Planting Date Affects Grain Yield and Height of TifGrain 102 Pearl Millet in the Southeastern Coastal Plain.
Andrea Maas, USDA-ARS, PO Box 748, Tifton, GA 31793 and Wayne Hanna, Univ of Georgia, Po Box 748, Tifton, GA 31793-0748.
Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] is a drought-tolerant cereal grain typically grown as a forage crop in the United States. New high yielding dwarf grain pearl millet hybrids have generated interest in millet as a substitute for corn and sorghum because of its ability to reliably produce grain on sandy, acidic, low fertility soils of the southeastern US. The objectives of this study were to determine optimum planting date, row spacing, and nitrogen rate for grain production. The pearl millet cultivar Tifgrain 102 was conventionally planted into a split-split plot, randomized complete block design with four replications where the main effect was planting date with seven dates in 2001 and eight dates in 2002 (April through August) which were divided into four replications each. Planting date was split into four row spacings (0.2 m, 0.4 m, 0.5 m and 0.9 m), and further split for two nitrogen levels (90 kg ha-1 & 140 kg ha-1). Planting date within years was significant (p≤0.05) for increased yield and height, April through June. Row spacings rates of 0.4 m and 0.5m tended to give the highest yield but were not significant. Height significantly (p≤0.05) increased within and across years as row spacing increased. No significant differences for nitrogen rate were found.