Phosphorus Coating on Pearl Millet Seed in Low P Alfisol Improves Plant Establishment and Increases Stover More Than Seed Yield uri icon

abstract

  • Phosphorus (P) is one of the main limiting nutrients in the semi-arid regions where pearl millet is grown; itsdeficiency leads to poor seedling establishment and eventually poor crop yield. Experiments were carriedout in pots and field-like conditions to evaluate the effect of seed priming and seed coating with P on theshoot biomass at two and four weeks after sowing (WAS), and on the panicle and stover yield at maturity ofthree hybrid varieties of pearl millet in low P Alfisol. Overall, seed priming did not increase shoot biomassat two and four WAS. In pots, seed coating at a rate of approximately 400 g P ha?1 increased vegetativebiomass over 400% at early stages, and panicle yield by about 50%, over the non-coated treatment, withgenotypic variation in the magnitude of the response. In field-like conditions, seed coating restored stoverbiomass to 85?100% of that in the non-limiting P treatment, whereas the panicle yield remained 25?35%lower than in the non-limiting P treatment, but still 45?65% higher than the non-coated treatment. Pdeficiency delayed the time to flowering by 20?24 days compared to the non-limiting P treatment, butplants in the seed coating treatment reduced that gap by 10?14 days. Seed P coating treatment appearsa valid option to promote pearl millet seedling establishment and then to boost yield under low soil Pconditions. The maintenance of an effect of seed coating on panicle yield in pots suggests a positive earlyeffect on developmental processes before panicle initiation

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010