Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Managing production constraints to the reliability of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) within marginal areas of the northern grains region of Australia

J. P. M. Whish A C , P. Castor B and P. S. Carberry A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit, PO Box 102, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia.

B Michael Castor and Associates, 58 Marshall St, Goondiwindi, Qld 4390, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: jeremy.whish@csiro.au

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 58(5) 396-405 https://doi.org/10.1071/AR06179
Submitted: 31 May 2006  Accepted: 23 February 2007   Published: 11 May 2007

Abstract

The poor reliability of chickpea yield produced in the marginal (<600 mm rainfall) areas of the northern cropping zone is a constraint to the wide adoption of the crop. Chickpea is a valuable rotation crop and is currently the only viable winter grain legume suitable to this region. This paper uses results from in-crop monitoring and crop simulation, to identify practical management strategies to improve the reliability of chickpea crops in this region. APSIM-Chickpea successfully simulated the commercial yields of chickpea crops monitored during the study. Soil water at sowing and sowing date were identified as key determinants of yield. A ‘rule of thumb’ was derived, which showed that crops sown with a starting plant-available water of ~100 mm at sowing had an 80% probability of producing a better than break-even yield for the majority of the region and this was independent of the soil’s plant-available water capacity or crop sowing date. The probability of accumulating 100 mm of stored water in this western region is 90% following harvest of a May–sown wheat crop. Increased plant population improved crop yields in 60% of years, but this only translated to improved returns in ~50% of those years. The use of these simple management approaches will improve the reliability of chickpea production and ensure that these marginal areas have the option of a viable winter grain legume in their rotations.

Additional keywords: soil water, PAWC, simulation modelling, water-use efficiency, sowing date.


Acknowledgments

We thank the staff of MCA, the farmer clients of MCA, and technical staff of CSIRO Toowoomba who assisted in this work. We also thank Michael Robertson for his comments on the manuscript. Financial support from GRDC, MCA Goondiwindi, and CSIRO is duly acknowledged.


References


Beech DF, Brinsmead RB (1980) Tyson: a chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) cultivar for grain production. Journal of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science 46, 127–129.

Beech DF, Leach GJ (1989) Comparative growth, water use and yield of chickpea, safflower and wheat in south-eastern Queensland. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 29, 655–662.
CrossRef |

Berger JD, Turner NC, Siddique KHM, Knights EJ, Brinsmead RB, Mock I, Edmondson C, Khan TN (2004) Genotype by environment studies across Australia reveal the importance of phenology for chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) improvement. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 55, 1071–1084.
CrossRef |

Brinsmead RB (1992) Chickpeas by cultivar by planting time studies in Queensland. In ‘Proceedings 6th Australian Society of Agronomy Conference’. Armidale, NSW. (The Australian Society of Agronomy) www.regional.org.au/au/asa/1992/refereed/3/04_cropping-04.htm (accessed April 2006)

Brinsmead RB , Thompson PR , Martin WD (1996) A chickpea cultivar × population × row space study in southern Queensland. In ‘Proceedings of the 8th Australian Agronomy Conference’. Toowoomba, Qld. (The Australian Society of Agronomy) www.regional.org.au/au/asa/1996/poster/627brinsmead.htm (accessed April 2006)

Clarke HJ, Siddique KHM (2004) Response of chickpea genotypes to low temperature stress during reproductive development. Field Crops Research 90, 323–334.
CrossRef |

Dalgliesh N , Foale M (1998) ‘Soil matters: monitoring soil water and nutrients in dryland farming.’ (CSIRO/Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit Technical Manual: Toowoomba, Qld)

Dang YP, Routley R, McDonald M, Dalal RC, Singh DK, Orange D, Mann M (2006) Subsoil constraints in Vertosols: crop water use nutrient concentration and grain yield of bread wheat, durum wheat, barley, chickpea, and canola. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 57, 983–998.
CrossRef |

Doughton J , Strong WM , Harbison J , Mackenzie J , Nielsen R , Hall B (1981) Grain legumes boost cereal yields. In ‘Queensland Wheat Research Report 1981’. p.9. (Queensland Wheat Research Institute: Tooowoomba, Qld)

FAOSTAT Data (2005) Statistical data, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. http://faostat.fao.org/faostat/ (accessed April 2006)

Felton WL , Marcellos H , Murison RD (1996) The effect of row spacing and seeding rate on chickpea yield in northern New South Wales. In ‘Proceedings of the 8th Australian Agronomy Conference’. Toowoomba, Qld. pp. 250–253. (Australian Society of Agronomy) www.regional.org.au/au/asa/1996/contributed/251felton.htm

