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Crop Water Information: Groundnut


Quality
Productivity
Aquacrop
Crop Information
Irrigation

Thissectionpresentsinformationonwaterrelationsandwatermanagementofgroundnutand
provideslinkstoothersourcesofinformation.

Crop Description and Climate


Groundnut(Arachishypogaea)originatesfromSouthAmerica.Presentannualworldproductionof
unshellednutsisabout35.1milliontonsfromabout25.5millionha.(FAOSTAT,2001)
Thecropisgrownbetween40NandSlatitudes.Itsgrowingperiodis90to115daysforthe
sequential,branchedvarietiesand120to140daysforthealternatelybranchedvarieties.Themean
dailytemperatureforoptimumgrowthis22to28Careductioninyieldoccursabove33Cand
below18C.Germinationisdelayedattemperaturesbelow20C.Groundnutisconsideredaday
neutralplantanddaylengthisnotacriticalfactorinfluencingyield.Forgoodyields,arainfedcrop
requiresabout500to700mmofreliablerainfalloverthetotalgrowingperiod.

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Thecropisbestadaptedto.welldrained,loose,friablemediumtexturedsoils.Heavytextures
causeproblemsinliftingthecropatharvest.Also,thetopsoilshouldbeloosetoallowthepegs(on
whichthefruitsareformed)toenterthesoileasily.
Beingalegume,groundnutcanfixnitrogenfromtheair.However,apreplantingnitrogen
applicationof10to20kg/haisoftenrecommendedtoassuregoodcropestablishment.
Phosphorousrequirementsare15to40kg/hapotassiumrequirements25to40kg/ha.Atoohigh
applicationofpotassiumcancauseadecreaseinyield.Forproperkernelformationandpodfilling,
300to600kg/haofcalciumisrequiredatthebeginningofpodformationinthetopsoilwherethe
fruitsareformed.Limestoneisusedwhensoilacidityneedstobecorrectedandgypsumwhenonly
theCalevelneedstobeincreased.AtpHlowerthan6,limingmaybenecessarytoavoidaluminium
andmanganesetoxicity.
Groundutduringripening

Land and Water Division

Thegraphbelowdepictsthecropstagesofgroundnut,andthetablesummarisesthemaincrop
coefficientsusedforwatermanagement.

Stages of Development
Crop
characteristic

Plant date

Region

Crop
Development

Midseason

Late

Total

25

35

45

25

130

Dry season

West Africa

35

35

35

35

140

May

High Latitudes

35

45

35

25

140

May/June

Mediteranean

Depletion
Coefficient, p

0.45

>>

0.45

0.5

Root Depth, m

0.25

>>

>>

0.5

Crop Coefficient,
Kc

0.4

>>

1.05

0.6

Yield Response
Factor, Ky

0.2

0.8

0.6

0.2

0.7

Stage length,
days

Initial

Water Requirements
Dependingonclimate,thewaterrequirementsrangefrom500to700mmforthetotalgrowing
period.Asrelatedtodevelopmentstages,thekcvaluefortheinitialstageis0.40.5(15to35
days),thedevelopmentstage0.70.8(30to45days),themidseasonstage0.951.1(30to50
days),thelateseasonstage0.70.8(20to30days),andatharvest0.550.6.

Water Supply And Crop Yield


Therelationshipsbetweenrelativeyielddecrease(1Ya/Ym)andrelativeevapotranspirationdeficit
forthetotalgrowingperiodareshowninthefigurebelow.

Thisfigureshowstherelationshipsbetweenrelativeyielddecrease(1Ya/Ym)andrelative
evapotranspirationdeficitfortheindividualgrowthperiods.

Vegetativeandreproductivegrowthshowadefiniteresponsetowatersupply.However,excessive
soilwaterisharmfulbecauselackofoxygeninthesoillimitstheactivityoftheNfixingbacteria
thisisnotedbyanunhealthygrowthpatternandyellowingoftheleaves.Excessivesoilwaterin
heavysoilsatharvestcancausethepodstobetorneasilyfromthepegswiththepodsremainingin
thesoil.
Thefloweringperiod(2)ismostsensitivetowaterdeficit,followedbytheyieldformationperiod(3).
Ingeneral,waterdeficitsduringthevegetativeperiod(1)causedelayedfloweringandharvest,and
reducedgrowthandyield.Waterdeficitsduringflowering(2)causeflowerdroporimpaired
pollination,whereaswaterdeficitsduringtheyieldformationperiod(3)giveareducedpodweight.
Theearlypartoftheyieldformationperiod(podsetting)isparticularlysensitivetowaterdeficit.In
thecaseoflimitedwatersupply,watersavingsshouldbemadeduringtheperiodsotherthan
flowering(2)andearlyyieldformation(3).Ahighertotalproductionisobtainedbyincreasingthe
cultivatedareaandpartiallymeetingcropwaterrequirementsratherthanbymeetingfullcrop
waterrequirementsoveralimitedarea.
Followingtablepresentsthegrowthperiodsforgroundnut

Crop stage

Days

Establishment

1020

Vegetative

2535

Flowering 1

3040

Yield formation (including pod setting and pod filling) 3035

ripening

1020

1Floweringcontinuesduringpartoftehyieldformationbutthepodsfromthelateformedflowers

donotreachmaturity.

Water Uptake
Thecrophasawelldevelopedtaprootwithmanylateralswhichmayextendtoadepthof1.Sm.
Themajorpartoftherootsystemis,however,foundinthefirst0.5to0.6msoillayer.Fullgrown
plantsnormallyextract100percentofthewaterfromthefirst0.5to1.0mofthesoil(D=0.51.0).
Underanevapotranspirationrateof5to6mm/day,therateofwateruptakebythecropstartsto
reducewhensome50percentofthetotalavailablesoilwaterhasbeendepleted(p=0.5).

Irrigation Scheduling
Dependingonthelevelofcropevapotranspirationandwaterholdingcapacityofthesoil,intervals
varyfrom6to14daysupto21daysforloamsoils,withshorterintervalsduringflowering(2)when
depletionofavailablesoilwatershouldnotexceed40percent.Inthecaseofsupplemental
irrigation,bestresultsareobtainedwhenwaterisappliedduringthefloweringperiod(2).

Irrigation Methods
Onlighttexturedsoils,sprinklerirrigationoffersadvantagesbylightandfrequentwaterapplication,
sufficienttowetthefirst0.6mofthesoil.Furrowirrigationisfrequentlyusedonmediumtextured
soils.

Yield
Underrainfedconditionsgoodaverageyieldsvaryfrom2to3ton/haunshellednutsunderahigh
levelofmanagement.Underirrigationandahighlevel100ofmanagement,yieldscanbe3.5to4.5
ton/haunshellednuts.Thewaterutilizationefficiencyfortheharvestedyield(Ey)forunshelled,
driednutswithamoisturecontentofabout15percentis0.6to0.8kg/m3.Groundnutscontain
about30percentproteinandarerichinvitaminsBandC.TheoilcontentfortheVirginiabunch
type(alternatelybranched),isbetween38and47percentforthesmallseededSpanishtypes
(sequentiallybranched),47to50percent.Oilcontentisreducedconsiderablywhenwaterdeficits
occurduringtheyieldformationperiod(3).