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Agronomic Management of Little Millet (Panicum sumatrense L.) for Enhancement of Productivity and Sustainability

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During recent time small millets have been re-evaluated as nutri-cereals. The grains of small millets are used as nutritious food and straw as palatable forage for livestock. Moreover, these crops enrich agrodiversity, check erosion in arid regions, sequester carbon and assure food and nutritional security to smallholders in drylands. But productivity of small millets is less compared to other cereals. Like other small millets, little millet (Panicum sumatrens L.) is also rich in nutrients, possesses other qualities and as a short duration crop it fits to different cropping systems. Sufficient research work has not been carried out on agronomic management targeting higher productivity. An initiative has been taken to gather information from available literature on improved agronomic management of little millet and presented in the article. Further, the article highlighted the future scope of research on the crop.
International Journal of Bioresource Science
Citation: BS: 6(2): 91-96, December 2019
DOI: 10.30954/2347-9655.02.2019.9
© 2019 BS. All rights reserved
Agronomic Management in Little Millet (Panicum sumatrense
L.) for Enhancement of Productivity and Sustainability
Sagar Maitra* and Tanmoy Shankar
M.S. Swaminathan School of Agriculture, Centurion University of Technology and Management, Paralakhemundi- 761 211,
Odisha, India
*Corresponding author: sagar.maitra@cutm.ac.in
Received: 23-06-2019 Revised: 18-10-2019 Accepted: 27-11-2019
ABSTRACT
During recent time small millets have been re-evaluated as nutri-cereals. The grains of small millets are
used as nutritious food and straw as palatable forage for livestock. Moreover, these crops enrich agro-
diversity, check erosion in arid regions, sequester carbon and assure food and nutritional security to
smallholders in drylands. But productivity of small millets is less compared to other cereals. Like other
small millets, lile millet (Panicum sumatrens L.) is also rich in nutrients, possesses other qualities and as
a short duration crop it ts to dierent cropping systems. Sucient research work has not been carried
out on agronomic management targeting higher productivity. An initiative has been taken to gather
information from available literature on improved agronomic management of lile millet and presented
in the article. Further, the article highlighted the future scope of research on the crop.
Keywords: Lile millet; agronomic management; productivity; sustainability
Millets are small seeded coarse cereals; belong to
the family Poaceae, widely cultivated in the world,
mainly in Eurasia and Africa in arid and tropical
regions. Minor millets were important food crops of
the past and presently claimed as the future foods
considering ill eects of global warming and climate
change pronounced more prominently in fragile
ecological conditions. These can be adapted to a
wide range of temperature, moisture-regime and
input condition and can be a potential option for
providing food and feed to millions of smallholders
of drylands and the domestic animals. Moreover,
as C4 plant, millets sequester carbon, thereby
adding to CO2 reduction opportunities, contribute
to improved agro-biodiversity by their diversity
and allow mutually benecial intercropping with
other vital crops (Brahmachari et al. 2018). Among
dierent millets, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and
pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides L.) are considered
as major millet, while small millets are nger millet
or ragi (Eleusine coracana L. Gaertn), barnyard millet
(Echinochloa frumentacea L.), foxtail of Italian millet
(Setaria italica L.), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum
L.), little millet (Panicum sumatrens L.), proso
millet (Panicum miliaceum L.), brown-top millet
(Brachiaria ramosa L. Stapf; Panicum ramosum L.), tef
(Eragrotistef), fonio [Digitariaexilis (white fonio) and
D. iburua (black fonio)] and Job’s tears (Coixlacryma-
jobi).. The acreage of small millets in India is
around 7.0 lakh ha with productivity of 633 kg ha-1
(Anbukkani et al. 2017). The small millets cultivation
is mainly conned in the drylands as rainfed crop.
In addition to ecological and agronomic benets,
millets can oer other advantages, particularly in
nutritional and livelihood security of smallholders
in drylans. Small millets are also considered as
‘miracle crops’, because these have multifaceted use.
Consideration of small millets in cropping system
can provide numerous benets, which include: use
of grain as food and value added food products,
straw as forage, enrichment of agro-diversity,
checking of erosion in arid regions, higher C
Maitra and Shankar
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sequestration and assurance of food and nutritional
security to smallholders (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Uses and benets of small millet cultivation
The millets have always been considered as less
important and the farming of millets is downgraded
to the poor soils and fragile ecological conditions,
unable to realize the potential of improved varieties.
