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Response of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) to Tillage and Nitrogen in Wheat Based Cropping System

SJA_34_1_70-78

 

 

 

Research Article

Response of Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) to Tillage and Nitrogen in Wheat Based Cropping System

Niamat Ullah Khan1*, Abdul Aziz Khakwani2, Sami Ullah2, Najeeb Ullah2, Abdur Rauf3 and Inam Ullah2

1PCCC, Cotton Research Station, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan; 2Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan; 3Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan.

Abstract | Ridge tillage system is one approach to ensure better plant population, save irrigation water, cut cultivation costs and increases cotton yield and quality on sustainable basis. Field trial was conducted in 2013 and 2014 at Cotton Research Station, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan to study the effect of tillage systems [ridge tillage (RT) and flat tillage (FT)] and 5 nitrogen levels (0, 50, 100, 150, 200 kgN.ha-1) on cotton lint yields, quality and earliness. Experiment was laid out in a RCB design with split plot arrangements replicated thrice. Tillage methods were allotted to main plots while nitrogen levels were kept in sub plots. Results showed that RT produced higher bolls per plant, weight per bolls, lint yields, earliness % and benefit cost ratio (BCR) than FT. Ridge tillage gave lower percent of lodging. Results for nitrogen indicated that bolls numbers per plant, bolls weight, lint yield, earliness, lodging, BCR, fibre length and fineness were highest at 150-200 kg N/hectare. The fibre characteristics Indicated that RT had no unfavorable influence on fiber length and fineness compared to FT. In conclusion, RT is a resourceful alternative tillage method for rising earliness %, cotton yield and fiber characteristics in D.I. Khan, Pakistan environments.


Received | December 13, 2016; Accepted | November 27, 2017; Published | January 19, 2018

*Correspondence | Niamat Ullah Khan, PCCC, Cotton Research Station, Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan; Email: drkhancrs@gmail.com

Citation | Khan, N.U., A.A. Khakwani, S. Ullah, N. Ullah, A. Rauf and I. Ullah. 2017. Response of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) to tillage and nitrogen in wheat based cropping system. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, 34(1): 70-78.

DOI | http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.sja/2018/34.1.70.78

Keywords | Gossypium hirsutum L., Tillage, Nitrogen, Lint yield, Earliness, Quality



Introduction

Cotton contributes a major role in the economy of Pakistan as it provides raw materials to the textile industry, secures food for a growing population, and ensures foreign exchange earnings (APTMA, 2016). Among fibers, cotton fibers (used for clothing and finishing) have 56% market share in the world (Javed et al., 2009). The role of producing cotton is likely to grow significantly in future because our country has a big potential to lead the worldwide cotton and textile market (MINTEX, 2015). In Pakistan, cotton is sown on area of about 3.11 million hectares with the total production of14.04 million bales (PCCC, 2016). The area under cotton in the country needs to be further expanded to boost up the economy through export commodities. In Pakistan, flat tillage (dibbling on flat surface of soil) is used in cotton belt resulted in poor cotton-seed germination and decreased cotton yield (Hussain et al., 2003). After planting and before emergence of cotton seedlings in FT, a light shower of rain results in crust formation which restricts the emergence of seedlings and causes poor plant population. Ridge tillage system, sowing of cotton on raised beds or ridges ensured adequate plant population due to better seed germination and emergence of seedlings even during unusual rains (Anwar et al., 2003; Krause et al., 2009). Ridge tillage system guarantees better plant population, saves 32% irrigation water as compared to flat tillage. It also saves the cotton from lodging occurred by heavy rains (Mert et al., 2006). RT afforded labor saving, improved soil fertility, enhanced water management, increased water use efficiency, controlled erosion, enrich rooting depth and better pest management (Lal, 1990). Well developed root system due to greater soil volume by ridge tillage has been renowned as an important adaptation of plants to ensure sufficient water and nutrient uptake (Horst et al., 2001). Blaise and Ravindran (2003) reported higher cotton yields in ridge tillage than flat tillage (FT). RT planting system gave higher lint yield and fibre quality than flat tillage system (Ali et al., 2010). The highest lint yield was obtained in ridge tillage (Anon, 2006). Cotton sown with ridge tillage produced sustainable production and better water economy (Iftikhar et al., 2010). Wheeler et al. (1997) reported that RT produced equal lint yield as compared to FT. Researchers investigated that N is the most significant fertilizer for cotton crop. Both vegetative and reproductive growth can be reduced due to deficiency of N in cotton which may induce square shedding resultting in yield loss (Girma et al., 2010). Cultivation of cotton under flat tillage using high inputs of N fertilizer is a common practice in northwestern Pakistan. N management in FT is highly inefficient, not productive and un-economical besides environmental hazards (Boquet et al., 2004). Therefore, alternative tillage methods and proper N management practices are important to ensure long-term viability of cotton production in the region. Ridge tillage is a appropriate alternative to maintain soil quality, conserve soil moisture, save 25–30% of irrigation water, improve nutrient availability through placement of fertilizer, reduced soil salinity, reduced production costs and obtain similar or higher yields compared with FT (Usman et al., 2013).The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis for optimum N rates under ridge tillage that induce earliness and produce high cotton yield and quality. More specifically the aim research explores the influence of tillage and N rates on cotton yield, fiber quality and earliness in wheat–cotton system of Dera Ismail Khan Pakistan.

