Growing irrigated lentil
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Since 1987, research was conducted at the Saskatchewan Irrigation Development Centre (SIDC), Outlook, to develop technology suitable for irrigated lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) production. Diverse germplasm and various management practices were evaluated. Under irrigation, Eston, CDC Richlea, and Rose lentil produced higher seed yield than Laird. Supplemental irrigation of Eston produced marked yield increases in the low rainfall years. For example, in 1988 which received 95 mm (3.8 in) of precipitation during the growing season, addition of 130 mm (5.1 in) and 225 mm (8.9 in) of water produced approximately a 5-6 fold yield advantage. Excessive irrigation in wet years or at flowering reduced yield, likely through excessive vegetative growth and increased disease incidence. Under excess moisture conditions, Eston and Laird were more susceptible to diseases than CDC Richlea, or 458-57. Seeding rates (100 plants/m2, i.e. 9-10 plants/ft2) and row-spacing (20 em, i.e. 8 in) recommended for dryland production appeared suitable for irrigation although in one year, positive yield responses were obtained up to a population density of 175 plant/m2.
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