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Water requirements and the irrigation management of pea, lentil, faba bean and chickpea crops

Author(s): Farah SM, Arar A, Miller DE


The economically important pulse crops have reputations for being sensitive to water stress at one or more stages of growth. Their responses to stress vary, depending on species and genotype, on climatic and soil conditions, and on the stage of growth at which stress is experienced. The water relations of pea, lentil, faba bean and chickpea have often been considered in relation to three successive stages of development: sowing until flowering; during flowering; and throughout fruit development and seed maturation. In general, water stress should be minimized during flowering and pod development if crops are to yield well. However, pea and lentil seem to be sensitive to water stress before flowering, whereas faba bean and chickpea are especially sensitive during the reproductive stage. All four crops are intolerant of excessive soil water, especially during the early stages of growth and on fine-textured soils.

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