Best Fertilizer for Chickpea/Bengal Gram: Organic, NPK, Management, How and When to Apply

Chickpea or Chickpea (Cicer arietinum) is a legume plant and belongs to the Fabaceae family. Chickpea is called known as Bengal gram. Adequate and balanced nutrition is necessary for high grain production. Chickpea is an annual plant widely grown for its nutritious seeds. The phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur requirements are similar to peas or lentils.

Best Fertilizer for Chickpea/Bengal Gram
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A well-inoculated crop should not require nitrogen fertilizer, provided appropriate Rhizobium inoculants are used and improved nitrogen accuracy. Suppose nitrogen fixation is not enhanced due to unfavorable growing conditions (such as relatively dry seedbeds). In that case, Chickpea may benefit from a lower rate of starter N in a few years.  Let’s find out the best fertilizer for Chickpea/Bengal Gram below.

High rates of starter nitrogen 

The high rates of starter nitrogen (removed from seed) application is helpful to improve plant growth. Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers, or high nitrogen levels available in the soil, reduces nitrogen accuracy and can delay maturation. The soil test will provide guidelines for fertility requirements. 

Fertilizer requirement (kg / acre) 

CropsUreaSSPMuriate Of Potash
Desi1350Apply as per soil test result
Kabuli1350Apply as per soil test result

Best fertilizer for Chickpea/Bengal Gram

Essential nutrients for Chickpea


  • Nitrogen fertilizers meet nutritional requirements; this is the key to crop growth. Nitrogen is an element of development. Knowledge of its dynamics in the soil allows us to improve performance while applying this element. Combining sulfur, microelements, and nitrogen improves their assimilation efficiency by synergy (S, Zn, Mg).
  • Nitrogen helps determine plant growth and development. 
  • Rhizobium sp., associated with the presence of, which fixes this nutrition. 
  • Chick pea plays an essential role in improving soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. It meets 80% of its nitrogen (N) requirement through symbiotic nitrogen fixation and can weigh up to 140 kg N per hectare from air. It releases enough residual nitrogen for later crops and adds abundant organic matter to maintain and improve soil health and fertility. Due to their deep tap root system, lentils can withstand drought conditions by extracting water from deep layers in the soil profile. 
  • A small starter dose of 15 to 25 kg N per hectare stimulates early Chick pea development. Nitrogen was profitable for rain-fed Chick peas up to 30 kg per hectare.

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Common symptoms of nitrogen deficiency
  • Yellowing of older leaves than upper leaves
  • Pink stem at the base of the plant 
  • A thin reddish-pink border around the serration of the leaflets
  • Necrosis or abscission in primary leaves. In adult leaves, a light green color turns yellow.
Nitrogen fixation by Chickpea 

The nitrogen fixed by Chickpea varies from 1 to 141 kg per hectare, depending on the crop used. 

Factors affecting N fixation
  • Crops vary in the amount of N fixed. 
  • Excess moisture and lack of humidity can affect nodulation. 
  • Nodulation decreases with the increasing use of nitrogen. 
  • The density of mulching and sowing affects nodulation. 


Pulses crops need phosphorus for healthy growth, which helps in early maturation and nitrogen fixation. Chickpea requires a lot of phosphorus (P). Phosphorus plays an essential role in metabolism processes like energy transfer, respiration, and photosynthesis. Therefore, the plant requires a maximum P from the initial seed stage to maturity. 

Phosphorus stimulates the growth of the root system, stem, flower, and some pods and grains. Its use as a basal dressing increases the weight of Rhizobium sp. Nodules. The most effective use is when it is soluble in water and ammonium citrate. The use of phosphorus varies from 17 to 54 kg P per hectare of land, depending on the phosphorus available in the soil. 

Common symptoms of Phosphorus deficiency 
  • Dark green stunned plants
  • Reddish purple stems
  • The reddish-purple margin on the upper edge of the lower leaves and the upper surface
  • The leaves turn pale and turn yellowish-green or buff green
  • Stunted growth, thin stems, and small internodes. 
  • Small dark green upper leaves. Yellow lower leaves with necrotic edges. Suppose the deficiency is severe, there is a delay in flowering, reduction in the number of seeds per pod, and early defoliation.