Even today, millets share to seven per cent of
food basket, providing to the food and nutritional
security of the underprivileged people. Since
the 1970s millet has been gaining popularity in
developed countries as a nutritious and delicious
whole grain. Besides, these are gluten free and so
perfect to sensitive and health conscious people.
Among dierent small millets, nger millet occupies
about 80 percent of area and production in India,
however, the cultivation of other small millets is
restricted in few states in India.
Lile millet
The origin of lile millet is not well documented
and considered as Indian origin. The crop has a
name in all vernacular languages of India. This
millet was cultivated or naturalized in India and
Sri Lanka, and cultivated in neighbouring countries
and no diversity and related wild species are found
outside India, suggestive of Indian origin. In the
archaeological excavations of Gujarat dating to 2000-
1500 BC presence of lile millet seeds was evidenced
(Venkatesh Bhat et al. 2018). The cultivation of lile
millet is mainly observed in the states of Karnataka,
Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil
Nadu, Gujarat, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra.
Like other small millets, lile millet is also rich in
nutrients.
Nutritional insecurity is a major threat to the world’s
population that is highly dependent on cereals-
based diet, decient in micronutrients. In addition
to ecological and agronomic benets, millets can
oer other advantages, particularly in nutritional
security of smallholders. Millets are nutritionally
superior to other cereals and considered as ‘nutri-
cereals’ during present days. Each 100 g lile millet
grain contains 65.5 g carbohydrate, 10.1 g protein,
3.89 g fat, 346 Kcal energy, 7.7 g dietary bre, 16.1
mg calcium, 130 mg phosphorus, 91 mg magnesium,
1.8 mg zinc, 1.2 mg iron, 0.26 mg thiamin, 0.05
mg riboavin, 1.3 mg niacin and 362µg folic acid
(Venkatesh Bhat et al. 2018).
Millets started receiving with attention with
the launching of All India Coordinated Millets
Improvement Project (AICMIP) in 1969 and All
India Coordinated Small Millets Improvement
Project (AICSMIP) was established in the year 1986.
The research on small millets has been focused
towards development of high yielding varieties and
improved crop management for enhancement of
productivity. However, sucient research work has
not been carried out for production improvement of
lile millet for dierent agro-climatic regions. Hence
an initiative has been taken up in this article to bring
together the agronomic management practices on
the basis of available literature for enhancement of
productivity.
Improved varieties of and uniform stand
establishment
Little millet covers a marginal area in India,
however, the crop is highly tolerant to moisture
stress and drought and to some extent water
logging and these qualities oer ample scope of
adoption of the crop in diverse situations. Like other
small millets, lile millet is mainly cultivated as
rainfed crop in drylands in poor soils where poor
stand may be a constraint limiting yield potential.
Uniform stand is obtained by sowing quality seeds
of improved varieties in a well tilled bed during
right season at proper spacing. Following the list of
varieties of lile millet cultivated in Indian states.
Agronomic Management in Little Millet (Panicum sumatrense L.) for Enhancement...
