recorded higher gross and net return per hectare than sole crops of either groundnut or cotton. Gross realization, cost of cultivation, net realization and B:C ratio of different treatments were worked out on the basis of current market prices of groundnut and cotton inputs used. The highest gross realization (₹ 145251/ha) and net return (₹ 88871/ha) with B:C ratio of 2.58 was recorded in intercropping of groundnut and Bt cotton in 3:1 row proportion with 100% recommended dose of fertilizer for groundnut and 150% recommended dose of fertilizer for Bt cotton. Similar experimental results have been reported by Koraddi et al., (1991).
It can be concluded that application of 100% recommended fertilizer dose (12.5:25.0 kgNP/ha) to base crop of groundnut rows and 150% recommended fertilizer dose (240 kgN/ha) to Bt cotton rows was found to be the best treatment in increasing for productivity of groundnut-Bt cotton intercropping system.

  1. Honnali, S.N. and Chittapur, B.M. (2014). Efficient cropping systems for ecological security and sustainability and their energetic under irrigated tropical ecosystem. Indian Journal of Agronomy. 59(4) 556-560.

  2. Kalaghatagi, S.B. and Guggari, A.K. (2010).Castor (Ricinus communis L.) based intercropping system on Vertic Inceptisols under rainfed conditions. Indian Journal of Dryland Agricultural Research and Development. 25(2):78-81.

  3. Koraddi, V.R., Channal, S.K., Guggari, A.K. and Hamath, K.S. (1991). Studies on planting pattern and fertilizer requirements for intercropping of cotton and groundnut under assured rainfall condition. Karnataka J. Agric. Sci. 4(3&4):126-128.

  4. Sathyapriya, R., M. Mohammed, Yassin, Maheswari, J. and Sangeetha, S.P. (2009). Influence of NPK fertilization on productivity and oil yield of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) in intercropping system under irrigated condition. International Journal of Agricultural Research. 4: 97-106.

  5. Singh, Raman Jeet and Ahlawat, I.P.S. (2011). Productivity, competition indices and soil fertility changes of Bt cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) – groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) intercropping system using different fertility levels. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences. 81 (7): 606–11.

  6. Srinivasan, S. (2009). Technology interventions in cotton for enhancing its diversified use. In: International Conference on Emerging Trends in Production, Processing and Utilization of Natural Fibers. Book of Papers. pp 208–15. 

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