Productivity and Water Use of Proso Millet Grown under Three Crop Rotations in the Central Great Plains
- J. F. Shanahan ,
- R. L. Anderson and
- B. W. Greb
Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a shallow-rooted, shortseason summer annual that is well adapted to the semiarid conditions of the western Central Great Plains. However, cropping systems for proso millet have not been well established in this region. Three proso millet cultivars were grown under three crop rotations, millet-millet (M-M), winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) -millet (W-M) and fallow-millet (F-M), for five growing seasons (1973–1977) to determine water use and productivity of the second component (proso millet) in each rotation. The research was conducted on a mesic Pachic Argiustoll soil at the Central Great Plains Research Station located near Akron, CO. Precipitation during the noncropped period for the W-M and F-M averaged 26 and 145% more, respectively, than the M-M rotation. The W-M and F-M rotations exhibited 7 and 19% more seasonal crop water use, respectively, than the M-M sequence over the 5-yr period of the study. These differences in water use resulted in the W-M and F-M rotations producing 38 and 75% more total dry matter and 50 and 116% more grain yield, respectively, than the M-M sequence. The three cultivars responded similarly to the three crop rotations. Since grain yields were low and variable for the M-M rotation and the noncropped period was quite long (86 wk) and inefficient in soil water storage for the F-M rotation, the W-M rotation appears to be the most efficient rotation of the three rotations evaluated for producing proso millet in this region.
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