Soil management for crop production in the West African Sahel. II. Emergence, establishment, and yield of pearl millet uri icon

abstract

  • In field experiments on a sandy Psammentic Paleustalf in Niger, the effects on crop establishment and yield of pearl millet seed size (2.12 mm), sowing depth (1, 3, 5 or 7 cm) and sowing method (sowing in hills or drilling seeds) with cv. CIVT and 3/4 HK (both improved) and SadorĂ© (local) given pre-sowing tillage (ploughing, ridging, 'sand fighting' or no-tillage) and application of 17 kg P + 40 kg N/ha upon seedling emergence, were observed. Sowing depth of 3-5 cm resulted in the highest percentage emergence, the highest shoot DW and most secondary roots. These growth parameters were greater in the >2.12 mm seed size category than in the other 2 smaller sizes. The adverse effects of wind erosion were least when sowing in hills; establishment, crop stand survival, and yield were better under hill planting than drilling seed. Pre-sowing tillage increased initial stands and their survival, the latter also depending on fertility. Thus, improving crop yields resulted from better stand survival and higher yields per hill. Application of P and N tripled grain yields. Ridging without prior tillage and ploughing increased grain and stover yields 2- to 3-fold. In combination with fertilizer application, 6-fold yield increases were obtained. It was concluded that if pre-sowing tillage is considered, then, in view of the time limitations, ridging without prior tillage would be preferable to ploughing, as it is a much faster operation giving equally good results in terms of crop establishment and yield

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993