Productivity and Resource Use Management of Soybean-basedSystems in a Vertic Inceptisol Watershed uri icon


  • Erratic rainfall and land degradation are the major constraints affecting productivity of soybean-basedsystems in central India. Operational scale watershed experiments were conducted for six seasons on aVertic Inceptisol at ICRISAT, Patancheru, India to study the effects of improved management on landdegradation, rainfall use efficiency, and the productivity of the soybean-chickpea sequential and soybean/pigeonpea intercropping systems. Improved management comprised of integrated nutrient management(additions of crop residues and Gliricidia loppings) and sowing on broadbed-and-furrow (BBF) system.The traditional management consisted of sowing on flat landform and no addition of external sources ofnutrients, except P application. These treatments were imposed on medium-deep and shallow phases of thesoil type. The BBF system decreased surface runoff (16% of rainfall) compared to the flat system (21% ofrainfall) with concomitant increase in deep drainage. Mean rainfall use efficiency was 70 to 73% acrosscropping systems and soil depths. Integrated nutrient management resulted in balanced soil N budget,whereas the traditional system showed a deficit of about 50 kg ha-1. Denitrification and leaching losseswere negligible. Landform treatments did not increase the crop yields significantly. Total productivity ofthe soybean-chickpea system ranged from 2.3 to 2.7 t ha-1 of seed yield and that of soybean/pigeonpeaintercropping system ranged from 2.1 to 2.3 t ha-1 over the years, still showing a yield gap of about 1 t ha-1 forthe Patancheru site. Simulated yield gap analysis for other nine sites in central India showed a mean yieldgap of 1.2 to 1.9 t ha-1 under rainfed conditions, which could be even more in good rainfall years. Thisstudy has shown the potential of the improved technology for higher productivity and efficient use ofnatural resources on a Vertic Inceptisol, which has potential applications in the target region of centralIndia

publication date

  • 2001