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Forage quality, water use and nitrogen utilization efficiencies of pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum L.) grown under different soil moisture and nitrogen levels

Rostamza, M.; Chaichi, M.-R.; Jahansouz, M.-R.; Alimadadi, A.

Agricultural Water Management 98(10): 1607-1614

2011


ISSN/ISBN: 0378-3774
DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2011.05.014
Accession: 066248343

The increasing scarcity of water for irrigation is becoming the most important problem for producing forage in all arid and semi-arid regions. Pearl millet is a key crop in these regions which needs relatively less water than other crops. In this research, a field study was conducted to identify the best combination of irrigation and nitrogen (N) management to achieve acceptable pearl millet forage both in quantity and quality aspects. Pearl millet was subjected to four irrigation treatments with interaction of N fertilizer (0, 75, 150 and 225 kg ha(-1)). The irrigation treatments were 40%, 60%. 80% and 100% of total available soil water (l(40). l(60), l(80) and lmo, respectively). The results showed that increasing moisture stress (from l(40) to 1100) resulted in progressively less total dry matter (TOM), leaf area index (LAI), and nitrogen utilization efficiency (NUzE), while water use efficiency (WUE) and the percentage of crude protein (CP%) increased. The highest TOM and LAI were found to be 21.451 ha(-1) and 8.65, in l(40) treatment, respectively. TDM, WUE. CP% and profit responses to N rates were positive. The maximum WUE of 4.19 kg DM/m(3) was achieved at l(100) with 150 kg N ha(-1). The results of this research indicate that the maximum profit of forage production was obtained in plots which were fully irrigated (140) and received 225 kg N ha(-1). However, in the situation which water is often limited and not available, application of 150 kg N ha(-1) can produce high forage quality and guaranty acceptable benefits for farmers.

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