Influence of planting dates seeding rates and cultivars on grain yield and other agronomic traits of proso millet
Journal of Production Agriculture 3(2): 184-189
Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is planted over 60 d in the central Great Plains, but little is known about how planting dates and seeding rates affect the crop. Six year .times. location sites were used to examine the influence of planting dates, seeding rates, and proso cultivars on dryland grain yields and other agronomic traits. The tests were conducted from 1973 to 1977 in the semiarid region of western Nebraska (USA) where the rainfall averages 17.5 in/yr. Planting dates ranged from 1 May to 1 July and the seeding rates ranged from 5 to 35 pure live seeds/ft of row in rows 12 in. apart. The three cultivars were 'Cerise', 'Dawn', and 'Panhandle'. The soil types were mesic Aridic Argiustolls with fine sandy loam texture. Grain yield, plant height, days to 50% heading, and bushel weight were significantly influenced by all experimental variables and their interactions. The earlist planting (1 May) increased the days-to-heading and decreased grain yield, height, and bushel weight. Planting dates of 15 May and 1 June were optimal for grain yield, height, and bushel weight. Later planting (15 June and 1 July) produced plants which were lower in yield, height, and bushel weight. Higher seeding rates improved performance at all planting dates. Panhandle, a medium maturing cultivar with a 15 May planting date gave the highest yield of all. Dawn, an early maturing cultivar, yielded better than the other cultivars with late plantings (after 15 June), especially at a higher seeding rate. The seed size of Dawn was slightly smaller than Panhandle, but was more stable over the six environments. It appears that 15 May planting is optimal, and as planting is delayed, it is best to choose a shorter season cultivar and increase the seeding rate.