Foale MA, Probert ME, Carberry PS, Lack D, Yeates S, Brimblecombe D, Shaw R, Crocker M (2004) Participatory research in dryland cropping systems—monitoring and simulation of soil water and nitrogen in farmers’ paddocks in Central Queensland. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 44, 321–331.
CrossRef |

Gardner EA (1985) Soil water. In ‘Identification of soils and interpretation of soil data’. pp. 197–234. (Australian Society of Soil Science, Inc.: Queensland)

Grenz JH, Manschadi AM, deVoil P, Meinke H, Sauerborn J (2006) Simulating crop–parasitic weed interactions using APSIM: Model evaluation and application. European Journal of Agronomy 24, 257–267.
CrossRef |

Hammer GL, Muchow RC (1994) Assessing climatic risk to sorghum production in water-limited subtropical environments. 1. Development and testing of a simulation model. Field Crops Research 36, 221–234.
CrossRef |

Horn CP, Birch CJ, Dalal RC, Doughton JA (1996) Sowing time and tillage practice affect chickpea yield and nitrogen fixation. 1. Dry matter accumulation and grain yield. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 36, 695–700.
CrossRef |

Isbell RF (1962) Soils and vegetation of the Brigalow lands, eastern Australia. CSIRO Australia Soils and Land Use Series, No. 43.

Isbell RF (1996) ‘The Australian soil classification.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne)

Jeffrey SJ, Carter JO, Moodie KM, Beswick AR (2001) Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data. Environmental Modelling & Software 16, 309–330.
CrossRef |

Jettner RJ, Siddique KHM, Loss SP, French RJ (1999) Optimum plant density of desi chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) increases with increasing yield potential in south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 50, 1017–1026.
CrossRef |

Knights E (1991) Chickpea. In ‘New crops: agronomy and potential of alternative crop species’. (Eds RS Jessop, RL Wright) pp. 27–38. (Inkata Press: Melbourne)

Lucy M , McCaffery D , Slatter J (2005) ‘Northern grain production—a farming systems approach.’ (Cranbrook Press: Toowoomba, Qld)

Pulse Australia (2006) Pulse market overview, October 2006. www.pulseaus.com.au/ (accessed April 2006)

R Development Core Team (2005) ‘A language and environment for statistical computing.’ (R Foundation for Statistical Computing: Vienna, Austria) www.R-project.org (accessed April 2006)

Rayment GE , Higginson FR (1992) ‘Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods.’ (Inkata Press: Melbourne, Vic.)

Regan KL, Siddique KHM, Brandon NJ, Seymour M, Loss SP (2006) Response of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) varieties to time of sowing in Mediterranean-type environments of south-western Australia. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46, 395–404.
CrossRef |

Roberts EH, Hadley P, Summerfield RJ (1985) Effects of temperature and photoperiod on flowering in Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.). Annals of Botany 55, 881–892.

Roberts EH, Summerfield RJ, Minchin FR, Hadley P (1980) Phenology of chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) in contrasting aerial environments. Experimental Agriculture 16, 343–360.

Robertson MJ, Carberry PS, Huth NI, Turpin JE, Probert ME, Poulton PL, Bell M, Wright GC, Yeates SJ, Brinsmead RB (2002) Simulation of growth and development of diverse legume species in APSIM. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 53, 429–446.
CrossRef |

Siddique KHM, Sedgley RH (1986) Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) a potential grain legume for south-western Australia: seasonal growth and yield. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 37, 245–261.
CrossRef |

Siddique KHM, Sykes J (1997) Pulse production in Australia past, present and future. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 37, 103–111.
CrossRef |

Singh Piaraa, Virmani SMa (1996) Modeling growth and yield of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Field Crops Research 46, 41–59.
CrossRef |

Soltani A, Ghassemi-Golezani K, Khooie FR, Moghaddam M (1999) A simple model for chickpea growth and yield. Field Crops Research 62, 213–224.
CrossRef |

Thomas GA, Ladewig JH (1983) Effect of depth and method of primary tillage on fallow soil water and nitrate change and wheat grain yield. Queensland Journal of Agricultural and Animal Sciences 40, 87–93.

Tunstall BR, Connor DJ (1981) A hydrological study of a subtropical semi-arid forest of Acacia harpophylla F. Muell. (brigalow). Australian Journal of Botany 29, 311–320.
CrossRef |

Whish JPM, Butler G, Castor M, Cawthray S, Broad I, Carberry P, Hammer G, McLean G, Routley R, Yeates S (2005) Modelling the effects of row configuration on sorghum yield reliability in north-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 56, 11–23.
CrossRef |








Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (11)