MADRAS AGRICULTURAL JOURNAL

Yield Potential of Small Millets under Drought Condition

Abstract

      An experiment was conducted to study the yield traits under reproductive stage drought in selected small millets viz., finger millet (CO 15), little millet (CO 4) and barnyard millet (CO 2). The crops were imposed with drought during their flowering stage by withholding irrigation till the soil moisture reaches below 20 per cent. Barnyard millet performed better under drought at reproductive stage over other small millets, such as finger millet and little millet, in terms of more number productive tillers (11.16 plant-1), ear heads (12.99 plant-1), lesser reduction in ear head length (13.35 %), ear head weight (21.66 %) and 1000 grain weight (14.93 %) compared to well watered control plants. Little millet recorded the highest reduction in ear head length (19.01 %), ear head weight (39.64 %) and 1000 grain weight (23.26 %) whereas finger millet recorded the lowest number of productive tillers (9.41 plant-1) and ear heads (9.71 plant-1) under drought over control. Regarding the grain and straw yields of small millets subjected to water stress, it was evident from the results that the impact of water deficit at reproductive stage was prominent in little millet compared to barnyard millet and finger millet. Barnyard millet recorded the highest grain yield (18.94 g plant-1) and straw yield (42.12 g plant-1) followed by finger millet (14.48 and 33.14 g plant-1). Little millet recorded the lowest grain yield (11.31 g plant-1) and straw yield (26.01g plant-1) under drought condition.
Key Words: Small millets, Yield parameters, Drought