Materials and Methods

Experimental site

The soil of the study area is slightly saline, fewer fertile and requirements irrigations for crop production (Soil Survey Staff 2009). The area is situated in arid region where canal water is used for irrigation. It is hot and dry in summer with moderate rain during monsoon season; March, July, and August (Table 1).

Treatments and crop management

Field trials were carried out during 2013 and 2014 at Cotton Research Station, D.I. Khan, Pakistan. The experimental site was situated at 31°49’N, 70°55’E, 165 m elevation from sea level. It is characterized by low rainfall less than 200 mm per year, hot and dry summer. The design of the experiment was Randomized Complete Block with split-plot having three replications. Ridge tillage (RT) and flat tillage (FT) were kept in main treatments, while 5 nitrogen rates (0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 kg N ha−1) were applied to sub treatment. Net plot size was 10 m × 3 m. After the harvest of wheat, the field was irrigated. When field came in proper moisture condition, previous wheat straw was incorporated into the soil with plowing operations including tiller, disc plow and rotavator. After well prepared seed bed, cotton was sown with dibbling method on flat land (flat tillage, FT).In ridge tillage (RT) soil was prepared with disc plow followed by tiller and rotavator, and ridges were made with help of Ridger, 75cm apart from each other. The height of each ridge was 12cm.Cotton cv. CIM-616 (standard Bt. cotton variety) was sown with dibbling method on May 15, 2013 and May 18, 2014, respectively. 2-3 seeds were dibbled manually at 75 cm row to row and 30 cm plant to plant distances. Thinning was done after 20 days (weak and disease affected plants were pulled out). All experimental plots received 150 kg N ha−1 as urea and 60 kg P ha−1 as triple super phosphate. All the phosphorous was applied at sowing, while N was applied in three split doses, 50 kg at sowing, 50 kg at 1st irrigation, and 50 kg at 3rd irrigation during both the years. In both the years, cotton was grown under irrigated conditions with other inputs applied uniformly. Six irrigations were applied at about 14 days’ intervals from the beginning of square stage to boll maturity during the growing season each year. Weeds were controlled with herbicide application [Coast 10.8 EC (a.i. Haloxyfop-R-Methyl 108 g l−1, dosage 1 L ha−1, manufacturer, Four Brothers AgriServices, Pakistan)] + [Conquest 24 EC (a.i. Lactofen 168 g l−1, dosage 450 ml acre−1, manufacturer, Kanzo Chemicals, Pakistan)].Seed cotton was picked in the 2nd week of November. All cultural and protection practices were equally adopted. The detail of physic-chemical properties of the experimental site is given in Table 1. Weather data was monitored on Meteorological Station located near the study site. Detailed data about temperature and rainfall is in Table 2.

Table 1: Physico-chemical properties of the experimental soil.