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Table 1: State-wise recommended varieties of lile
millet (adopted from Chapke et al. 2018)
State Varieties
Andhra
Pradesh
OLM 203, JK 8, BL-6, DHLM-36-3
Chaisgarh JK 8, BL 6, JK-137, BL-4, JK 36, DHLM-36-3
Gujarat GNV 3, Gujarat GV 2, GV 1, OLM 203, JK 8,
BL-6, DHLM-36-3, DHLM14-1
Karnataka OLM 203, JK 8, BL-6, DHLM-36-3, DHLM-
14-1
Madhya
Pradesh
JK-4, JK 8, JK 36, JK-137, BL-6, DHLM-36-3
Maharashtra Phule Ekadashi, JK 8, OLM- 203, BL-6,
DHLM-36-3, DHLM-14-1
Orissa OLM- 203, OLM -208, OLM-217, BL-6,
DHLM-36-3, DHLM-14-1
Tamil Nadu Paiyur 2, TNAU 63, CO 2, CO 3,C0-4,K1,
OLM -203, OLM -20, BL-6, DHLM-36-3,
DHLM-14-1
Moreover, there are some experimental results on
varieties evaluated in different states. The little
millet culture WV-125 is a pure line selection
from the germplasm accession which recorded
an overall increase of 8.77 per cent in grain yield
(2864 kg/ha) over the local check variety GV-2
(2633 kg/ha) and 43.92 per cent increase over the
national check variety CO-2 (1990 kg/ha) and
WV-125 lile millet culture has been released as
a new variety GNV-3 (Gujarat Navsari Vari-3) for
cultivation during kharif as rainfed in Hilly region
of Gujarat (Patil et al. 2016). The test variety BL
150 was significantly superior to national check
JK 8 (227.63% increase) and OLM 203 (168.63%) at
Jagdalpur, Chaisgarh as reported by AICRPSM
(2017). Experiments carried out in dierent part of
the country indicated the performance of lile millet
varieties. A eld experiment conducted during kharif
2016 at Kolhapur Maharashtra recorded growth and
yield aributing characters and grain and straw
yields of the variety Phule Ekadashi were superior
to OLM 203 (Raundal and Patil, 2017). Though there
was no dierence in N, P and K content of grain and
straw of these two lile millet varieties, uptake of
these nutrients were diered signicantly and Phule
Ekadashi removed more nutrients than OLM 203.
Also the benet-cost ratio of Phule Ekadashi was
more (Patil and Raundal, 2018).
Little millet is mainly cultivated during kharif
season. In Odisha, the crop is sown during middle
of June and in Tamil Nadu in June, however, in
Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka the seeding period
is from end June to rst week of July. Cultivation
of lile millet is also observed during rabi season in
Tamil Nadu and sowing time starts from September
to October. Resource poor farmers of drylands sow
the crop by broadcasting method that requires
12 kg seed ha-1, however, line sowing should be
preferred with a row spacing of 22.5 cm and plant
to plant spacing of 8-10 cm at a depth of 3-4 cm.
Seed requirement for line sowing is 8 kg ha-1. Prior
to sowing seeds may be treated with fungicides like
Captan or Ceresan at the rate of 3 g kg-1of seed to
avoid seedling mortality due to infection of fungal
diseases and thus to assure uniform stand.
Nutrient management
Nutrient management is essential for achieving
potential yield of crops. Though lile millet is a less
demanding crop, the improved varieties develop
respond well to added nutrients because it is
grown mainly in poor soils. Research experiments
conducted on nutrient management showed the
response to added nutrients by lile millet (Bhomte
et al. 2016). Chapke et al. (2018) suggested that
application of 5 t farmyard manure (FYM) ha-1
about a month before sowing is benecial. Generally
In Bihar and Odisha 20:10:00 and in Tamil Nadu
40:20:00 kg ha-1 of N:P2O5:K2O are recommended,
but in Andhra Pradesh and other states a fertilizer
dose of 20:20:00 kg ha-1 of N:P2O5:K2O are applied.
Further, seed inoculation with Agrobacterium
radiobacter and Aspergillus awamori improves
seed yield. A study conducted at Kolhapur,
Maharashtra clearly mentioned that the fertilizer
level 150 per cent recommended dose of fertilizer
recorded significantly highest grain and straw
yields (Raundal and Patil, 2017) and more N, P and
K uptake by the crop (Patil and Raundal, 2018). A
eld experiment was conducted at Shivamogga,
Karnataka in acidic sandy loam soils indicated that
the application of 30 kg N and 20 kg P2O5 with or
without 10 kg K2O performed beer for achieving
growth and yield components and grain and straw
yields (Divyashree et al. 2018b). Further, N, P, K and
protein content of grain and uptake of N, P and K
was more with the application of 30 kg N, 20 kg
P2O5 and 10 kg K2O than other levels of fertilizers
tested (Divyashree et al. 2018a).
Maitra and Shankar
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Integrated nutrient management (INM) is a scientic
approach to supply nutrients to the crops for soil
health improvement and agricultural sustainability.
