Improvement in Productivity of the Pigeon pea through Foliar Application of Pulse Magic in North Eastern Dry Zone of Karnataka, India

Improvement in Productivity of the Pigeon pea through Foliar Application of Pulse Magic in North Eastern Dry Zone of Karnataka, India

Raju G. Teggelli , Shreenivas B. V* , Yusuf Ali , Zaheer Ahamed , D. H. Patil , Manjunath Patil , J. R. Patil , Vijaysingh Thakur

ICAR- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kalaburagi - 585 101, University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur - 584 104, Karnataka, India

Corresponding Author Email:

DOI : CHE.2020.v01i01.025


Pigeonpea is extensively grown in north-eastern dry zone of Karnataka and it occupies a unique position in every cropping system of this zone. Pigeon pea is most important pulse crop in Kalaburagi district of Karnataka. Crop Productivity of pigeonpea being low in the north-eastern dry zone of Karnataka and this is due to several reasons. One of the main important and major reasons is flower drop and poor drop setting. To reduce this problem and to enhance productivity of pigeonpea, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kalaburagi, Karnataka has carried out 100 Front Line Demonstrations (FLD) Kalaburagi district with use of Pulse Magic (consists of major and micro nutrients and Plant growth regulators) as foliar spray during kharif 2017-18 in rainfed condition in the farmers field under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) and the majority of farmers were growing TS-3R variety. Foliar spray was carried out during 50 % flowering stage of the crop and 15 days after first Spray. The result indicated due to foliar spray of Pulse Magic were: higher number of pods per plant (283), seeds per pod (4.3), pod length (5.63 cm) and test weight (11.5 g), as compared to control (219, 3.5, 3.61 cm and 9.1 g, respectively). Pigeonpea, it can be concluded that higher seed yield (14.2 q ha-1), as compared to control (11.9 q ha-1) to the extent of 19.32 % can be obtained compared to control and it is due to improvement in yield attributes. Consequent upon higher yield, higher net returns ( . 60334 ha-1) were obtained in Pulse Magic sprayed plots compared to unsprayed plots ( . 50688 ha-1). Pulse magic is a combi product, released by university of agricultural sciences, Raichur as it contains major nutrients, micro nutrients and PGR which helped the crop to achieve maximum yield potential.


Economics, front line demonstrations, Pigeonpea, Pulse Magic, Yield, yield attributes

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Pigeon pea, Cajanus cajan (L) Mill sp. is the second most important pulse crop in India after chickpea. India is the largest producer and consumer of Red gram in the world. India occupies 90 per cent of world pigeon pea area and accounts for 80 per cent of world production [26]. In the Karnataka state pigeon pea occupies an area of about 11.6 lakh hectares with the production of 2.4 lakh tonnes, having an average productivity of 3.29 quintal per acre. Kalaburagi District in Karnataka occupies 5.0 lakh hectares of land and the production of 3.77 lakh tonnes with average productivity of 1209 kg ha-1 of pigeon pea [2]. Pigeon pea is the main kharif crop in the Hyderabad Karnataka region. Of the total 9 lakh hectares of red gram cultivated across the State, around 3.7 lakh hectares of the crop is grown in Kalaburagi district alone so popularly known as the ‘Tur Bowl of Karnataka’ because it contributes 40 % of the state’s Tur Dal production. The ‘Gulbarga tur dal’ (Kalaburagi Red gram), renowned for its superior quality the world over, received Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the government recently.

Pulses are popularly known as “poor man’s meat” and “rich men vegetable” [18]. Pulses are excellent sources of proteins (25-40 per cent), carbohydrates (50-60 per cent), fats, minerals and vitamins. In addition to this they contain enzyme inhibitors, lectins, phytates, oxalates, polyphenols, saponins and phytosterols. Pulses contain two to three times more protein than cereals ranging approximately between 20 to 40 per cent [4]. India is the largest producer, importer and consumer of pulses in world, which account 25 per cent of the global production and 27 per cent of total consumption. As sizeable population in the country depends on vegetarian diets to meets its protein requirement.

Pigeon pea also acts as a soil ameliorant and known to provide several benefits to the soil in which it is grown. The seeds and immature pods used by humans and leaves and husk is used as feed for animals and stem portion used for vermicomposting as fuel purpose. Pigeon pea enhances soil fertility through leaf litter and biological nitrogen fixation [24]. Mineral nutrient deficiencies limit nitrogen fixation by the legumerhizobium symbiosis, resulting in low legume yields. Nutrient limitations to legume production result from deficiencies of not only major nutrients but also micronutrients such as Molybdenum (Mo), Zinc (Zn), Boron (B) and Iron (Fe). Application of recommended doses of fertilizers (RDF), the major, secondary and micronutrients to pigeon pea is essential for higher yield under rainfed conditions [7]. Plant growth regulators can improve the physiological efficiency including photosynthetic ability and can enhance the effective partitioning of accumulates from source to sink in the field crops [9] [19].

PGRs more so when applied at flowering stage, hence flower and pod drop may be reduced to some extent by spraying various growth regulators [15], which prove that yield and quality parameters in food legumes may be enhanced by suitable application of PGRs. In turn, the nutrients are known to alter the various physiological and biochemical functions which finally influences on the yield of the crop. Sometimes, soil applied nutrients are insufficient for crop to meet out their nutrient requirement and it may be due to non-availability of nutrients due to abrupt soil conditions, exhausted soil condition or nutrient losses through leaching and many more things which can hinder the availability of nutrients to plants and cease the plant growth, which ultimately affect the yield and quality of the crop produce. So, the foliar application of nutrients at critical stages of crop growth is most appropriate and accurate method of correcting the nutrient deficiencies and helps to attain maximum potential yield of the crop and ultimately sufficient plant nutrition is absolutely essential for improving their productivity [25]. Keeping the above background, the present investigation was taken up on growth parameters and yield of pigeon pea as influenced by pulse magic, nutrients and plant growth regulators.