Characteristics Values
Sand

151 g kg-1

Silt

450 g kg-1

Clay

400 g kg-1

Electrical conductivity (EC)

2.66 dSm-1

Soil pH (1:1) 7.80
Organic Matter 0.89 %

NO3-N

5.52 mg kg-1

Available K (mg kg-1)

180 mg kg-1 soil

AB-DTPA extractable P

7.8 mg kg-1 soil

Total N

0.99 g kg-1 soil

 

Measurement of crop parameters

Data on bolls number per plant, weight per boll (g), lint yield, lodging (%), earliness, fiber length (mm), micronaire value (µg inch-1) and BCR were recorded using standard procedures. For bolls, five plants were tagged randomly from each plot and mature (opened) bolls per plant were counted. Fifty mature bolls were picked from each treatment, sun dried, weighed and then calculated on per boll basis. Lint yield was recorded in kg ha-1 for each treatment. For fiber quality a sample of 100 gram seed cotton was ginned to separate the lint from the seed. The lint samples were sent to CCRI, Multan, for fibre length (mm) and micronaire tests. BCR = total income/total expenditure *100 (Xian et al., 2014).Lodging % = lodged plants/total plants×100. Earliness in percentt was calculated as first pick yield/ total seed yield (Bourland et al., 2001).

Statistical analysis

Data of the two years was analyzed statistically (Steel and Torrie, 1997) used MSTATC- software. LSD test was used for difference in means. Regression analyses were also done.

Results and Discussion

Bolls plant-1

Number of bolls per plant had significant response to tillage (T), nitrogen (N), however, interaction effects were not significant (Table 3). Mean values for tillage revealed that ridge tillage (RT) produced higher number of bolls plan-1 than flat tillage (FT) during the study years (Table 4). Mean values for N rates revealed that the application of N fertilizer at a rate of 200 kg ha-1 produced the highest number of bolls plant compared to control. RT showed higher bolls plant than flat tillage system probably due to more favorable soil micro-climate with regard to soil moisture conservation, nutrients supply and light transmission.

Table 2: Average air temperature and rainfall at Cotton Research Station, Dera Ismail Khan during 2013and 2014 growing seasons.

 

2013

2014

Months

Temperature 0C

   

Temperature 0C

   
Minimum Maximum Mean Rainfall (mm) Minimum Maximum Mean Rainfall (mm)
January 2 19 11 - 4 11 7.5 -
February 4 19 12 4.5 8 20 14 100.5
March 11 27 19 1.0 10 27 18.5 2
April 18 32 25 40.5 19 32 25.5 29
May 23 38 31 2.5 22 39 30.5 3.5
June 26 40 33 3.0 26 41 33.5 80
July 27 37 32 49 29 40 34.5 22
August 26 35 31 36 27 37 32 -
September 23 33 28 75 25 37 31 16
October 16 32 24 - 21 33 27 5.5
November 11 27 19 - 10 26 18 6
December 6 22 14 13.5 6 22 14 1
Total   225   265.5

Table 3: Analysis of variance (mean squares) of bolls plant-1, boll weight, lint yield, fiber length, micronaire, BCRand earliness % as affected by tillage and nitrogen during two growing seasons.

Source D.F

Bolls plant-1

Boll weight

Lint yield (kg ha-1)

Fiber length Micronaire Earliness % Lodging % BCR
Year (2013)      

Replic-

ation

2 1.3000 0.00484 858 0.06533 0.01633 1.430 3.276

0.04-

633

Tilla-ge(T)

1 61.6* 0.1*

528-

36*

0.0ns

0.01ns

30.442* 594.97**

3.675-

00*

Nitro-gen

(N)

4 89.1** 0.1* 29416-8** 0.0** 1.41** 208.281** 117.87**

1.909

-50**

T×N 4

1.6ns

0.0ns

233ns

0.0ns

0.14ns

6.722**

2.117ns

0.147-

50ns

Error 16 1.1417 0.00390 854 0.01542 0.01433 0.891 0.759

0.05-

500

Year (2014)      

Repli-

cation

2 0.1000 0.00688 2842 0.13300 0.01900 0.435 0.104 0.2230
T 1 93.6*

0.1ns

943-

04*

0.0ns

0.048ns 117.77* 777.65** 10.6-803**
N 4 98.8** 0.16** 303-931** 0.0* 0.57967* 266.36** 143.69**

