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Research Article

Agro-economic Traits of Dryland Barley as Influenced by NP Fertilizer Application

Aslam Khan, Munir Khan and Mir Azam
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This research was undertaken to determine the effect of NP fertilizer application on the agro-economic traits of barley (Hordeum vulgar. L. cv. Frontier 87) under dryland conditions. Fertilizer levels used were: 23-0, 46-0, 69-0, 2323, 46-23, 69-23, 23-46, 48-46, 69-46, 23-69, 46-69 and 69-69 N P205 kg ha–1, respectively vs. control (0-0). The results of this study indicated that maximum plant height (104.8 cm), maximum number of spikes m–2 (414) and grains spike–1 (45), heaviest 1000 grain wt (40.2 g), highest lodging index (3.0) were observed from 69-69 NP205 kg ha–1 of fertilizer applied. However, the highest biomass (12.65 t ha–1) was given by 69-46 N P205 followed by 69-69 N P2O5 kg ha–1 of fertilizer, applied. The lowest plant height (63 cm) and spikes M–2 (169), grain spike–1 (25), harvest index (16.3) percent, lodging index (0.4) and biomass yield (6.20 t ha–1) produced by control treatment. Days to 50 percent flowering taken by control treatment (123 d), were more than those of N P205 fertilizer applied (120 d). It may be concluded that N P2O5 fertilizer application positively affected most of the traits studied. However, further research to optimize the levels of NP fertilizer application for barley crop under different agro climatic conditions of the NWFP is needed.

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  How to cite this article:

Aslam Khan, Munir Khan and Mir Azam, 2000. Agro-economic Traits of Dryland Barley as Influenced by NP Fertilizer Application. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 3: 1637-1638.

DOI: 10.3923/pjbs.2000.1637.1638



Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a drought tolerant early maturing winter season cereal crop grown mostly in the rainfed areas of Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan. Barley grain usually fetches higher price than that of wheat in Pakistan. In Pakistan barley was planted on 162700 ha area with a total production of 174100 tones and a national average of 1070 kg ha–1 during the 1997-98. In the same period, in NWFP barley area was 54600 ha with total production of 59700 tones and an average yield of 1093 kg ha–1 (Anonymous, 1998). The barley production in Pakistan is very low as compared with that of other barley producing countries of the world. Fertilizer application has increased productivity in many crops. Barley is susceptible to lodging under high fertility and increased doses of fertilizers (Swati et al., 1987). Rajput et al. (1989) reported that application of 100+80 kg NP ha–1 increased plant height, spike length, grains spike-1and grain yield as compared with other lower doses of fertilizer used in their study on wheat in Quetta.

Khoso et al. (1989) also studied NP effect on barley production and found that the Increased level of NP fertilizer significantly increased plant height, tillers plant–1, grain yield and yield components In barley. Swati et al. (1987) used different rates of NP fertilizer on wheat in Sindh and concluded that with increased rate of NP application grain yield, grains spike‾1 and grain wt., were increased correspondingly in all wheat genotypes studied. Zada and Karim (1982) reported that the grain weight and grain yield of barley was increased with increased rate of phosphorous application. Since limited published Information available on the NP application on effects agro-economics traits of barley in Pakistan. Therefore, tills study was conducted to determine the effects of NP application on agro-economic traits of barley under dryland conditions in Pakistan.

Materials and Methods

This field experiment was located at the Malaknadher Farm of Agricultural University, Peshawar with an objective to determine the effect of varying levels of NP fertilizer application on agro-economic traits of Barley. Barley cultivar Frontier-87 was sown at a seeding rate of 100 kg ha–1 on 13 Nov. 1991, in a randomized complete block design with four replication. Each treatment plot size was 6 rows 5 m long 30 cm apart. Fertilizer treatments were: FO (0-0), F1 (23-0), F2 (460), F3 (69-0), F4 (23-23), F5 (46-23), F6 (69-23), F7 (23-46), F8 (46-46), F9 (69-46), F10 (23-69), F11(48-69) and F12 (69-69). N P205 kg ha–1. Fertilizer sources used were urea (46% N) and DAP (18-46-0). A basal dose of 50 K2O kg ha–1 was also applied prior to planting in the form of K2SO4. Agra-economic traits studied were: number of plants m–2, days to 50 percent heading and maturity, plant height, lodging index, productive tillers plant–1, total tiller plant–1, spikes m–2, grains spike–1, 1000-grain weight, biomass yield and harvest index. Data on grain yield are reported (Khan et al., 2000). Data on lodging index were recorded using the Belgium rating (Oplinger et al., 1985) as follow:- Lodging index = 5×1×0.2, where 5 = area of surface lodged (1 = none to 9 = total) Intensity of lodging (1 or upright to 5= flats), thus giving a range from 0.2 to 9.0 i.e., 0.2 3= No lodging and 9.0 = completely lodged. Statistical analysis was conducted and L.S.D was calculated where F values were found significant at 5 percent for treatments means.

