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Sustainability of rainy-season cropping systems under dryland conditions of Vertisols

Sustainability of rainy-season cropping systems under dryland conditions of Vertisols

Indian Journal of Agronomy 41(3): 359-363

An experiment was conducted during 1988-1993 on Vertisols to study sustainability of rainy-season (kharif) cropping systems under rainfed conditions. Grain yield of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) Br. remend. Stuntz) (19.64 q/ha) increased owing to intercropping with pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) (3.58 q/ha) compared with sole pearl millet (17.68 q/ha) showing complimentary effects. Pearl millet yield increased by 17.9% under sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.)-pearl millet system compared with continuous pearl millet and by 32.8% under sunflower-pearl millet + pigeonpea system compared with sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench)-pearl millet + pigeonpea system. Significantly highest monetary returns (Rs 9,414/ha) were obtained from pearl millet + pigeonpea (2:1) intercropping in current-year cropping. Similarly, sole pearl millet also gave significantly more monetary returns (Rs 6,980/ha) than rest of the sole crops. Sustainable value index was the highest (0.62) under pearl millet + pigeonpea (2:1) intercropping, followed by sole pearl millet (SVI 0.50), indicating sustainability of these crops during the kharif season on medium deep Vertisols (30-45 cm) of dryland areas.

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