2.36-

12**

T×N 4

0.6ns

0.0ns

1007ns

0.0ns

0.01133ns

0.324ns

3.47ns

0.04-

45ns

Error 8 0.4083 0.00253 1248 0.02192 0.00683 0.559 1.57 0.0461
Year (2yr)      
Repli-cation 2 0.3000 0.00579 1631 0.09608 0.01733 0.156 0.582

0.11-

808

T 1 76.8** 0.1*

724-

23*

0.0ns

0.003ns

67.04* 683.26** 6.72-133**
N 4 93.6** 0.1**

2987-

44**

0.0** 0.56758** 236.02** 130.23**

2.11-

117**

T×N 4

0.7ns

0.0ns

90ns

0.0ns

0.01008ns

1.633** 2.506*

0.06-

342ns

Error 16 0.5167 0.00232 822 0.01358 0.01383 0.475 0.623

0.03-

648

*, **: significant at 5% and 1% level of probability, respectively; ns: no significant difference at P<5%.

Table 4: Bolls of cotton as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year N (kg ha-1)

Tillage Mean
Ridge Flat
Bolls plant-1

 
Y1 (2013) 0 21.0 17.0 19.0 d
50 25.0 21.3 23.2 c
100 25.7 24.0 24.8 b
150 27.0 25.0 26.0 b
200 31.0 28.0 29.5 a
Mean 25.93 a 23.07 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.7589, N =1.3078.

Y2 (2014) 0 23.0 19.0 21.0 e
50 26.3 22.3 24. d
100 29.0 25.0 27.0 c
150 30.0 27.0 28.5 b
200 33.0 30.3 31.7 a
Mean 28.27 a 24.73 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 3.5248, N =0.9948

Mean (2 yr) 0 22.0 18.0 20.0 e
50 25.7 21.8

23.8 d

100 27.3 24.5 26.0 c
150 28.5 26.0 27.3 b
200 32.0 29.2 30.6 a
Mean 27.1a 23.9 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 1.4905 =0.8798.

Note: Any two means not sharing a letter in a common differ significantly at P ≤ 0.05.

The optimum utilization of resources by crop plants might have caused higher bolls plant in RT compared to FT(Daniel et al., 1999; Triplett et al., 2006). Regression results shwoed that there was a quadratic trend in bolls plant-1 in response to increasing N rate (y = -4E-05x2 + 0.0555x + 20.6, R² = 0.9769). The results are in line with Wiatrak et al. (2005) who reported greater bolls per plant with higher N rates.

Weight boll-1 (g)

Weight boll-1(g) was significantly affected by tillage, nitrogen, while tillage× N interactions were not significant (Table 3). Nitrogen increased boll weight with each incremental dose and reached a maximum at 200 kg. N. ha-1. Main effect of tillage indicated that RT had heavier boll weight than FT (Table 5). The better performance of RT at 150 kg N per hectare may be attributed toward better establishment of crop stand in comparatively favorable soil environment and more allocation of resources to boll formation compared to FT (McAlavy, 2004). Boquet et al. (2004) reported heavier boll weight at higher N rates. Regression analysis revealed that there was a quadratic decline in boll weight with the increase in N rate (y = -4E-06x2 + 0.0025x + 2.924, R² = 0.9627).

Table 5: Boll weight as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year N (kg ha-1)

Tillage (T) Mean
Ridge Flat
Boll weight (g)
Y1 (2013)

0

2.9 2.9 2.9 d
50 3.1 3.0 3.0 c
100 3.2 3.1 3.1 b
150 3.3 3.1 3.2 ab
200 3.3 3.1 3.3 a
Mean 3.16 a 3.04 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.1143, N =0.0765.

Y2 (2014) 0 2.9 2.9 2.9 c
50 3.1 3.1 3.1 b
100 3.3 3.2 3.2 a
150 3.1 3.1 3.2 a
200 3.3 3.2 3.2 a
Mean 3.1 a 3.1 a  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.1214, N = 0.0596

Mean (2 yr) 0 2.94 2.88 2.90 d
50 3.06 3.01 3.0 d
100 3.23 3.10 3.16 b
150 3.28 3.11 3.19 ab
200 3.31 3.17 3.24 a
Mean 3.1a 3.2b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.0952, N= 0.0590.

