Effect of planting density on canopy parameter, yield and water use efficiency of Kinnow mandarin
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The effect of tree spacing on growth performance, yield parameters and water use efficiency of five and six year-old Kinnow mandarin growing on rough lemon rootstock was studied. Plants were grown at three spacing, 6m × 6 m, 6 m × 5 m and 6 m × 3 m. Plant growth parameters were not influenced significantly by different planting densities. However, maximum plant height, plant spread, canopy volume, canopy surface area, canopy foot print and trunk cross sectional area was observed under low density planting (6 m × 6 m) and minimum under high density (6 m × 3 m). Maximum crop load (276.64 fruits/plant) and yield (46.65 kg/tree) on per tree basis was found in low density (6 m × 6 m), while resource distribution was found maximum (2.64 fruits/cm2tcsa) in 6 m × 5 m spacing. The maximum fruit weight (171.83 g), yield (220.99 tonnes/ha) on unit area basis and water use efficiency (24.72 kg/ha/cm) was observed at a spacing of 6 m × 3 m and minimum values in 6 m × 6 m spacing. Net profit ranged from Rs. 82,904 to Rs. 1,33,417/ha in 6 m × 6 m and 6 m × 3 m spacing. Overall, the closest spacing of 6 m × 3 m may be adopted by the Kinnow growers for getting better productivity, WUE and profit per unit area in the initial years of planting, i.e. up to age of six year.
Planting density, Kinnow, canopy, yield, water use efficiency, economics.