Group Title: Research report - North Florida Research and Education Center ; 94-13
Title: Pearl millet nutrient uptake and agronomic chracteristics in relation to planting date and growth stage
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 Material Information
Title: Pearl millet nutrient uptake and agronomic chracteristics in relation to planting date and growth stage
Series Title: Research report (North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.))
Physical Description: 10 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wright, D. L ( David L )
Teare, I. D ( Iwan Dale ), 1931-
Spitalniak, J. A
North Florida Research and Education Center (Quincy, Fla.)
Publisher: North Florida Research and Education Center
Place of Publication: Quincy Fla
Publication Date: 1994
Subject: Pearl millet -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility: D.L. Wright, I.D. Teare, and J.A. Spitalniak.
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066127
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 71188149

Full Text

NFREC Research Report 94-13

narston Science


University of Florida
D.L. Wright, I.D. Teare', and J.A. Spitalniak

Traditionally pearl millet [Pennisetum qlaucum (L.) R. Br.]

has been managed as a low energy input crop, but it responds to

higher fertilizer rates (Gascho et al., 1995). Environmental

changes associated with planting date of HGMm100 pearl millet

(available water, day length and temperature) and the interactions

with insect and disease cycles must be better understood to

optimize crop yields. These interactions have been defined as

Systems Agriculture in recent years. Knowledge of plant, insect

and disease ontogeny in relation to growth stage, date of planting,

and nutrient uptake makes it possible to compare or to combine

limited bits of pearl millet management information from all over

the world to explain yield phenomena (Teare and Hodges, 1994).

Francis et al. (1984) conducted research that suggested

"planting time may affect genotype yield stability" in sorghum

(Sorqhum bicolor (L.) Moench]. They observed less interaction

North Florida Res. and Educ. Ctr. Quincy, FL 32351, Univ. of Florida, FL 32611); Fla. Agric. Expt. Stn. Res. Rep.
NF 94-13.

for yield between genotypes and environment when hybrids were

planted late than when planted early. This observation was

attributed to more rapid development and less exposure to stress

conditions in later plantings.

Plant tissues accumulate and store nutrients during ontogeny.

Gascho et al. (1995) have investigated above-ground pearl millet

whole plant nitrogen and found increased concentrations of N in

growth stage 4 and 7. Plants in stage 7 displayed lower N

concentration than those found in stage 4.

The objective of this study was to compare NPK concentrations

in relation to growth stages and agronomic characteristics for

pearl millet and to quantitatively describe the total accumulation

of NPK nutrient uptake during the pearl millet growing season.


These studies were conducted in 1993 on a Dothan sandy loam

(fine, loamy siliceous, thermic Plinthic 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 series of experiments was

HGMT100. Pearl millet seed was no-till planted (in-row subsoiled

strip tillage) with a Brown Ro-Til implement with KMC unit


The pearl millet date of planting study was a split plot

design with planting dates (PD) as whole plots and growth stages

determined for six replications in relation to calendar date,

development period, and total water as subplots. Planting dates,

growth stages (GS), and nutrient uptake are shown in Table 1.

Plots were eight rows wide (rows were 36 inches apart) and 30 feet

long. Pearl millet seed were planted 3/4" deep at 4 lbs/A (302,667

seeds/A). This resulted in approximately 166,467 plants/A, or

approximately 55 % emergence.

Fertilizer (5-10-15 at 500 lbs/A) was applied three days prior

to planting. Nitrogen was sidedressed at a rate of 120 lbs/A at

boot stage (GS 5). Prowl @ 1 qt/A + Atrazine @ 2 qt/A were

applied between third visible leaf (GS 1) and 5th visible leaf (GS

2) (Table 1), 10 to 15 days after planting (DAP) when pearl millet

was 3 to 5 inches tall). I

Little rainfall occurred throughout the early growing season

for this experiment. One half inch applications of irrigation were

scheduled in response to paucity of rainfall.

Pearl millet plants were collected for nutrient uptake

analysis five times: first, from May PD, 38 DAP (2.5 feet tall);

second, from June PD, 37 DAP (3 feet tall); third, from April PD,

68 DAP (50 % stigma emerged); fourth, from May PD, 68 DAP (milk-

soft dough); and fifth, from April PD, 98 DAP (maturity).

Nutrient Uptake:

Table 1 presents growth stages, planting dates, cutting days,

and NPK concentration and accumulation for pearl millet.

Generally, nutrient concentration decreased and total uptake

increased during plant ontogeny.

Nitrogen Uptake
Pearl millet showed very high N concentration at stage 4 (98

lb/A) which decreased with ontogeny (Fig. 1) and reached its

maximum uptake (accumulation) (136.7 lb/A) at maturity (GS 6).

Phosphorus Uptake
Pearl millet maximum concentration was at GS 5 and accumulated

till GS 7.5 (0.16 lb/A) and then leveled off.

Potassium uptake
Potassium concentration was highest at GS 4 when the crop was

2.5 feet tall (6.2 %). Potassium accumulated from 203 lb/A at GS

4 through 444.5 lb/A at GS 9 at milk-soft dough stage and then

decreased toward maturity.

Based on this study, millet uses 2-3 times more K at the milk-

soft dough stage than N and 25-40 times more K than P followed by

a greater decline at maturity than N and P. Spitalniak (1995)

reported that pearl millet accumulated more potassium than tropical

or temperate corn.

Agronomic Characteristics:

Pearl millet head lengths and yield are shown for each planting

date in Table 2. The 15 July planting date (PD4) produced less seed

and sustained greater bird predation than the other planting dates.

Lower yield at the later planting date probably wasn't a lack of

available water (18.2 inches PD4 compared to 16.4 inches for PD,).

Seed size changes in relation to planting date indicates that

environment affected grain yield. Contrary to Mahalakshmi et al.