Note: Means followed by same letter or no letter do not differ significantly at 5% level of probability.

Lint yield kg per hectare

Tillage and nitrogen significantly influenced lint yield, while interaction effects were not significant (Table 3). Tillage means revealed that RT gave higher lint yield as compared to FT during both the study years (Table 6). Mean values for N averaged over tillage revealed that graded doses of N enhanced the cotton lint yield compared to the control with the highest yield recorded at 200 kg N ha–1. The higher cotton lint yield at greater N dosewasdue to higher number of bolls plant and higher boll weight (Hulugalle et al., 2004). The results are in line with Ali et al. (2012) who observed that cotton yield would be higher if cotton bolls are higher. Other researchers also reported higher lint yield with higher N rate (Zhang et al., 2012). Lint yield responded positively to the different N rates and had quadratic response to N rates (y = -0.0037x2 + 3.4133x + 733.84, R² = 0.9932).

Fiber length (mm)

Fibre length had positive response to N rates, while tillage and their interaction effects was not significant (Table 3). RT gavelonger fiber length than FT (Table 7). Our results are analogous with the findings of Hulugalle et al. (2004) who observed no differences in fiber length by tillage systems. Nitrogen means revealed that fiber length increased with increase in N rate and thus highest fiber length could be achieved from highest N level (100-200 kg N ha-1). Fiber length is largely determined by genotype such as cultivars with the highest length and strength break points in lint and more cross linkages between fibers (Hake et al., 1996; Jordan, 2001; Wiese et al. 2005), however, some environmental factors such as temperature can also effect fibre length. Reed (2004) reportedthat N levels substantially impacted fiber length compared to control. Girma et al. (2007) reported that fiber length was higher at higher N level. Regression analysis revealed that fibre length had quadratic response to N rates (y = -3E-06x2 + 0.001x + 25.064R² = 0.9349).

Table 6: Lint yield as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year N (kg ha-1)

Tillage (T) Mean
Ridge Flat
Lint yield (kg ha-1)

Y1 (2013) 0 729.0 639.3 684.2 e
50 917.3 839.0 878.2 d
100 1076.3 984.0 1030.2 c
150 1181.7 1087.0

1134.3 b

200 1282.7 1218.0 1250.3 a
Mean 1037.4 a 953.5 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 58.316, N = 35.762.

Y2 (2014) 0 767.3 674.3 720.8 e
50 958.3 853.33 905.8 d
100 1125.0 1020.3 1072.7 c
150 1214.0 113.7 1163.8 b
200 1377.0 1219.3 1298.2 a
Mean 1088.3 a 976.2 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 66.260, N = 43.234

Mean (2 yr) 0 748.7 656.7 702.7 e
50 9338.0 846.0 892.0 d
100 1100.7 1002.0 1051.3 c
150 1198.0 1100.3 1149.2 b
200 1329.7 1218.7 1274.2 a
Mean 1063.0 a 964.7 b  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 62.287, N=35.101.

Note: Means followed by same letter or no letter do not differ significantly at 5% level of probability.

Table 7: Fiber length as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year

N (kg ha-1)

Tillage (T) Mean
Ridge Flat

Fiber length (mm)
Y1 (2013) 0 25.03 25.03 25.03 c
50 25.11 25.10 25.11 b
100 25.13

25.12

25.12 ab
150 25.15 25.13 25.14 a
200 25.16 25.14 25.15 a
Mean 25.12 25.11  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.0160, N = 0.0292.

Y2 (2014) 0 25.07 25.03 25.05 b
50 25.12 25.11 25.12 b
100 25.14 25.14 25.14 ab
150 25.16 25.15 25.16 ab
200 25.17 25.49 25.33 a
Mean 25.19 25.13  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.2535, N = 0.2309

Mean (2 yr) 0 25.05 25.03 25.04 d
50 25.12 25.11 25.11 c
100 25.14 25.13 25.14 bc
150 25.16 25.15

25.15 ab

200 25.17 25.15 25.16 a
Mean 25.13 25.12  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.0207, N= 0.0221.

Note: Means followed by same letter or no letter do not differ significantly at 5% level of probability.

