Uneven Variation in Plant-to-Plant Spacing in Pearl Millet1 uri icon


  • Plant-to-plant spacing in fields of Pennisetum americanum is often highly variable. The effect of typical variation in spacing on grain yield was determined in a range of cropping situations. 20 within-row spacing patterns were designed so that the variance of spacing (Vs) between plants would range from 0 to 2.3 m². Plant population, fertility and season were also variants. In all the trials, seeds were sown in predetermined positions in each row and later thinned to a single plant/position. As Vs increased from 0.01 to 0.05, 0.10 and 0.70 m², yields declined by 21, 29 and 47%, resp. This reduction in yield did not depend on fertility level, season or plant population. Most of the yield reduction could be attributed to reduction in panicle number/plant. The results suggest that the tillering capacity of P. americanum, although it provides the capacity to adjust to a wide range of plant populations per se, does not provide adjustment to major changes in Vs

publication date

  • 1987