Irrigation Requirement and Methods for Groundnut Cultivation

Irrigation Requirement and Methods for Groundnut Cultivation
Groundnut (Peanut)
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When should I irrigate Groundnut – Water needs of Groundnut 

Groundnut is an important legume oilseed crop grown globally during the kharif (rainfed) season. Although groundnut requires relatively little water, it cannot withstand moisture stress at flowering, pegging pod, and seed formation stages. The crop’s water requirement varies depending on the soil type, climate, and variety of groundnut grown. In India, groundnut cultivation requires an average of 420 mm to 820 mm of water for its entire growth period [1].

The critical stages for irrigation in groundnut cultivation are:

  • Sowing: The soil should be moist at the time of sowing. If the soil is dry, it may be irrigated 2-3 days before sowing, or the crop can be irrigated immediately after sowing.
  • Flowering: This is the most critical stage for irrigation, as water stress during this period can lead to poor pod development and yield. Irrigation should be applied at an interval of 7-10 days during flowering.
  • Pegging: This is the stage when the groundnut plants start developing pegs. At this period farmer should irrigate at an interval of 10-15 days during pegging.
  • Pod and seed development: Irrigation should be applied at an interval of 15-20 days during pod development.

Groundnut Irrigation Methods

The following irrigation methods can be used for groundnut cultivation:

  • Furrow irrigation: This is the most common method of irrigation used for groundnut cultivation. Furrows or channels are made along the rows of groundnut plants, and water is allowed to flow into the furrows.
  • Drip irrigation: Drip irrigation is a more efficient irrigation method that can help conserve water. Drip irrigation involves using a network of pipes and emitters; emitters are placed at the base of the groundnut plants, and water is released slowly and directly to the roots of the plants.
  • Sprinkler irrigation: Sprinkler irrigation is a less efficient method of irrigation than drip irrigation, but it can be used in areas where the water table is high. Sprinkler irrigation systems use sprinkler heads to distribute water over the ground covering the entire field. It is essential to ensure proper design and installation of sprinkler systems to achieve uniform water distribution.

The best irrigation method for groundnut cultivation will depend on the specific conditions of the farm, such as the soil type, water availability, and the farmer’s budget.

Here are some additional tips for irrigation management in groundnut cultivation:

  • Irrigate the crop deeply and infrequently. This will help to encourage deep rooting and make the crop more drought tolerant.
  • Water the crop early in the morning or late in the evening. This will help to minimize evaporation losses.
  • Monitor the soil moisture content regularly and irrigate as needed.
  • Avoid over-irrigating the crop to avoid waterlogging and root rot problems.

For groundnut as a rainfed crop – the farmer is advised to design a proper drainage system to ensure that excess rainwater does not stagnate in the field, as groundnut is sensitive to standing water. Even for 4-6 hours in the field, standing water can damage the crop [1]. Usually, raised bed or ridges systems of planting can be followed for better drainage facilities.

For groundnut as an Irrigated crop – except for crops grown on residual moisture, rabi(post-rainy)/ summer/spring season crops are fully irrigated; A 2-3 week moisture stress soon after crop emergence followed by regular irrigation often helps in inducing profuse flowering and uniform pod maturity [2].

By following these irrigation tips, you can help to ensure that your groundnut crop receives the water it needs to produce a high yield.


  1. N. Nigam, 2015. Groundnut at a glance.
  2. L. Singh, R.N. Nakar, Nisha Goswami, K.A. Kalariya, K.Chakraborty and Man Singh, 2013. Water deficit stress and its management in groundnut. Advances in Plant Physiology, vol 14. Ed. A Hemantaranjan Scientific Publishers (India), Jodhpur, pp. 317- 465.
  4. hhtp://

Further reading

Groundnut: Plant Information, History, Uses and Nutrition Value

Principles of selecting the best varieties of Groundnut: A Comprehensive Guide

Groundnut Soil requirement, Soil preparation and Planting

Weed Management in Groundnut Farming

Fertilizer requirement for Groundnut Cultivation

Irrigation Requirement and Methods for Groundnut Cultivation

Groundnut Diseases and Management Practices

Groundnut Insects, Pests, and their Management

Harvesting, Drying, Curing, and Storage of Groundnut


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