Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan [L.] Millsp.) growth, yield, and seed protein as affected by variety, spacing, and planting date

Trevor S Johnston, Tennessee State University


Pigeonpea is a protein-rich and drought-tolerant crop. The effect of plant spacing and planting date on levels of the growth, yield, and seed crude protein were studied in four varieties of pigeonpea: GA1 (Georgia 1), GA2 (Georgia 2) W1, and W3. The plant spacings were 5 cm, 10 cm, and 15 cm. This study was conducted for two years on an Armour silt loam soil (fine-silty, mixed, active, thermic Ultic hapludalf) (Latitude 36.12 N, Longitude 36.98 W, elevation 127.6 m) in Middle TN. In 2011, the effects of the following growth characteristics were investigated: plant height, stem diameter, flowering, pod formation, and pod maturity, and seed yield. Date of planting was 6 June. In 2012, two planting dates were used, 29 May and 25 June. Additional characteristics were periodically monitored: leaf senescence %. Seed crude protein % (CP) of the harvested crop was also chemically determined in the lab. Results showed a significant influence of some varieties on growth parameters and seed yield in both years. Yearly differences in yield were noted. In 2012, GA2 and W1 gave ≈3 and 4 times greater yield respectively, compared with 2011. Variety GA2 matured earliest and produced the highest fresh yield both years. In 2012, seed yields were 2946.7- and 1521.4 kg ha-1, respectively, for the early and late plantings. GA1 and W1 typically displayed similar growth and yielded substantially less seed in the second planting than in the first (463.7- and 506 kg ha-1 compared to 2209.2- and 2007.4 kg ha-1, respectively). Plant spacing effect on seed yield was insignificant in 2011. In 2012, plant spacing significantly influenced stem diameter, flowering, and seed yield (α = 0.1) of first planting, while in the second planting flowering and pod maturity differences were noted. Planting date typically had significant effect on growth and yield. CP % ranged from 17.7 to 19.4 by variety and from 17.7 to 19.7 by plant spacing. All treatments effects on seed CP were insignificant. All varieties used could benefit from even earlier planting dates. However, GA2 was not affected much by the sowing date.

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Recommended Citation

Trevor S Johnston, "Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan [L.] Millsp.) growth, yield, and seed protein as affected by variety, spacing, and planting date" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1553089.