Photo Parvathisri

Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 57, 895-9, 1987
by Rupert Sheldrake
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The feasibility of growing pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (LInn.) Millsp.] as a perennial crop was investigated during 1980-82. The medium-duration pigeonpea genotype 'ICP 1-6', sown in the post-rainy season at a population of 30 plants/m2, was allowed to perennate for 18 months, during which it produced 3 flushes of pods at 5,15 and 18 months after sowing. There was a substantial plant mortality after the first-flush harvest, but due to the high-sowing rate many plants survived and regenerated to form a closed canopy in the following rainy season. The mean yield of 2 seasons was 0.5 tonne/ha in the first flush, 1 tonne/ha in the second and 0.05 tonne/ha in the third. The yield from the second flush was obtained without weeding or insecticide spray and was comparable to that of the rainfed crop of medium-duration genotypes. Considerable leaf fall also occurred, which contributed 40kg N/ha to the soil. The yield from the third flush was very low to warrant continuation of the crop for another 3-4 months after the second-flush crop. At this harvest the mean firewood (air-dried stem) yield was 3.5 tonnes/ha. The system has good potential in the wet rainy season fallows in peninsular India, as it enables pigeonpea after the rainy season with little efforts and few inputs.