GROWTH AND QUALITY OF FORAGE PEARL MILLET (PENNISETUM AMERICANUM L.) AS INFLUENCED BY NITROGEN AND ZINC LEVELS IN HYPER ARID REGION OF RAJASTHAN
VIMAL KHINCHI*, S. M. KUMAWAT, MOHD. ARIF AND JITENDRA VERMA
Department of Agronomy
S. K. Rajasthan Agricultural University,
Bikaner-334 006 (Rajasthan), India
*(e-mail : vk97agro@gmail.com)
(Received : 19 April 2017; Accepted : 6 July 2017)

SUMMARY

A field experiment was conducted on sandy loam soils of Agronomy Farm at College of Agriculture, SKRAU, Bikaner during kharif season of 2014 to study the effect of nitrogen and zinc on growth, nutrient content and uptake and quality of fodder pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum L.), with 20 treatment combinations viz., five nitrogen levels (0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 kg/ha), and four zinc sulphate doses (no zinc, 15, 30 and 45 kg/ha). The experimental results indicated that application of nitrogen @ 90 kg/ha being at par with higher N dose (120 kg/ha) significantly increased all growth characters viz., plant height, number of leaves/plant, tillers/plant, leaf : stem ratio and chlorophyll content of leaves. Whereas, number of leaves/ plant increased up to the highest N level of 120 kg/ha during both cutting stages in fodder pearl millet. The quality parameters, namely, crude protein and ether extract increased significantly with increasing nitrogen dose up to 120 kg/ha, but nitrogen fee extract (NFE) and total digestible nutrient (TDN) content in fodder showed reverse trend and recorded the maximum values under control treatment at both the cuttings. Application of zinc sulphate (ZnSO4) up to 30 kg/ha significantly improved growth characters at both the cutting stages. Moreover, the quality parameters also improved with doses of ZnSO4 up to 45 kg/ha.

Key words: Ash, crude protein, crude fiber, ether extract, NFE,TDN, growth, nutrient uptake

Forage Res. 43(2) 116-120