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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2002-2004
1 Fluid Journal Winter 2003 D D D DD Calcium Boosts Peanut Yields by Naveen Puppala, Dr. R. D. Baker and Dr. Ronald B. Sorensen Summary: Calcium (Ca) applied to the fruiting zone retains more number of pods per plant due to higher peg strength. Application of Ca 30 to 45 days after planting, which coincides with penetration of gynophores into the soil, increased the percentage of developed pods. Pod yields with the sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) system averaged 2,381 lbs/A or an 18 percent increase over the center pivot (CP) irrigation system. Among the four calcium rates tested, an application rate of 1.5 lbs/A under SDI resulted in a 17 percent higher pod yield when compared to control while under CP an application rate of 6 lbs/A resulted in a 6 percent higher yield when compared to control. Application of dairy compost at 38 tons/A, along with 6 lbs/ A of Ca, improved pod yield and farmers' stock grade under the SDI system. eficiency of calcium (Ca) results in a phenomenon known as "Pops." Ca nutrition is often a yield-limiting factor for peanuts and is necessary for pod growth and increased peg strength. In our tests for Ca nutrition during the 1999 growing season, application of gypsum did not show any significant difference in yield, probably due to high soil pH (>7.5) while the subsurface drip irrigation system (SDI), which saved 3.03 inches of ground water, had higher pod yields, higher farmer stock (FS) grade, and 137 percent higher monetary returns. During 2000, we tested whether New Mexico studies in irrigated fields document not only significant yield in- creases but monetary returns as well. application of chelated Ca at four different rates (0, 1.5, 3.0, and 6 lbs/A) would influence pod yield and FS grade. Chelated Ca or ethylene diamine tetra- acetate (EDTA) was applied on either side of the peanuts using a Cady wheel fertilizer injector 45 days after planting. The experiment was conducted under two irrigation systems: SDI and center pivot (CP). 1900 2000 2100 2200 2300 2400 2500 2600 2700 2800 0 1.5 3.0 6.0 Calcium rate-lbs/A Yield/lbs/A No Compost With Compost-38 tons/A 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 0 1.5 3.0 6.0 Calcium rate-lbs/A Yield/lbs/A SDI CP Figure 1. Peanut yield as influenced by compost levels and different calcium rates under SDI system. Figure 2. Peanut yield at different chelated calcium rates on SDI and CP irrigation systems.
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