, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 209-219

Effect of gypsum and moisture stress on growth and pod-fill of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.)

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A pot study was carried out in the screenhouse at Samaru, Nigeria, to examine the effects of moisture stress and gypsum on groundnut pod development and yield. The use of gypsum had no significant effect either on vegetative growth or on the yield of Spanish 205, but increased the pod and kernel yields of June-sown Samaru 38 variety. Applying moisture stress at 9–13 weeks after sowing to coincide with the period of peg and pod development lowered the uptake of nitrogen and increased the proportion of unfilled pods thus drastically reducing yield. In one trial the variety Samaru 38 failed to yield any pods when plants were subjected to moisture stress at the peg and pod development phase. By comparison, the occurrence of moisture deficit earlier in the season, at 6–10 weeks after sowing and coinciding with the period of peak flowering was less detrimental to podfill and yield. It was concluded that the application of gypsum alone without first correcting moisture deficit was unlikely to alleviate problems of groundnut peg development and pod fill.

Soil Scientist and Agronomist, respectively.