Stover quality and grain yield relationships and heterosis effects in pearl millet uri icon

abstract

  • Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is the most drought tolerant of all domesticated cereals and can yield grain under rainfall as low as 200 to 250 mm (Bidinger and Hash, in press) making it the only reliably productive cereal in the driest rainfed regions of the arid and semi-arid tropics. In these regions, crop-livestock production systems are highly integrated and the stover from pearl millet plays a very crucial role in feeding the livestock. Kelley et al. (1996) observed that farmers rejected several pearl millet cultivars (improved only for grain yield) because of too poor fodder value of the stover. Considering the growing demand for more and better quality fodderfor livestock, crop improvement programs have now become multidimensional, targeting the whole plant rather than one single trait. Nearly 70% of the Indian pearl millet area (>9 million ha) is sown to more than 72 hybrids and improvement in the quantity and/or the nutritional quality of the stover of these hybrids could make tremendous impact on livestock productivity in the region. The objective of the current research was to assess heterosis in top-cross hybrids for stover quality traits and to investigate genotypic variability in stover quality traits and their relationships with grain and stover yield

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003