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Effect of NPK rates and irrigation frequencies on the growth and yield performance of Trifolium alexandrium L.

1 China Agricultural University, Beijing, 1000193, China
2 Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, 70060, Pakistan

The limiting of water resource and traditional farming practices are threatening the sustainability of important minor crops in Pakistan, including berseem, which is a key source of fodder for dairy farms. Each year, 2% reduction of cultivated area, low yield and grower’s non-preference (to rotate or replace wheat-cotton pattern) factors are adversely affecting the livestock sector. Consequently, animal rearing business is suffering badly due to lack of fresh forage in the country. Therefore, a three-replicated randomized complete block design (RCBD) field experiment was conducted during rabi season to evaluate berseem crop in term of yield and profit under existing farming practice (85:115:00 NPK kg ha1 + 12 irrigations with 15 days intervals) and optimized treatments (70:100:30 NPK kg ha1, 55:85:15 NPK kg ha1 + 12, 08, 04 irrigations + 15, 18, 21 days intervals). The net plot size was 12 m2 with a pH range of 8.1 silty clay loam soil type. In addition, the climate was monitored as well, there was no rainfall observed during the entire crop period. The analysis of statistical data showed a significant (p < 0.05) vegetative, reproductive and economic performance of berseem in optimized farming practices compared to traditional practice. Thus, maximum plant height, leaves plant1, branches plant1, plant weight, fodder and seed yield, net profit, and profit on $1 (81.8 cm, 100.8, 36.0, 19.3 (g), 72.0 t, 829.30 kg ha1, $1910.8 ha1, $2.03 respectably) were measured from treatment 70:100:30 NPK kg ha1 + 12 irrigations at 15 days intervals, which is recommended to the farmers of synonymic agro-environmental conditions. Furthermore, the treatment 70:100:30 NPK kg ha1 + 8 irrigations was also better with the aspect of satisfactory outcome and 33% less use of water.
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Keywords Egyptian clover; yield; NPK; irrigation; economic analysis

Citation: Shah Jahan Leghari, Aijaz Ahmed Soomro, Ghulam Mustafa Laghari, Khalid Hussain Talpur, Farooque Ahmed Soomro, Mazhar Hussain Mangi, Naveed Mahmood. Effect of NPK rates and irrigation frequencies on the growth and yield performance of Trifolium alexandrium L.. AIMS Agriculture and Food, 2018, 3(4): 397-405. doi: 10.3934/agrfood.2018.4.397


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