Sowing of Rabi crops is taking place at a rapid pace in the country. Chickpea pulses are considered to be the most important crop in the rabi season. In northern India where irrigation facilities are available after harvesting paddy maize, jowar, bajra, cotton and sugarcane, gram can be sown up to the first week of December. This month is considered to be the full growth of chickpeas. Continuous advice is given by the Agriculture Department and Agricultural Universities to give higher yield to the farmers cultivating chickpea in the Rabi season. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has advised farmers on chickpea cultivation in the month of December. If farmers follow these advisories and take care of chickpea then they can get good yield.
It is very important to keep the crops free from weeds to prevent loss of productivity. For this, it is very beneficial for the farmers to do a interculture process after 30 days of sowing of chickpea. This leads to good growth of roots and higher yield from the crop. After 35-40 days of sowing, more branches are formed by the plucking of top bud which gives higher yield.
Irrigation is beneficial during flowering in the north-eastern plains. In central India and the north-western plains, two irrigations are considered to be the most important, one at the time of branching and the other at the time of flowering. It is also important to control pests and weeds this month.
Irrigated water meets the water requirement of chickpea. It is beneficial to carry out first irrigation after 40-45 days of sowing and another 70-75 days after sowing when there is sufficient moisture in the soil and there is no winter rain. Irrigation should not be done when flowering, otherwise the flowers may fall and vegetative growth may increase. Sprinkler irrigation method is most beneficial in chickpeas.
Chickpeas have many diseases, which can reduce yields. The crop loss can be reduced by timely identification and proper prevention of these diseases. Mix two kg of zinc manganese carbamate per hectare in 1000 litres of water and spray it twice in an interval of ten days or either chlorothalonil 70% WP/300 grams per acre, Carbendazim 12%, Mancozeb 63% WP/500 grams per acre, or Metiram 55% and Pyraclostrobin 5% WP/600 grams per acre mixed with 200 litres of water.
As a biological treatment, spray 500 g Trichoderma virdi or 250 g Pseudomonas fluorescence per acre. Sowing of plants should be done at proper distance so that vegetative growth is reduced.
In gram crop, 40 kg nitrogen, 40 kg phosphorus, 20 kg potash and 20 kg sulphur should be used in late sowing. It is good to apply full amount of fertilizer in the troughs before sowing. 20 kg of zinc sulphate per hectare should be applied in chickpea crops in areas where zinc is deficient. Spraying 2% urea/DAP solution at the time of branch formation or pod formation in late sown crop gives good yield.
ICAR advised farmers regarding the cultivation of chickpea crop. Farmers will get good crop if they take care of chickpea crop by following these steps.