Group Title: Research report (North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.))
Title: A method for salvaging bird damaged pearl millet research
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 Material Information
Title: A method for salvaging bird damaged pearl millet research
Series Title: Research report (North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.))
Physical Description: 9 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Pudelko, J. A
Wright, D. L ( David L )
Teare, I. D ( Iwan Dale ), 1931-
North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.)
Publisher: North Florida Research and Education Center
Place of Publication: Quincy Fla
Publication Date: 1993
Subject: Pearl millet   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility: J.A. Pudelo, D.L. Wright, I.D. Teare.
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066114
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71173952

Full Text


J.A. Pudelko, D.L. Wright, I.D. Teare / ,


Pearl Millet [Pennisetum qlaucum (L.)] is a potentially-

productive, high-quality grain crop that is highly susceptible to

bird damage in small plots and in areas around the outside of large

fields. Even when research plots are in the center of a large

field of pearl millet, treatments that change the physiological

maturity (specifically the soft dough stage which red winged

blackbirds seem to prefer and seek out) of certain plots will

result in their destruction. Our objective was to relate pearl

millet grain yields with head length and seed size measurements of
undamaged panicles selected for specific head lengths (15, 12, and

9 inches) with linear regression for predicting grain head yields

per unit area and estimation of grain yield per acre of bird

damaged pearl millet research plots. This research was conducted

on a Norfolk sandy loam located on the North Florida Res. and Educ.

Ctr., Quincy FL with HGM-100 (W.W. Hanna, Tifton, GA) pearl millet

hybrid. Three hundred and sixty pearl millet (HGM-100) panicles

that were not damaged by birds were selected at random for three

different lengths of panicle (15, 12, and 9 inches in length) for

J.A. Pudelko; Agric. Univ. Inst.of Soil Cult. and Plant
Prod.,Mazowiecka 45/46, 60-623 Poznan', Poland:
D.L. Wright, I.D. Teare; North Florida Res. and Educ. Ctr. Quincy,
FL 32351 (Dept of Agronomy, Inst. of Food and Agric. Sci., Univ. of
Florida, FL 32611) Florida Agric Exp. Stn. Res. Rep. No. NF 93-12.
*Corresponding author.

grain yield and linear regression analysis. A simple linear

equation is presented for predicting grain head yields: Y = 6.98 +

191.22 X, where Y = pearl millet head yield and X = head length.

Grain head yields can be predicted if all the head lengths are

measured in a unit area and then converted to yield per acre with

a P < 0.0001.


Pearl millet is a potentially-productive high-quality grain or

silage crop (Burton et al.,1986 and Kumar et al., 1983). It is

grown under low-input management conditions (noncrusting sandy

soils with little fertilizer and limited water; Payne et al., 1990)

and fits the summer growing season presently occupied by crops such

as soybean, peanuts, sorghum, tropical corn, bahiagrass, and

bermudagrass in a year-round multiple cropping system of the

southeastern United States.

Two major problems have been demonstrated by Wright et al.

(1993). First, HGM-100 is a small seeded crop with the need for

uniform depth of planting which can be remedied by improved planter

engineering and careful planter adjustment. Second, is the problem

of the crops susceptibility to extensive bird damage to maturing

panicles (the milk stage is the most susceptible stage) (Wright et

al., 1993).

The objectives of this study was to find a parameter

persistent after bird damage for accurately predicting pearl millet

grain yields for salvaging small plot research that had been

successfully conducted up to the milk stage and bird invasion.


These studies were conducted in 1993 on a Norfolk sandy loam

(fine, loamy siliceous, thermic Typic Kandiudult) located on the

North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, Florida. The

soil has a compacted layer located 8 to 14 inches below the


The pearl millet hybrid used in this study was HGM-100,

developed as a grain pearl millet by W.W. Hanna (1991), Tifton,

Georgia. Pearl millet seed was no-till planted in a weed fallow

field with a Brown Ro-Til implement with KMC planters in a

completely randomized block design with six replications on 29 May

1993. Before the millet was planted, the weeds were burned down

with applications of Round-up (7 May) at 2 pt/A and Gramoxone (21

S May) at 3 pt/A. Seed of pearl millet were planted 3/4" deep at 4

lbs/A (322 000 seeds/A planted) with an emergence of approximately

177 000 plants/A (55% emergence). Plots were 24' X 30' with eight

rows 36" apart.

Five hundred lb of 5-10-15 fertilizer/A was applied on 15 May

before planting. Ammonium nitrate was sidedressed to the side of

the row at 120 lb N/A on 16 July. Prowl @ 1 qt/A + Atrazine @ 2

qt/A was used for weed control (Wright et al., 1993). Herbicides

were applied between stage 1 and 2, about 12 days after planting

when millet was between 3 and 5 inches tall.

Pearl millet heads were measured from top to bottom of panicle

as illustrated in Fig. 1. Twenty pearl millet heads were carefully

selected for each of three specific head lengths (9, 12, and 15

inch) and replicated six times with concomitant measurements of

head grain yields and counts of heads per unit area which were used

for regression analysis. Pearl millet heads were harvested on 28

Sept, dried in a greenhouse, and threshed with a clover threshing

machine that required 20 pearl millet heads per sample for the

threshing operation.

