GROWTH, YIELD AND WATER USE EFFICIENCY OF FODDER COWPEA VARIETIES AS INFLUENCED BY WATER STRESS
M. R. ANITA*, S. LAKSHMI AND BABITHA BHASKAR
AICRP on Forage Crops ,
Department of Agronomy
College of Agriculture, Vellayani Kerala Agricultural University
(Received : 10 January 2018; Accepted : 20 March 2018)
Field experiment was conducted at the Instructional Farm, College of Agriculture, Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram during January 2012 to find out the effect of water stress on the growth characters, yield and water use efficiency of fodder cowpea varieties in open and in partial shade. The investigation was conducted as two separate experiments, one in open and another in shaded situation (25-35 per cent shade). The design was laid out in split plot with four replications. The main plot factor included four soil moisture stress levels, M1: presowing irrigation + life saving irrigation; M2 :presowing irrigation + irrigation at IW/CPE ratio 0.4; M3 : presowing irrigation + irrigation at IW/CPE ratio 0.6; M4 : presowing irrigation + irrigation at IW/CPE ratio 0.8. The sub plot factor included five fodder cowpea varieties, V1UPC-618, V2-UPC-622, V3-Bundel Lobia-1, V4-COFC-8 and V5-CO-5. Based on the results of the study it was concluded that the yield and growth characters such as plant height, number of branches and leaf:stem ratio were significantly higher at IW/CPE ratio of 0.8 both in open and under partial shade. The variety COFC- 8 performed better both in open and shade. Higher WUE was recorded by irrigation at IW/CPE ratio of 0.4 in open and 0.6 in partial shade. Among the varieties, COFC-8 recorded a higher WUE both in open and in partial shade.
Key words: Fodder cowpea, water stress, WUE, growth and yield