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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of the d2 Dwarf Gene on the Forage Yield and Quality of Pearl Millet1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 4, p. 607-612
    Received: Jan 18, 1969

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  1. Glen W. Burton,
  2. W. G. Monson,
  3. J. C. Johnson Jr.,
  4. R. S. Lowrey,
  5. Hollis D. Chapman and
  6. W. H. Marchant2



Near-isogenic dwarf and tall pearl millet, Pennisetum typhoides (Burm.) Stapf and C. E. Hubb., inbreds (Tilt 23DB and Tift 23B) were compared to ascertain the effect of the d~ gene on forage quality. In spaced plants, the d2 gene reduced rate of growth, internode length, plant height and dry matter yields without otherwise affecting the appearance of the plants. It increased leaf percentage, in vitro dry matter digestibility, and crude protein content of the stems. When grown in dense stand in two-row plots and cut at 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, and 10-week intervals, dwarf millet yielded from 91 to 69% as much dry matter as tall millet. When grown in 0.9-m rows in a well-fertilized field, chopped at the boot stage (74 days after planting) and dehydrated, dwarf millet yielded only 78% as much dry matter as its tall counterpart. But eight dairy heifers fed to appetite ate 21% more dehydrated dwarf forage, gained 49% faster, and produced as much gain per hectare as heifers similarly fed tall forage. When grazed rotationally with the put-and-take system, d2 millet supplied only 85% as many steer days but gave the same total steer gains per hectare and permitted 20% better daily gains than tall millet.

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