(1988), we found differences in seed size (lb/1000 seed) due to

planting date (Table 2). One would expect that the 15 July

planting date (PD4), with fewer seeds per head, should have large

seeds like PD2 or at least seeds the same size as PD, and PD3, but

the seed size and number of seeds was less than the earlier

plantings. Seed size (lb/1000 seed) and grain yield (Table 2) were

increased by increased available water (19.1 inches for PD2) and

extended the no. days from planting date to maturity to 89

(compared to PD4) of 75 days)(Teare et al., 1995). Thus, PD2 (17

May) may be the optimum planting time for pearl millet in North


Maximum leaf area per plant, main stem, and tillers are shown

in Table 2, in relation to planting date. Two peaks in LA occurred

in PDi, PD2, and PD3 (data not shown). The first peaks were at GS

6, 5.5, and 5.7, respectively. The second peaks were at GS 8,8,

and 7; respectively. The leaf area for PD4 only peaked at GS 6.5.

Leaf area duration (LAD) is defined as the days where LAI was

greater than 3.5. Leaf area duration occurred from the boot stage

(GS 5) to black layer formation (GS 9) for all PD's but PD3 which

attained a LAI of 3.5 when the flag was visible (GS 4) and remained

at 3.5 until black layer formation (GS 9).


Our thanks to E. Brown Agricultural Technician IV; North Fla.

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

preparation and management, data collection, computer processing,

and data illustration.

Francis, C. A., S. Mohammed. L.A. Nelson, and R. Moomaw. 1984.
Yield stability of sorghum hybrids and random mating
populations in early and late planting dates. Crop Sci.

Gascho G.J., R.S.C. Menezes, W.W. Hanna, R.K. Hubbard, and J.P.
Wilson. 1995. Nutrient requirements of pearl millet. pp. 92-97.
In: I.D. Teare (Ed.) Proc. of First Nat. Grain Pearl Millet
Symp. Tifton, GA. Jan 17-18.

Mahalakshmi, V., F.R. Bidinger, and G.D.P. Rao. 1988. Timing ad
intensity of water deficits during flowering and grain-
filling in pearl millet. Agron. J. 80:130-135.

Spitalniak, J.A, D.L. Wright, I.D. Teare, and N.R. Usherwood.
1995. Nutrient uptake (NPK) in relation to growth stage for
pearl millet, tropical corn and temperate corn. pp. 92-97. i
I.D. Teare (Ed.) Proc. of First Nat. Grain Pearl Millet STp
Tifton, GA. Jan 17-18.

Teare, I.D., D.L. Wright, and N.R. Usherwood. 1995. Planting de
effects on HGMTM100 pearl millet physiological development and
agronomic characteristics. pp. 42-46. In: I.D. Teare (Ed.)
Proc. of First Nat. Grain Pearl Millet Symp. Tifton, GA. Jan

Teare, I.D., and Hodges. 1994. Soybean ecology and physiology.
pp. 4-7. In Leon Higley and David Boethle (ed.). ESA Handbook
of Soybean Insect Pests. Lanham, MD 20706.

Wright D.L., I.D. Teare, F.M. Rhoads, and R.K. Sprenkel. 1993.
Pearl millet as an alternate crop in a double-crop system. Fla.
Agric. Exp. Stn. Res. Rep No. NF-93-5: 1-9.

Table 1. N P K concentration and nutrient uptake of pearl millet in relation to planting date, stage of growth, days from planting to cutting, and agronomic
characteristics, Quincy, FL 1993.

Growth Planting Planting Concentration Total N Total P Total K
Crop stage Description date to cutting % N % P % K uptake uptake uptake
(days) (lb/A) (lb/A) (lb/A)

Pearl 4 2.5 feet tall 15 May 38 2.96 0.19 6.20 98.1 6.1 203.2
millet 5 3.0 feet tall 15 June 37 2.91 0.21 6.50 108.4 7.8 243.6
(HGMTo100) 6 50% stigma emerged 15 April 68 2.34 0.16 5.20 143.6 9.9 315.5
7.5 milk-soft dough 15 May 68 1.35 0.16 4.30 139.7 16.0 444.5
9 maturity 15 April 98 1.33 0.14 3.40 136.7 14.1 341.7

Table 2. Mean agronomic characteristics of pearl millet at maturity unless otherwise specified in relation to planting date, Quincy, FL 1993.

Grain +
Grain Yield Stalk
Planting Plant'J Head Stem Leaf Stalk3' Seed size Cage Max LAI
date Ht. length2J DW DW DW (lb/1000 Harested Main LADJ
(inches) (inches) (Ton/A) (Ton/A) (Ton/A) seeds) (lb/A) (T/A) (Bu/A) (% grain)' stem Tillers Plant days

5 May 82 13.5 7.1 3.3 10.4 0.015 3266 1.63 57 15.6 1.4 3.0 4.4 50

17 May 76 15.0 8.8 4.5 13.3 0.022 3705 1.85 65 13.9 5.6 2.9 8.5 53

15 June 78 12.5 7.1 4.9 12.1 0.014 2998 1.50 53 12.4 2.6 2.4 5.0 50

15 July 65 11.8 5.1 3.3 8.4 0.008 2029 1.01 36 12.0 2.1 3.4 5.6 40

'J Approximately 166,467 pl/A.

2J Approximately 144,600 hd/A.

3J Grain (T/A) = % grain; stalk DW = leaf DW + stem DW
Stalk (T/A)

4J LAD = leaf area duration, the days from LAI of 3.5 to black layer formation(LAI = 3.5).

150 Nitrogen

140 P-earl millet


02 Z

1 100


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Stage of growth




Stage of growth






Pearl millet




F 200
0 0



S\ Pearl millet

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Stage of growth


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