Origin – Africa from where it has spread to India ,Out of 32 sp. only two are known outside P. glaucum – Pearlmillet, P. purpureum  – Elephant grass – for fodder ,Earlier P. purpurea    

Importance:- Mineral-rich cereal Protein rich (10.5 to 14.5) with a higher level of essential amino acids. They possess biological value similar to wheat & rice. It is a staple food for 100 million. It is also a good forage crop It is also grown as a pasture crop.

SOIL AND CLIMATE: –  Rainfall of 400-750mm Mostly Arid & Semi-Arid regions for vegetative growth moist weather & medium RF is sufficient Temp is 28 to 32º C is optimum for vegetative growth Higher temp at this stage induces early flowering Pearl millet does not resist drought but cut shorts  its life cycle and comes flowering early under adverse conditions Rainfall during flowering & grain formation– poor grain setting Rain at grain maturity – ergot disease due to high humidity & low temp. Hence optimum time of sowing is very vital for this crop Loamy sands to loams, well-drained, non-saline and non-alkaline are more suitable Sensitive to waterlogged areas

VARIETIES:   

  1. Composite/Synthetic:- W.C.C-75, I-C.M.S-7703
  2. Hybrid: – MHB-110, MH-179 Pusa 23 (MH 169), Pusa 322, ICMH 451, ICHM 356 ,HHB 60, 67, 68, 50 ,RHB 30, 90 ,MH 605 (Pusa 605), MH 790, MH 782SOWING TIME: -Optimum time plays vital Delay in sowing leads to disease and reduced grain yield Mid July is more suitable – onset of monsoon

Seed rate:-

4-5 kg if sown behind the country plough.

3.75 kg for nursery cum transplanting.

Optimum population:-

175,000 to 200,000, 45 cm row for certain varieties it may be less than 45(Co 7) In between plants – it is decided after thinning.It may be by ‘inter-ploughing’ , For irrigated crops 15cm between plants may be given.

Always use treated seed. Treat the seed with Apron 355D @ 3 g/kg seed.

NOTE:   Always purchase fresh seeds of Hybrid Bajra every year.

Weed management Manual weeding is costly affair Hence intercultural operation with machinery is more useful to reduce the weed and also plant density To increase tillering thinning is must Herbicides pre-emergence, Atrazine 0.25 kg, Pendimethalin if intercropped with pulses, In addition, a manual weeding can also be

METHOD OF SOWING: –   Ensure enough moisture in the soil for proper seed germination. Sow the seed about 2 to 3 cm deep in rows, 45 cm apart by kera method. Three weeks after sowing thinly the seedlings so that plants are spaced 15 cm apart in the rows. Gaps may be filled by transplanting the seedlings (received by thinning the crop). Bajra can be intercropped with cowpeas, urd/moong by sowing two rows of bajra and one of intercrop.

MANURE AND MANURING: –   The soil may be got tested and accordingly as per the test results, the fertilizers are applied to the crop. In absence of soil tests, following fertilizer schedule may be adopted.

INTERCULTURAL: –   Keep the field free from weeds. Intercultural to a depth of 5 cm but not too near the plants to avoid damage to the roots. Intercultural the crop 3 to 5 weeks of sowing with hand blade hoe or khurpa. Earth up the plants with bullock drawn ridge if the crop is sown in lines otherwise use the spade for this operation.

Water management Highly drought evading crop Requires much lower water than any cereals, 250-350mm is sufficient Utilization of rainwater depends upon, Type of soil, Organic matter content and, Leveling of the field Though it is rainfed crop this crop requires moisture at anthesis & flowering stages 3-4 irrigations is more than sufficient to get good yield.

PLANT  PROTECTION: 

Diseases:-

Insects:-