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Bengal Gram
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  • Favors carbohydrate synthesis and protein synthesis
  • Activates photosynthesis and controls reserve substances (increases resistance to cold and drought)
  • Stimulates nodules formation and root system development 
  • To potassium application in soils with high levels of available K. If soils are low in available potassium, about 17 to 25 kg K per hectare application is recommended. 
Common symptoms of potassium deficiency 
  • Yellowing edges of the plant leaves
  • Margins and tips of lower plant leaves show chlorosis
  • Tips of leaflets show brown color necrotic patches and die


  • Intensifies photosynthetic activity
  • Protects from burning by the sun

Symptoms of deficiency – Chlorosis with the appearance of brown color spots in the moments near flowering. 


  • High demands
  • In favor of bearing fruit
  • Regulates nitrogen availability and activates phosphorus, potassium, and soil micro-elements. 
  • It improves soil microbial activity. 

Symptoms of deficiency – Uniform chlorosis in the lower leaves that extends to the smaller leaves. 


Symptoms of deficiency – In calcareous soils with high pH, ​​chlorosis due to waterlogging due to unavailability of iron. Chlorosis at the terminal on three or four newly formed leaves. If severe, the affected leaves wither. The rachis withers from head to toe to the base. Chickpea shows specific symptoms of iron deficiency when dropped on soils rich in calcium carbonate. This deficiency can be treated with 0.5% ferrous sulfate foliar spray. 

NPK fertilizers

Complex NPK fertilizers are applied during sowing time to balance soil nutrients: primary, secondary, and micronutrients. The correct composition and balance will be used according to the soil content, keeping the crop requirements and expected yield. 

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Chickpea Plant
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Fertilizer application 

  • About 15-20 kg N, 40 kg P2O5, 20 kg S, 1.0 kg ammonium molybdate, and 5 tons FYM / hectare
  • Spray 2% urea / DAP in the flowering stage (70 DAS) 

Apply fertilizers basally before seed sowing.

  • Rainfed Chick pea – 10:40:20 NPK (kg / ha) 
  • Irrigated Chick pea – 20:60:40 NPK (kg / ha) 

Foliar spray – Nutrients are applied in dilute solution on standing crops on plant leaves. The spray solution’s minimum safe concentration and frequency depend on the yield, maturity stage, spray season, spray wetting, and application quality. Generally, it is recommended to spray 1 to 3 sprays of micronutrients and 3 to 6 sprays of macronutrients and moisten the leaves in each spray. 


  • The use of molybdenum increases grain production. 
  • Combining copper, manganese, and zinc also affects the crop. 

Organic fertilizers

The use of organic matter like animal manure, yard waste, sewage sludge, human waste, food waste, and compost has long been recognized in agriculture as beneficial for plant growth, production, and maintaining soil fertility. New methods of using organic modifications in agriculture have proved to be an effective tool for improving soil structure, increasing soil fertility, and increasing crop yields. 

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Organic farming has been recognized for helping to increase crop yields and ensure quality crops. It includes using agricultural wastes, urban wastes, and industrial wastes as nutrients for crops. The traditional method of composting organic waste has been known for many years. Still, new ways of thermophilic composting have recently become very popular in treating organic waste as they eliminate some of the harmful effects of organic waste in the soil. 

With a constant increase in the vermicompost dose from 0 to 3 and 2 tonnes per hectare, the grain yield has increased, the best amount. Chickpea production with various nutrients improved plant growth and production characteristics—the importance of using nutrients from different sources to achieve high productivity of Chickpea. Organic manure is applied 30 days before sowing. At 50% flowering, liquid organic manure, Panchgavya 3%, vermiwash 10%, cow urine 10% are used.

The use of organic fertilizers enhances the soil nutrients and improves the physical and biological soil conditions. So, integrating chemical fertilizers and modifying locally available soil is the best way to achieve high fertilizer application efficiency and economic potential. 

Fertilizer application method

As a fruit crop, Chickpeas meet most of their nitrogen requirement (approximately 75%) through symbolic nitrogen fixation after sowing, which works effectively for three to four weeks. Soils with low organic matter can require 20-25 kg nitrogen per hectare, as does a starter that can meet plants’ needs before nodules are formed.

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Organic Fertilizer
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In addition to nitrogen, pulses respond well to phosphorus use if the soil is deficient in phosphorus. If both nitrogen and phosphorus supply is required, apply diammonium phosphate (18-46-0) evenly at 100 to 150 kg/hectare before plowing the last disc. Potassium requests have been inconsistent. It is best to put all the fertilizers in the skins to about 7-10 cm.


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