A eld experiment conducted at Rewa, Madhya
Pradesh revealed that the integrated application of
FYM @ 7.5 t ha-1, N40:P20:K10, calcium carbonate,
zinc sulphate, and borax increased yield aributing
characters, grain yield with higher B:C ratio (Prihar
et al. 2010). Sandhya Rani et al. (2017) reported that
highest grain and straw yields were recorded in the
treatment 100% RDF + neem cake @ 1 t ha-1, however
it was on par with the application of 75% RDF +
neem cake @ 1 t ha-1 + Azospirillum @ 5 kg ha-1 + PSB
@5 kg ha-1, 100% RDF + vermicompost @ 2 t ha-1, 75
% RDF + vermicompost @ 2 t ha-1 + Azospirillum@ 5
kg ha-1 + PSB @ 5 kg ha-1 and 100% RDF + FYM @
5 t ha-1 + Azospirillum @ 5 kg ha-1 + PSB @ 5 kg ha-1.
Integrated nutrient management also inuenced
uptake of macro and micro nutrients. The uptake
of macronutrients (N, P and K) was found to be
the highest in the treatment 100% RDF + neem
cake @ 1 t ha-1 and micronutrients (Zn and Fe) in
the treatment 100% RDF + vermicompost @ 2 t ha-1.
The residual eect of nutrient management on soil
fertility status was also studied in the experiment
and integration of organic manures, biofertilizers
and chemical nutrients showed superiority over
application of only chemical fertilizers. There was
no signicant impact of INM on soil pH, but organic
carbon content was seen the highest in treatments
75% RDF + vermicompost @ 2 t ha-1 + Azospirillum
5 kg ha-1 + PSB @ 5 kg ha-1. The treatments 100%
RDF + neem cake @ 1 t ha-1 showed the highest
availability of N,100% RDF + vermicompost @ 2 t
ha-1 showed the highest available P2O5 and 100%
RDF + vermicompost showed the highest available
K2O. The available Zn and Fe in the soil were found
highest in the treatment 100% RDF + neemcake @ 1
t ha-1, but available Cu and Mn were highest 100%
RDF + vermicompost @ 2 t ha-1 which was probably
due to mineralization of soil organic matter. In
another study, conducted at south Gujarat showed
that little millet performed well with 75% RDN
through chemical fertilizer + 25% RDN through
vermicompost in terms of growth and productivity
of the crop where recommended dose of fertilizer
was 40:20:00 kg N:P2O5:K2O ha-1 (Thesiya et al. 2019).
The studies clearly showed beneficial impact of
INM for sustaining productivity of lile millet in
drylands.
Weed management
The weeds found in little millet field may be
classied into two groups, namely, grassy weeds
and broadleaved weeds. Among grassy weeds
Echinochloa colonum, Enhinochloa crus-gulli,
Dactyloctenium aegypticum, Elusine indica, Setaria
glauca, Cynodon dactylon, Phragmites karka, Sorghum
halepanse are commonly observed. The harmful
sedge Cyperus rotundus is also abundant in lile
millet field. The broadleaved weeds like Celosia
argentia, Commelina benghalensis, Phylanthus niruri,
Solanum nigrum and Amaranthus viridis are also
common. In general, twice inter-cultivation and
one hand weeding in line sown crop and two
hand weeding in broadcost crop are useful for
eective weed control. Moreover, post-emergence
application of 2, 4-D sodium salt (80%) @ 1.0 kg a.i./
ha at 20-25 days aer sowing (DAS) is eective for
controlling broadleaved weeds. Isoproturon @ 1.0
kg a.i. /ha as pre-emergence spray is also eective
in weeds control (Chapke et al. 2018). But AICRPSM
(2017) suggested that pre-emergence application
of Isoproturon @ 0.5 kg a.i / ha along with one
inter-cultivation at 40-45 DAS was a beer weed
management practice for geing higher productivity
of lile millet.
Water Management
Lile millet is basically a rainfed kharif crop for
drylands. But intermient gap between rainy spells
may occur and lifesaving irrigation can be given
if water is available. But where it is grown in rabi
season, crop should be irrigated. Chapke et al. (2018)
suggested providing two irrigations, at 25-30 and
45-50 DAS.