Little rain occurred throughout the growing season for this

rainfed experiment. A total of 19.0 inches of rainfall was

recieved during the pearl millet growing season from 29 May to 28

Aug, 1993. Rainfall events and amounts are shown in Fig. 2.


Wright et al. (1993) experienced extensive bird damage to

pearl millet in some small plot research in 1992 and used a grain

to silage-without grain ratio from an undamaged pearl millet

herbicide study to estimate grain yield from other bird damaged

research plots. This estimate was better than nothing, but a

better predictor of bird damaged pearl millet yield was needed. In

1993, they tested the null hypothesis that pearl millet grain yield

per head could be predicted from head length measurements.

Six replications of 20 non-bird damaged pearl millet grain

heads of specific lengths (15, 12, or 9 inches) were carefully

threshed and grain yield per head and grain weight per seed were

found to be significantly different for each head length (Table 1).

A simple linear regression equation was developed to predict

head yield from head length: Y = 6.98 + 191.22 X, where Y = pearl

millet grain yield (lb/head) and X = head length (inches) with a

* correlation coefficient (r) = 0.96 and P < 0.0001. A simple linear

equation was also developed to predict head yield from grain size

(seed/lb): Y = -1.782 + 1116.44 X, where Y = pearl millet grain

yield (Ib/head) and X = seed weight (lb)/1000 seeds with a

correlation coefficient (r) = 0.90 and P < 0.0001.

When grain size (seed weight (lb)/1000 seeds) and head length

were used in a multiple regression analysis, the equation developed

was: Y = -0.034 + 0.004 X, + 0.763 X2 where Y = pearl millet

grain yield, Xl = head length (inches) and X2 = grain seed size

(seed weight (lb)/1000 seed) with a correlation coefficient (r) =

0.92 and P < 0.0001.

We agree that the best measure of grain yield is from

undamaged pearl millet heads per unit area, but using predictions

S of head grain yield from head length measurements of a specified

unit area can salvage previously collected time consuming research

that is irretrievably damaged in the soft dough stage by birds

The most useful equation for predicting head grain yield--is the

simple linear regression where head length explains 92 % of the

variation in head grain yield.


Our thanks to E. Brown Senior Laboratory Technician; North

Fla. Res. and Educ. Ctr. Univ. of Fla., Quincy, FL; computer

processing, statistical analysis, and data illustration.


Burton, G.W., A.T.Primo, and R.S. Lowrey. 1986. Effect of

clipping frequency and maturity on the yield and quality of

four pearl millets. Crop Sci. 26:79-81.

Hanna, W.W. 1991. Pearl millet-a potentially new crop for the

U.S. In Abstracts of Technical Papers, No. 18, Southern

Branch ASA, 2-6 Feb 1991, Ft. Worth:, TX.

Kumar, K.A., S.C. Gupta, and D.J. Andrews. 1983. Relationship

between nutritional quality characters and grain yield in

pearl millet. Crop Sci. 23:232-234.

Payne, W.A., C.W. Wendt, and R. J. Lascano. 1990. Root zone water

balance of three low-input millet fields in Niger, West

Africa. Agron. J. 82:813-819.

Pudelko, J.A., I.D. Teare, and D.L. Wright. 1993. Induced stress

on pearl millet vs. head length. Fla. Agric. Exp. Stn. Rep.

No. NF 93-13:1-17.

Wright, D.L., I.D. Teare, F.M. Rhoads, and R.K. Sprenkel.- 1993.

Pearl millet production in a no-tillage system. p. 152-159.

In P. Bollich (Ed.) 1993 Southern Conservation Tillage

Conference for Sustainable Agriculture. June 15-17, Monroe,

LA. SB 93-1.

* Table 1. Pearl millet grain yield, and grain size for six
replications of each head length (9, 12, and 15 inch); Quincy, FL,

Head Grain Grain
length' size2,4 yield3'4
Rept. (inch) (lb/1000 seeds) (lb/head)

1 15 0.0150 0.0467
2 15 0.0139 0.0377
3 15 0.0139 0.0398
4 15 0.0142 0.0452
5 15 -0.0146 0.0382
6 15 0.0135 0.0410

x 0.0142 A 0.0414 A

1 12 0.0122 0.0225
2 12 0.0120 0.0220
3 12 0.0132 0.0221
4 12 0.0130 0.0218
5 12 0.0143 0.0299
6 12 0.0133 0.0314

x 0.0130 B 0.0250 B

1 9 0.0109 0.0130
2 9 0.0086 0.0144
3 9 0.0102 0.0154
4 9 0.0109 0.0111
5 9 0.0095 0.0112
6 9 0.0090 0.0096

X 0.0098 C 0.0124 C

SThree specific head lengths selected at random from non-bird-
damaged pearl millet. Each replication is the mean of 20 pearl
millet heads.

2 Grain size (seed weight (lb)/1000 pearl millet seed) of the three
specific head lengths.

SGrain yield was collected for each 20 heads per replication,
divided by twenty and expressed as yield/head.

4 Mean values in columns followed by the same letter are not
significantly different at the 5% level of significance.

Figure 1. Length of pearl millet head measured as illustrated.

I I %


136 151 166 1

81 196 211

Day of Year

226 241 256

Figure 2. Rainfall during the 1993 pearl millet growing season in

relation to rainfall amounts and dates of events.

V 4

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