Mincronaire

Micronaire was significantly influenced by nitrogen rates, however, tillage and tillage × nitrogen interactions were not significant (Table 3). Nitrogen showed that the micronaire values increased with the increase in N rate indicating that the fiber fineness declined with each incremental dose of N (Bauer and Roof 2004). Nitrogen rate at 200 kg ha-1 resulted in significantly coarser fibers (higher micronaire value) than the other treatments (Table 8). .Our results are in line with the findings of Zhang et al. (2012) who reported higher micronaire value at higher N rate. Micronaire had quadratic response to nitrogen (y = -3E-05x2 + 0.0099x + 4.684, R² = 0.8422).

Earliness of harvesting (percent first-pick)

Earliness of harvesting was significantly affected by tillage, nitrogen, and tillage × nitrogen interactions were significant (Table 3). Results revealed that RT enhanced earliness than FT (Table 9). N means revealed that earliness of harvesting in percent increased with increasing N rates and produced maximum under 150 kg·N·ha−1 compared to control. Interaction indicated that RT at 150-200 kg N ha−1 produced maximum earliness in percent. RT enhanced earliness by improving soil water and temperature in the root zone, leading to earlier boll set. Earliness (%) induced by CT (Blaise and Ravindran, 2003). Earliness of harvesting showed quadratic response to increasing N rates(y = -0.000x2 + 0.173x + 59.48, R² = 0.966).

Table 8: Micronaire as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year

N (kg ha-1)

Tillage (T) Mean
Ridge Flat
Micronaire
Y1 (2013) 0 4.8 4.1 4.73 c
50 5.2 4.3 5.27 b
100 5.3 4.4 5.28 b
150 5.5 4.6 5.45 a
200 5.6 4.6 5.50 a
Mean 5.27 5.27  
 

LSD0.05 for N = 0.1465

Y2 (2014)   4.4 4.0 4.72 c
  4.6 4.3 5.25 b
  4.8 4.4 5.28 ab
  4.8 4.7 5.47 a
  4.8 4.7 5.48 a
  4.28 4.20  
 

LSD0.05 for N = 0.2133

Mean (2 yr)   4.73 4.72 4.37 c
  5.20 5.37 5.26 b
  5.27 5.25 5.28 b
  5.50 5.48 5.46 a
  5.47 5.45 5.49 a
  5.25 5.25  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.1721, N= 0.1440.

Note: Means followed by same letter or no letter do not differ significantly at 5% level of probability.

Lodging (%)

Lodging was significantly affected by T, N and T × N interactions (Table 3). RT had lower lodging in percent during the study years (Table 10). Mean values for N averaged over tillage revealed that graded levels of N increased lodging compared to the control with the highest yield recorded at 200 kg N/hec. The higher lodging at higher N rate might be due to higher vegetative growth (Kennedy and Hutchinson, 2001). The results are in line with Mert et al. (2006). Communicated analogous results who reported that lower lodging occurred under ridge tillage compared FT. Other researchers also reported lower lodging with lower N rate (Zhang et al., 2012). Lodging responded positively to the different N rates and had linear response to N rates (y = 3.4133x + 733.84, R² = 0.9932).

Table 9: Earliness as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year

N (kg ha-1)

Tillage (T) Mean
RT CT
Earliness %
Y1 (2013) 0 57.94 g 58.72 g 58.33 e
50 69.55 df 64.63 f 67.09 d
100 71.37 bc 68.56 e 69.97 c
150 72.69 ab 70.56 cd 71.63 b
200 73.74 a 72.75 ab 73.25 a
Mean 69.06 a 67.04 b 68.05
 

LSD0.05 for T=1.6462, N= 1.1550 T× N=1.6335

Y2 (2014) 0 41.27 41.67 59.09 e
50 42.40 42.50 70.13 d
100 42.55 42.51 72.65 c
150 42.57 42.54 74.39 b
200 42.58 42.55 75.77 a
Mean 72.39 a 68.43 b 70.41
 

LSD0.05 for T= 1.7479, 1.0974

Mean (2 yr) 0 59.40 h 58.03 h

58.71 e

50 70.72 ef 66.50 g 68.61 d
100 73.02 cd 69.60 f 71.31 c
150 74.57 b 71.45 de 73.01 b
200 75.91 a 73.09 bc

74.50 a

Mean 70.72 a 67.73 b 69.23
 

LSD0.05 for T= 1.6259, N= 0.8432 T× N= 1.1925

Note: Means followed by same letter or no letter do not differ significantly at 5% level of probability.

