African Crop Science Journal

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

Influence of variety and management level on pearl millet production in Niger: I. Grain yield and dry matter accumulation

N Maman, S C Mason, S Sirifi


Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] is the most important food crop in Niger and most other West African Sahelian countries. The study was conducted as a factorial combination of three pearl millet varieties and two management levels at Kollo, Niger. Low management consisted of 10,000 hills ha-1 with no fertiliser application, while high management consisted of 20,000 plants ha-1 with manure, and N and P fertiliser application. The three varieties used were the improved varieties `Zatib' (tall) and `3/4 HK'(short), and a landrace variety `Heini Kirei' (tall). Two plants per plot were sampled bi-weekly, partitioned into plant parts, dried, and weighed. Pearl millet under high management produced 517 to 551 kg ha-1 greater yield and 200 to 300 g m-2 more dry matter than with low management. In 1995, the shorter variety `3/4 H K' produced 147 to 256 g m-2 less dry matter and 155 to 485 kg ha-1 less grain yield than the other varieties. Mean crop growth rates (CGRs) increased up to a maximum of 18.5 g m-2 day-1 with high management and 2 g m-2 day-1 with low management in 1995, while in 1996 maximum CGRs were 6.4 g m-2 day-1 with high management and 1.7 g m-2 day-1 with low management. In this study, environmental variability due to years had the greatest effect on crop growth and grain yield; management had an intermediate effect; and genotypes the least effect. Pearl millet producers in Niger should increase plant population and apply fertiliser to optimize pearl millet grain and stover yield.

Key Words: Crop growth rate, dry matter partitioning, Pennisetum glaucum, relative growth rate, sahel

(African Crop Science Journal: 2000 8(1): 25-34)
AJOL African Journals Online