J.agric. Sci., Camb. (1987) 109, 591-593
by Y.S. Chauhan, R. Sheldrake, N. Venkataratnam
Short-duration pigeonpea can give up to three harvests in environments with mild winters (eg. minimum temperature above 10°C) such as those prevailing in peninsular India (Sharma, Saxena & Green, 1978; Chauhan, Venkataratnam & Sheldrake, 1984). This is mainly due to the short time (about 120 days) taken to produce the first flush, and the strong perennial character of pigeonpea. The seed yield of short-duration pigeonpea in this multiple-harvest system may reach 5.2t/ha (Chauhan et al. 1984).
Venkataratnam & Sheldrake (1985) found that the yield of the second harvest of medium-duration pigeonpea was significantly influenced by the method of harvesting of the first flush. The lower the plants were cut, the smaller were the second-harvest yields. A positive relationship between the height at which the stem was cut and success of ratooning was also reported by Suarez & Herreara (1971). Tayo (1985), however, found that in the lowland tropics, plants of a dwarf pigeonpea variety ratooned at 0.3 m had better growth and yield than hand-picked plants; ratooning at 0.6 m height was intermediate. Information on the effect of different harvest methods on yield of short-duration pigeonpea in subtropical, semi-arid environments is not available. The objective of this study was to obtain this information.