Abstract:

With the aim of improving the production of ‘Gero’ millet, investigations were conducted at Samaru, Zaria, during the 1903 and 1984 wet seasons to study the effects of three plant populations (40,000 (low); 00,000 (medium) and 120,000 plants/ha (high), three sowing dates and two varieties of millet (Ex-Borno and Dwarf-Gero) on tiller survival and grain yield of pearl millet. At the low plant population tiller contributed maximum (by 60%) to the grain yield. Contribution of the tiller to grain yield at medium, and high plant population was to the extent of 57% and 50%, respectively. The low plant population resulted in relatively higher number of tillers per plant, and low tiller and main-culm mortality. The earliest sown millet with a mean grain yield of 140 kg/ha, performed better than millet sown at the second and third sowing dates by an average of 10% and 22%, respectively. Grain yield in the early sown plot was determined by the number of harvestable heads, number of tillers per plant, longer time to – 50% – flowering as well as tiller contribution to grain yield. These results indicated that Dwarf-Gero excelled Ex-Homo as judged by time to 50% flowering to grain yield as well as resistance to drought. Plant population had significant effect on ‘Gero’ millet grain yield. The Dwarf-Gero out-yielded Ex-Borno by a margin of almost 50% in grain yield in 1903, while in 1984 when the rainfall was more adequate, they both yielded at par, indicating the drought resistance of Dwarf-Gero