IMPROVEMENT OF MASH BEAN PRODUCTION UNDER RAINFED CONDITIONS BY RHIZOBIUM INOCULATION AND LOW RATES OF STARTER NITROGEN
Zammurad Iqbal Ahmed, Muhammad Ansar*, Ashiq Saleem**, Zafar ullah Arif*, H.I. Javed and Rashid Saleem**
The study was conducted at research farm of PMAS - Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi during autumn 2009. Two mash bean varieties viz., NARC Mash-II and NARC Mash-III and the treatment -1 combinations applied were control, 20, 40 and 50 kg N ha , 750 g inoculum -1 -1 -1 - ha , inoculum + 20 kg N ha , inoculum + 40 kg N ha , inoculum + 50 kg N ha 1 . The experiment was laid out in a split plot design keeping varieties in main plots and fertilizer/inoculum combinations in sub-plots. The results showed significant differences for all the plant characters under the study. -1 The crop maturity was earlier in control and inoculation + 20 kg N ha as compared to all other treatments. Inoculation in combination with 50 kg N -1 ha significantly delayed crop maturity. The maximum mean average grain -1 yield (681.5 kg ha ) was augmented with the application of inoculation alone and non significant differences were noted among the varieties. Biological yield were also significantly increased by inoculation and nitrogen fertilization but inoculation alone was more effective by giving maximum economic yield. Various treatments exhibited significant differences for harvest index; however, maximum harvest index (22.04 %) was recorded in control plots. N in soil was increased by inoculation in -1 -1 combination with 40 and 50 kg N ha and 50 kg N ha alone, nevertheless, maximum -1 N in soil was recorded in inoculation + 50 kg N ha .