Chilli is one of the most promising vegetable crops for Bastar Agro Climatic Zone (ACZ) of Chhattisgarh State (India). Even though the region receives an average annual rainfall of 1200 to 1400 mm, it still lags double cropping system due to mismanagement of harvested and conserved rainfall. A field experiment was conducted on chilli crop (variety – NS 1701) to study the irrigation scheduling and effect of different soil moisture regime over the yield and growth parameters of rabi chilli crop. The study was also undertaken to determine the minimum irrigation to be given or supplied in order to achieve significant returns from the crop along with identification of simple guideline for determination of soil moisture status. Eight treatments of irrigation (T1 to T8) including that of seven different available soil moisture (ASM) levels at 70% (T1), 60% (T2), 50% (T3), 40% (T4), 30% (T5), 20% (T6) and 10% (T7) along with one treatment of furrow irrigation at different vegetative stages (T8) of chilli crop was tested during rabi season. The results of this study showed that the irrigation at 60% ASM level gave the highest yield with 9.145 T ha-1 whereas the highest water use efficiency (WUE) was shown by both the treatments T1 and T2 with 0.37 T ha-cm-1. Results also show that there is a significant reduction in the yield of chilli in treatment T6 of irrigation at 20% ASM (7.015 T ha-1). The results also showed that chilli crop survives the moisture deficiency of 80% with substantial returns.
Key words: Available soil moisture, furrow irrigation, irrigation, yield attributes, water use efficiency (WUE).
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