Cropping System
Lile millet is cultivated as rainfed crop is dry areas
and as it is short duration crop there may be scope
of growing second crop if lile millet is planted by
June. Results of multi-location experiments clearly
mentioned that saower or cowpea can be grown
as sequence crop after little millet (AICRPSM,
2017). Moreover, sequential cropping of lile millet
and niger or lentil or gaur can also be taken into
consideration. In south Bihar conditions, lile millet
is followed by niger (Chapke et al. 2018).
Agronomic Management in Little Millet (Panicum sumatrense L.) for Enhancement...
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Under dryland conditions, intercropping system
can be considered as a suitable option for giving
protection against crop failure due to aberrant
weather conditions and to utilize available resources
eciently (Maitra et al. 2019). However, lile millet
based intercropping is very common in dierent
states in India. In alfisols of Karnataka, little
millet + pigeonpea intercropping (4:2) expressed
highest lile millet equivalent yield (LMEY). Relay
intercropping of lile millet + horsegram recorded
more LMEY than pure stand of lile millet alone.
The intercropping combination of soybean + lile
millet (4:2) registered higher land equivalent ratio
(LER) and benet cost (B:C) ratio (Manjunath and
Salakinkop (2017). Sharmili and Parasuraman (2018)
reported that lile millet + pigeonpea with 6:1 row
ratio recorded greater LMEY in Tiruvannamalai
district of Tamil Nadu during kharif season.
Intercropping combination of groundnut and lile
millet (6:1) assured beer resource use eciency as
LER and more B:C ratio (Shwethanjali et al. 2018).
In Odisha intercropping of lile millet + black gram
(2:1) and in Madhya Pradesh lile millet + sesame /
soybean / pigeon pea (2:1) are considered benecial.
Shaliniei al. (2019) opined that intercropping lile
millet and pigeon pea at either 6:1 or 6:2 is benecial.
Future Scope of Research
The research evidences and literary sources clearly
indicate that enough research has not been carried
out on lile millet. Considering the present demand
and importance of the crop, research work should
be carried out in the following directions.
Varietal improvement and evaluation of
promising varieties of lile millet for dierent
agro-climatic regions;
Research on time of sowing, spacing and plant
population for assuring optimum stand;
Ecient nutrient management trials like soil
test crop response and site specific nutrient
management for target productivity;
Studies on response to dierent micro-nutrient
and management;
Contingency measures and need-based
agronomic management with manipulation
of planting geometry, plant population and
nutrient management under aberrant situation;
Water management studies for rabi crop;
Intensive study on cropping system and
intercropping targeting production
sustainability of drylands.
CONCLUSION
Productivity of lile millet can be increased through
adoption of improved agronomic management
practices. Cultivation of improved varieties,
adoption of proper sowing time and spacing assure
uniform stand. The improved varieties respond well
to added nutrients and nutrient management should
be done judiciously. Weed management is essential
for enhancement of productivity of little millet.
Cropping system and intercropping system can
help in achieving more yield and return. Further,
there is enough scope for research on lile millet
like nutrient management trials like soil test crop
response and site specic nutrient management for
target productivity, micro-nutrient management,
contingency crop management and intensive study
in intercropping combinations and proportions for
sustaining productivity.
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... Agricultural sustainability is comprised of food and nutritional security and in developing world malnutrition is a major concern where majority of human population is habituated in cereals-based diet. In this context, millets can be a suitable option for nutritional security of undernourished people of developing countries (Maitra and Shankar, 2019). Apart from nutritional importance, small millets have the qualities to ascertain agricultural sustainability in resource-poor and fragile ecological conditions. ...
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This is an Open Access Journal / article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. All rights reserved. Small millets comes under a group of coarse cereals that are considered as staple food for the tribal people in Asia and Africa, where cultivation of major crops like rice, wheat, maize fails to produce substantial yield. Small millets are valued for their nutritional properties as well as due to their high resistance to abiotic stresses and ability to grow with minimum nutrient input. Minor millets can grow anywhere without exploiting much of the natural resources which in turn leads to sustainable agriculture and environment friendly farming. Small millets are rich source of carbohydrates, dietary fibres, fats, proteins, vitamins essential minerals and trace elements, essential amino acids, anti-oxidants and hence can be regarded as functional foods. Despite its excellent nutritional property and ease of cultivation method, very less scientific research have been done till date on minor millets. They are always being neglected and thus referred as "orphan cereals" by scientists.The presence of phenolic compounds, soluble fibers and starch-lipid-protein interactions in minor millets attribute to theirhypoglycemic properties. These neglected crops can assure both health and food security issues due to their therapeutic properties as well as their capability to resist severe weather conditions.
