AGRONOMIC BIO-FORTIFICATION OF ZN AND FE ON GROWTH, YIELD, MICRONUTRIENT CONCENTRATION AND AGRONOMIC USE EFFICIENCY OF CHICKPEA GENOTYPESGanajaxi Math, Vijayakumar A.G. and Gurupad Balol
Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) deficiencies in soil lead to lesser concentration of these micronutrients in seeds and cause physical and mental health problems to human beings. Hence, agronomic bio-fortification of micronutrients is the good remedy for increasing the content of Zn and Fe in a seed. In this experiment two genotypes of chickpea were applied with Zn and Fe through foliage in the form of sulphates at different stages and also tested with the application to soil and via a seed treatment. Genotype GBM-2 recorded higher yield, Zn and Fe content in seed than JG-11. However JG-11 was more efficient in using native Zn and Fe, as it had shown higher Zn and Fe agronomic efficiency under all the methods compared to GBM2. Foliar application of Zn and Fe proved better method of application compared to soil application or seed treatment of Zn or individual application of Zn or Fe. Yield increase was 20.2 and 19.35% higher in foliar application of Zn and Fe over control respectively in 2016 and 2017. Foliar application of Zn with Fe recorded 22.29 and 11.30% higher Zn accumulation in seed over soil application of micronutrients in 2016 and 2017, respectively.