Production potential, quality and thermal utilization of fodder pearl millet varieties under different sowing environments in irrigated conditions of central Punjab in India
An experiment was conducted at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India during two consecutive years i.e. , 2019 and 2020 to study the effect of dates of sowing and pearl millet varieties on productivity and quality of green fodder and thermal utilization by the crop. The field experiment was laid-out in a split plot design with seven dates of sowing (1 April, 15 April, 1 May, 1 June, 15 June, 1 July and 15 July) in main plots and two st th st st th st th varieties of pearl millet (PCB 165 and FBC 16) in sub plots with three replicates. Significantly highest green fodder yield (69.3 t/ha) was obtained with 1 June sowing which was probably on account of maximum plant st height and number of tillers. The 1 June sown crop also recorded significantly highest dry matter and crude st protein yield of 15.0 t/ha and 0.95 t/ha, respectively. Both advanced and delayed sowings recorded significant reduction in green fodder and dry matter yield. The crop sown on 1 May required maximum growing degree st days, photo-thermal and helio thermal units at 50% flowering stage and sowing done early as well as late recorded significant reduction in these agro-climatic indices. Across different dates of sowing, PCB 165 registered an increase of 11.9 and 12.4% in green fodder and dry matter yields, respectively over FBC 16 due to higher accumulation of growing degree days, photo-thermal and helio thermal units for 50% flowering stage. The interaction effect showed that PCB 165 sown on 1 May, 1 and 15 June recorded significantly morest st th green fodder yield over FBC 16, while the differences were narrow and non-significant at other dates of sowing.