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Yadav O.P.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Yadav O.P.,Directorate of Maize Research | Singh M.,Indian Central Arid Zone Research Institute
Range Management and Agroforestry

Pearl millet is the most widely grown cereal in hot and arid regions of north-western India and is valued for both stover and grain. The grain is used for human consumption and its dry stover is a vital fodder resource for ruminant animals. The present paper reports trends in pearl millet stover production over a period of six decades and reviews prospects of enhancing it further. The estimated dry stover production of pearl millet has been increased from 8.8 m tons in 1950 to 21.8 m tons in 2010 due to increase in productivity at the rate of 22 kg/ha/year owing to adoption of high yielding cultivars and suitable agro-production technologies. Two approaches followed to improve quantity and qualities of pearl millet stover include crop management and genetic enhancement. Agronomic practices like fertilizer application, planting density, and time and method of harvesting have been utilized to significantly improve stover yield. A good range of genetic variation and moderate to high estimates of heritability have been observed in pearl millet for stover yield and quality suggesting that there exists good opportunities to further improve both traits. A greater emphasis is currently being laid in Indian national programme of pearl millet improvement on the development of dual-purpose pearl millet cultivars that can provide high stover productivity without compromising their grain productivity. Source

Yadav O.P.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project
Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences

A study was conducted during 2006-08 to investigate the relationship between biomass and various phenotypic traits to breed dual-purpose pearl millet for arid regions of north-western India. The study material included 39 pearl millet genotypes evaluated for three seasons under arid zone environments. Plant type had significant role in determining grain yield performance under drought-prone arid environments. Both early flowering and high tillering had a significant advantage over late flowering and low tillering material. Biomass and harvest index had significant influence on both grain and stover yield though nature and degree of association varied considerably. Biomass had positive influence on both grain and stover yield while higher harvest index had positive effect on grain yield but negative effect on stover yield. Longer panicle had adverse impact on grain yield in spite of fact that longer panicles had significantly higher number of grains primarily because genotypes with larger panicles had significantly reduced tillering. Results suggested that producing smaller but many panicles is much more important than producing a few larger panicles. Significant variation existed for tillering, flowering time, grain and stover yields, biomass and harvest index indicating that there existed a good opportunity to select for a combinations of these traits. A balanced selection for improved biomass and harvest index is necessary for improving both grain and stover yields in pearl millet targeted for arid zone of northwestern India. Source

Yadav O.P.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Rajpurohit B.S.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Kherwa G.R.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Kumar A.,Indian Central Arid Zone Research Institute
Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding

Pearl millet is valued for both grain and stover in croplivestock production system in the drought-prone arid and semi-arid regions of north-western India. In this work the performance of contemporary hybrids and composites of pearl millet were compared for grain and stover yields in drier zone of these regions. A total of 142 hybrids and 84 composites were evaluated in a combination of 94 environments from 1998 to 2009 in the stales of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana. Mean yield in test locations ranged from 611 kg/ha to 2351 kg/ha for grain and from 18.7 q/ha to 69.8 q/ha for stover. Hybrids yielded significantly higher grain than composites with an overall superiority of 25%. Earliness and ability to produce more panicles by hybrids appeared to contribute toward their higher grain yield. Hybrids had stover yield at par with composites. The data indicated that contemporary hybrids are inherently higher yielder than composites even under adverse conditions of arid and drier semi-arid regions. The population buffering mechanism of composites appeared not to give any advantage with espect to yield. Implications of these results are discussed in breeding pearl millet for drier zone of north-western India. Source

Yadav O.P.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Rai K.N.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Bidinger F.R.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | Gupta S.K.,All India Coordinated Pearl Millet Improvement Project | And 2 more authors.
Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences

The adoption of pearl millet hybrids in the north-western arid zone has been very limited in contrast to their widespread coverage in relatively more favourable areas. This research was conducted to assess the combining ability of progenies derived from a composite, called Mandor Restorer Composite (MRC) that was synthesized using 12 lines with inbuilt combination of characters that are useful for arid environments. Testcross hybrids of 43 MRC progenies made on five diverse male-sterile lines were evaluated for their performance in four environments over three years (2005-07) under rainfed conditions of arid zone. There existed significant and exploitable differences among restorer (R) lines in their combining ability for biomass, grain yield, stover yield, harvest index and panicle harvest index under receding moisture conditions. General combining ability (GCA) for early flowering was consistently and positively related to GCA for grain yield. GCA for harvest index was positively and significantly related to GCA for grain yield, but was variably negatively related to stover yield. Neither GCA for HI nor GCA for time to flowering had as large an effect on GCA for grain and stover yields as did GCA for biomass. The results suggested that GCA for earliness, biomass and HI are not necessarily mutually antagonistic characteristics under arid zone conditions indicating that there are good prospects of identifying lines to produce hybrids with enhanced grain and stover yields without compromising crop duration. This study also identified a few progenies that had significant GCA for grain and stover yield in early-maturity background. Source

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