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Intercropping, an age old agricultural practice of cultivating two or more crops in the same space at the same time is generally adopted for more production by utilizing available growth resources. Choice of crops is very important to reap a better harvest from intercropping. The selection of a suitable intercropping system is sort of complicated issue as the success of intercropping depends much on the interactions between the component crop species, proper management practices and favorable environmental conditions. Intercropping has a huge potential and multiple advantages. The advantages are like efficient utilization of resources, enhancement of soil fertility by including legumes as component in mixture and soil conservation through covering the greater ground cover. Moreover, intercropping reduces attack of insect pest, checks the incidence of diseases and restricts weed population and thus minimizes the use of protection plant chemicals. This article addresses an overall view with a focus on prime advantages supported by evidences from the literature based on earlier research. Highlights m Types and advantages of intercropping m Crop choice in intercropping
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The red and lateritic zone (RLZ) of Eastern India comprises of southwest part of West Bengal, a part of Odisha and Jahrkhand grimly a low position in respect of yield levels compared to many other parts of India. Soil of this area is poor in inherent fertility status with low to medium available nutrients of phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Most of the lands are located on higher elevation and erosion hazards and gully formation are very common. Monsoon rainfall is erratic or unevenly distributed in this region and, thus partial or even total failure of rainfed crops is very common. The major parts of this zone are rainfed, rice-fallow based mono-cropped and cropping intensity of the region is between 125-130%. This region of India is home of millions of resource-challenged small and marginal farmers having poor food and nutritional vis-à-vis economic security. To alleviate this grim situation of drought prone RLZ of Eastern India, intensification of Rice-fallow by inclusion of suitable crops was one the major challenges due to several bio-physical constraints. In this context, Opinion Article Brahmachari et al.; IJPSS, 26(6): 1-7, 2018; Article no.IJPSS.47764 2 being the climate resilient and drought tolerant crops, millets may be the best choice for the rice-based crop sequence, any fallow and marginal land, agro-forestry system or even for popularizing any millet-based crop sequence for escalating the level of livelihood of the small and marginal farmers of the dry tract of RLZ. The objective is to develop a model using implementing millet-based cropping system to address food and nutritional security for the regions like RLZ of eastern India. Available research data on millet production feasibility in the region was used. A multidisciplinary approach was used for value-addition and small-scale agri-industry. In this present paper, we conceptualized the current status, prospects and research strategies for augmenting the millet production system to improve the food and nutritional security across drought prone and red laterite region of Eastern India. We believe that same model can be applied elsewhere in the world with agro-climatic conditions like RLZ.
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A field experiment was conducted during 2016 in the agronomy field of College of Agriculture, University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Shivamogga, Karnataka. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with twelve treatments having three replications. The treatments comprised combinations of three levels of nitrogen (10, 20 and 30 kg N/ha), two levels of phosphorus (10 and 20 kg P/ha) and two levels of potassium (0 and 10 kg K/ha). Among the different combinations of NPK fertilizers tested application of 30 kg N and 20 kg P2O5 with or without 10 kg K2O performed better for achieving growth and yield components compared to lower levels of fertilizer application. The application of 30:20:10 kg NPK/ha achieved taller plants (71.27 cm), more number of leaves (40.87/plant), more tillers (10.87/plant), higher leaf area (514.59 cm2/plant) and total dry matter accumulation (24.25 g/plant). Similarly better yield parameters like number of productive tillers/plant (9-10), panicle length (12-14 cm), number of grains/panicle (484-592) and test weight (3.17-3.39 g) were also achieved in the same set of treatments. Application of 30:20:10 kg NPK/ha achieved highest grain (1580 kg/ha) and straw (1603 kg/ha) yields apart from higher profit (Rs 39897) and was found economically feasible over recommended nutrient level of 20:20 kg NP/ha (additional profit of Rs 8657) and remained best among the tested treatments
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