Results and Discussion

As is evident from the data on agro-economic traits (Table 1) plant emergence was not significantly affected by N fertilizer levels applied. Uniform germination under various levels of NP fertilizers were also reported by Khan (1985). However, days to 50 percent heading were significantly affected by N fertilizer applied. The control treatment took 123 days to 50 percent heading as compared to NP fertilizer applied treatments. All fertilizer treatment generally hasten 50 percent heading and this effect was more pronounced in 23-69 N P2O5 kg ha–1 applied treatment which took 117 days to 50 percent heading. Plant height was significantly affected by NP fertilizers application. Maximum plant height measured in treatment 6969 N P2O5 kg ha–1 fertilizer applied and lowest plant height of 63 cm was measured in control plot. All fertilizer application significantly increased plant height. A progressive increase in plant height was noted with an increase N application. Similar increased in plant height by NP application was also reported by Khan (1985). Lodging index was also affected by NP fertilizer application. Maximum lodging index of 3.0 was observed with highest does of NP fertilizer.

Table 1: Agra-economic Traits of Barley at varying level of NP fertilizer application

Productive tillers plant–1 were affected significantly by NP fertilizer application. The maximum number of 4.25 productive tillers was recorded in 69-69 N P2O5 kg ha–1 fertilizer applied and the lowest number of the productive tillers was given by control treatment. Similar results were reported by Khoso et al. (1989) from their research on barley.

Spikes m–2 is an important yield component, which was significantly affected by NP fertilizer applied. Maximum number of spikes 414 m–2 was observed in plot treated with 69-69 N P2O6 kg ha–1 and the lowest number of spikes 170 m–2 was recorded from control plot. Similarly, number of grains spike–1 was affected by NP fertilizer application and maximum number of grains spike–1 was obtained from the highest dose of N P205 kg ha–1 fertilizer application and the lowest number of grains spike–1 was obtained from control plot. These results are in agreement with those of Rajput et al. (1989), Khoso et al. (1989) who reported increased in number of grains spike–1 with fertilizer application. A significant difference was also noted in 1000-grain wt. by application of NP fertilizer. Heaviest 1000 grain weight of 40 gram was given by treatment 69-69 N P2O6 kg ha–1 of fertilizer applied and the lowest grain weight was obtained by fertilizer treatments, where N was applied alone. Balanced application of NP fertilizer played an important role an increasing grain weight. Other researcher also reported similar results in their study (Jalil and Ghani, 1982; Zada and Karim, 1982; Swati et al., 1987). Biomass yield is an important trait, indicating efficiency of using solar energy. The data indicated a significantly increased in biomass by NP fertilizer application as compared to control plots. Maximum biomass yield was observed from application of 69-69 N P2O5 kg ha–1 of fertilizer and the lowest 3.2 t ha–1 was produced by the control treatment. Harvest index was not signficantly different among the treatments.

It may be concluded from this study that most of the traits were affected by NP fertilizer application and that a balance use of NP fertilizer is important for increasing barley production in the province. However further research is needed to optimize NP level for farmers growing barley in various agroclimatic conditions of the NWFP.

1:  Anonymous, 1998. Agricultural statistics of Pakistan 1997-1998. Govt. of Pakistan, Ministry of Food, Agricultural and Livestock Division, Economic Wing, Islamabad.

2:  Jalil, A. and C.A. Ghani, 1982. Yield and quality of barley as affected by different doses of urea. Pak. J. Agric. Res., 3: 26-30.

3:  Khan, A., M. Azam and K. Munir, 2000. Grain yield and economic effect of NP fertilizers application on dry land barley. Pak. J. Biol. Sci., 3: 816-818.

4:  Khan, S., 1985. Effect of different levels of NP application of straw yield, days to maturity, germination and plant height of blue silver. Sarhad J. Agric., 1: 39-44.

5:  Khoso, A.W., S.M. Qayyum, C.R.M Panhawar and A.H. Ansari, 1989. Effect of different N and P2O5 fertilizer combination levels on the yield performance of two promising varieties of barley. Pak. J. Agric. Eng. Vet. Sci., 5: 41-46.

6:  Oplinger, E.S., O.W. Wiersma, C.R. Craug and K.A. Kelling, 1985. Intensive wheat management. Bulletin No. A3 337, University of Wisconsin-Extension.

7:  Rajput, T.K., S.M. Alam and A.W. Baloch, 1989. Effect of different NP combination on the growth and yield of wheat. Sarhad J. Agric., 5: 347-349.

8:  Swati, M.S., U. Swati and K. Ahmad, 1987. The response of wheat genotypes towards fertilizers based on lodging, grain yield and other relevant characters. Sarhad J. Agric., 3: 365-372.

9:  Zada, K. and M. Karim, 1982. Effect of phosphorus and late sowing on grain yield, maturity and 100-grain weight of barley. Pak. J. Agric. Res., 3: 224-227.

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