Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 4, 2000
Publication Date: January 30, 2001
Interpretive Summary: A short-season legume grown in rotation with winter wheat is needed to diversify and enhance dryland crop rotations in the central Great Plains. Chickpea, field pea, and lentil could be such legumes, but their yield response to variable water availability common to dryland production is unknown. This study determined the yield/water use response of these three ecrops, and used that information with the long-term precipitation record t determine the expected range and mean yield for each crop. The results showed that all three crops appear to have potential to be used in dryland rotations with winter wheat, with chickpea having the highest potential and lentil the lowest. The results will be of value to farmers and consultants making crop choice decisions that will diversify crop rotations.
Technical Abstract: A short-season legume grown in rotation with winter wheat is needed to diversify and enhance dryland crop rotations in the central Great Plains. This study was conducted to determine the potential for chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), field pea (Pisum sativum L.), and lentil (Lens culinaris Medik) to be used as such rotational legumes based on yield responses to water and on soil water extraction patterns. The three species were planted under a line-source gradient irrigation system to provide a range of available water conditions. Soil water content, crop water use, and seed yield were measured to produce water use/yield relationships. Distributions of estimated yields were produced using the water use/yield relationships and the local historical rainfall record. Chickpea exhibited the highest rate of increase in seed yield with increases in water use (10.6 kg/ha1/mm1), followed by field pea (8.0), and lentil (3.3). Yields estimated from the historical rainfall record ranged from 951-3782 kg/ha1( 2092 kg/ha1) for chickpea, 523-2718 (1406) for field pea, and 286- 1247 (654) for lentil.