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Importance of Pearl Millet Nutrition


Importance of Pearl millet Nutrition


Pearl millet under less favourable conditions

Poor pearl millet crop under less favorable conditions

The low yields in pearl millet is generally due to the crop being grown under less favorable conditions like poor soils, erratic rainfall conditions etc.

Pearl millet grown withou fertilizer

Pearl millet crop grown without fertilizer application

Additionally, pearl millet is grown by many farmers in a traditional form of agriculture i.e. without any fertilizer application and with little or no use of manures etc.

Green Yield(kg/ha)

       Nutrients removed fro the soil(kg/ha  

  Nitrogen                  Phosphorus          potassium

      500   13.3                         4.7                      16.3
    1000   26.6                         9.4                      32.6
    1500   39.9                       14.1                      48.9
    2000   53.2                       18.8                      65.2
    2500   66.5                       23.5                      81.5 
    3000   79.8                       28.2                      97

Nutrient removal and yield (Source: Roy et al.1980)

There is a wide gap between the national average yield (less than 600 kg/ha) and the potential achievable yield (more than 3,000 kg/ha). Inadequate availability of essential nutrients could be one of the reasons for such a wide gap in pearl millet yields.

Pearl millet, because of its extended root system, extracts soil nutrients from the soil very efficiently. Pearl millet production without fertilizer application is obtained only at the expense of soil-stored nutrient levels. So, in poor soils the crop eventually gives low yield. Grain pearl millet responds profitably to a balanced application of plant nutrients.General thinking is that most of the Indian soils are rich in potassium and so there is no need to apply potassium to pearl millet. The correctness of this statement has to be verified by soil testing. If a soil contains less than 150 kg/ha of available potassium, recommended dose of potassium application results in higher pearl millet yields.


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