Benefit cost ratio

BCR is an important economic parameter. BCR was significantly influenced by tillage, nitrogen and their interactions were not significant (Table 3). Mean values for tillage revealed that RT had higher BCR than FT (Table 11). THighest BCR was recorded at 150-200 kg·N·ha−1. Higher BCR in RT at highest nitrogen dose was due to lower cost of cultivation, and better consumption of soil resources. Highest benefit cost ratio in ridge tillage than flat tillage was reported by Sharma et al. (2011) who investigated higher BCR at higher N rate under RT. BCR had quadratic response to increasing N rates (y = -2E-05x2 + 0.0104x + 2.124, R² = 0.9861).

Table 10: Lodging of cotton as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year N (kg ha-1)

Tillage Mean
Ridge Flat
Lodging %  
Y1 (2013) 0 11.567 20.733 16.15e
50 16.600 24.300 20.45 d
100 18.067 26.167 22.12 c
150 20.300 29.100 24.70 b
200 22.533 33.300 27.92 a
Mean 17.81 b 26.72 a  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 02.7895, N= 1.0659

Y2 (2014) 0 12.863 22.030 17.45 e
50 16.600 25.597 21.10 d
100 18.547 28.813 23.68 c
150 21.597 31.330 26.46 b
200 23.830 36.580 30.21 a
Mean 18.69 b 28.87 a  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 1.4947, N= 1.5329

Mean (2 yr) 0 12.22 i 21.38 ef 16.80 e
50 16.60 h 24.95 d 20.77 d
100 18.31 g 27.49 c 22.90 c
150 20.94 f 30.22 b 25.58 b
200 23.18 de 34.94 a 29.06 a
Mean 18.25 b 27.80 a  
 

LSD0.05 for T= 1.5454, N= 0.9663, T×N=1.3665

Note: Any two means not sharing a letter in a common differ significantly at P ≤ 0.05.

Conclusions

Ridge tillage gave maximum lint yield and earliness with suitable fiber quality. These results showed that RT is a proficient alternative tillage method for rising lint yield, earliness (%) with suitable fiber characteristics in D.I. Khan. Lower lodging occurred under RT. N also significantly influenced lint yields, earliness, lodging and fibre characteristics. Therefore, ridge system with 150–200 kg N ha–1 is recommended for the arid region of Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan.

Table 11: BCR of cotton as affected by tillage and nitrogen levels during two growing seasons.

Year N (kg ha-1)

Tillage Mean
Ridge Flat
Benefit cost ratio  
Y1 (2013) 0 1.97 1.75 1.82 c
50 2.83 2.23 2.53 b
100 3.16 2.50 2.78 b
150 3.60 2.63 3.12 a
200 3.85 2.70 3.23 a
Mean 3.12 a 2.35 b 2.74
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.4067, N= 0.2870.

Y2 (2014) 0 2.85 1.50 2.13 d
50 3.25 2.70 2.68 c
100 3.85 2.63 3.20 b
150 4.00 2.83 3.42 b
200 4.43 3.00 3.72 a
Mean 3.63 a 2.43 b 3.03
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.4059, N= 0.2627.

Mean (2 yr)

0

2.42 1.58 1.98 d
50 3.00 2.22 2.61 c
100 3.42 2.57 2.99 b
150 3.80 2.73 3.31 a
200 4.10 2.85 3.53 a
Mean 3.34 a 2.40 b 2.87
 

LSD0.05 for T= 0.0633, N= 0.2338.

Note: Any two means not sharing a letter in a common differ significantly at P ≤ 0.05.

Author’s Contribution

NUK designed, conducted research, measured observation and prepared draft. AAK helped in structuring the manuscript with editing. SU and NU helped in preparation of methodology, data collection. IU and AR helped in statistical analysis.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Cotton Research Station, D.I. Khan, Pakistan for partial support.

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