Among several strategies to boost the productivity of pigeonpea, foliar application of nutrients may serve as one of the important strategy. Nutrients play vital role in increasing the seed yield in pulses [8]. Foliar application is credited with the advantage of quick and efficient utilization of nutrients, elimination of losses through leaching and fixation and regulating the uptake of nutrients by plants [11, 14]. Application of nutrients through foliar spray at appropriate stages of growth becomes important for their utilization and better performance of the crop [1]. Keeping this in view, front line demonstrations of pigeonpea to reduce flower drop and to enhance pod setting with the use of Pulse Magic spray is conducted to demonstrate the productivity potential and economic benefit under farmer’s conditions.


Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) method and group discussions with identified progressive farmers were held by the team of ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kalaburagi scientists to identify the various problems faced by farmers in getting potential yield of important pulse crops. The problem noticed are about use of local varieties, nutrient supply, flower drop and pod setting at the field level apart from pest and diseases. Front line demonstration on usage of pulse magic were conducted at 25 farmer’s fields of Melkunda (B) village in Kalaburagi district during kharif 2019-20 using GRG-811 variety under NICRA. There were two treatments viz., recommended practices with pulse magic spray and another with check (No use of pulse magic i.e., Yield improvement of pigeonpea through foliar application i.e only recommended practices). The pulse magic contains 10% of nitrogen, 40% of phosphorus, 3% of micro nutrients and 20 ppm plant growth regulator (PGR). 10 g of nutrient mixture and 0.5 ml of PGR mixed in one litre water sprayed at 50% flowering stage and it was developed in the year 2014 from University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur, Karnataka. Initial status of available N (205-268 Kg ha-1), P2O5 (19-39 Kg ha-1) and K2O (295-416 Kg ha-1) in soil of different farmer’s field with 6.9-8.1 pH, 0.2 dS/m ECe and low (0.31%) Organic carbon. The observations on number of pods per plant, Number of seed per pod, Pod length (cm), 100 Seed weight (g), and Seed yield (q ha-1) recorded after harvest of crop. Each demonstration was conducted in an area of 0.4 ha adjacent to the plots of check. Data on yield attributes and economics were collected and average data are tabulated.


Seed yield of pigeon pea is governed by number of factors which have direct or indirect impacts. The improvement in seed yield is achieved through improvement in yield attributing characters viz., number of branches, total number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, test weight and seed yield. In the present investigation, foliar application of pulse magic @ 10 gm l-1 at fifty per cent flowering stage of the crop and second spray at after fifteen days of the first spray has increased the yield attributing characters (Table 1).

Table.1. Effect of Pulse Magic on yield attributes yields and economics of pigeon pea

The total number of pods per plant (283) and number of seeds per pod (4.3) were noticed in pulse magic foliar spray compared to control (219 and 3.5, respectively) and it is may be attributed due to the application of nutrients at flowering stage has helped in more translocation of photosynthates to the developing pods which in turn helped in better filing of grains, thus increasing the test weight (11.5 g) of the seeds compared to control (9.1 g). The result of present investigation is similar with the findings of [23] in black gram due to foliar application of pulse magic. Due to presence of PGR in pulse magic, this helped in flower drop percentage and premature shedding of reproductive structure which ultimately increases the seed yield. These results of decreasing flower drop percentage due to foliar spray of pulse magic are similar to the findings [20] in pigeon pea and [10] in green gram. Our present results are in conformity with the findings of [12] in black gram due to application of 100 per cent recommended dose of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium + foliar application of diammonium phosphate @ 2 % + TNAU pulse wonder at 5.0 kg per hectare at 45 days after sowing resulted in higher number of pods per plant and grain yield. The findings of [17] in blackgram due to application of recommended dose of fertilizers + foliar spray of 40 ppm naphthalene acetic acid + 0.5% chelated micro nutrient + 2 % diammonium phosphate at 30 and 50 days after sowing recorded significantly higher grain yield was similar to our present findings. Consequent upon higher yield in pulse magic sprayed plot, ultimately there was a higher net return INR. 60334 ha-1compared to check INR. 50688 ha-1 (Table 1).


Yield of pigeon pea is reducing due to several reasons and one of the important reasons for poor yield of pigeon pea is because of high level of flower abscission (70-96 %), leading to a much- reduced realization of sink potential [16] and [21]. Therefore, it has realized that reduced yield in pigeon pea is due to more vegetative growth, indeterminate growth habit, poor source-sink relationship, poor pod set resulting from the high flower and pod drops. So, it is very necessary to compensate for the higher rate of flower abscission in pigeon pea to increase the pod yield. If this major problem is minimised then there will be the attainment of the productive potential of the crop and ultimately there will be sustainability achievement. This major problem can be minimised by foliar application of Pulse Magic during 50 per cent flowering stage and 15 days after first spray. Based on above results obtained from front-line demonstrations due to foliar application of pulse magic spray to Pigeonpea, it can be concluded thathigher seed yield to the extent of 19.32 per cent can be obtained as compared to control and it is due to improvement in yield attributes and yield viz., number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, pod length, 100 seed weight and seed yield. Further, it can also be concluded that higher net returns were obtained due to higher seed yield.


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