Eastern India, which is one of the major contributors in total food production of the country, is facing uncertainties of weather events during the recent years and farmers are encountering agricultural drought like situation, leading to reduction in major food grain production and productivity. To minimize the adverse effect of weather variability on the yield reduction of the major field crops of this area, the referred study was conducted with peanut crop, an alternate cash crop, to evaluate the optimum combination of sowing time and phosphorus fertilization strategy on the potential yield enhancement. Two field experiments were conducted during 2012 and 2013 at Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India. Four sowing dates (14th January, 29th January, 14th February and 28th February) in main plot and four fertilization levels (0 kg P2O5 ha-1, 40 kg P2O5 ha-1, 60 kg P2O5 ha-1 and 80 kg P2O5 ha-1) in the sub plots were assigned in split-plot design with three replications. The reported study shows that sowing dates in combination with the phosphorus fertilization have less impact on peanut crop, in terms of pod yield, harvest index, shelling percent etc. In this study, higher peanut pod yield (2305.00 and 2285.33 kg ha-1) and shelling percent (73.77 and 83.76) in 2012 and 2013, respectively were obtained during mid to end of February sowing date with application of 40 and 60 kg P2O5 ha-1 in the sub-humid climate of Eastern India.
Key words: Peanut, weather variability, sowing date, phosphorus fertilizer, pod yield, harvest index, shelling percent, pods per plant.
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