Scholarly article on topic 'Response of growth and forage yield of pearl millet (Pennisetum galucum) to nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height'

Response of growth and forage yield of pearl millet (Pennisetum galucum) to nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — M.G. Shahin, R.Th. Abdrabou, W.R. Abdelmoemn, Maha. M. Hamada

Abstract Two field experiments were conducted in the experimental station farm, faculty of agriculture, Ain Shams University at Shalakan, Kalubia Governorate, during the two growing seasons, i.e. 2009 and 2010, to investigate the response of growth and forage yield production of pearl millet cv. Shandaweel 1 to nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height above the soil surface. Four nitrogen rates as ammonium nitrate (33.5%N), 0, 30, 45, and 60kgN/fed, were arranged in the main plots and two levels of cutting heights (10 and 20cm above the soil surface) in the subplot with four replicates in split-plot design. In the second season, nitrogen application increased up to 75kgN/fed. The main results were as follows: Significant increases were appeared in plant height (cm), number of tillers/m2, number of leaves/m2, and leaf area index during the two growing seasons as nitrogen fertilization rates increased except at the third cut in the first season for plant height (cm) and number of tillers/m2, the first and second cuts of the first season for number of leaves/m2 and at the third cut during the first season of study for leaf area index, while leaf/stem ratio was not affected significantly during the two growing seasons. Green forage yield/fed was significantly increased as nitrogen application rates increased during the two growing seasons except at the third cut of the first season of study. Increasing nitrogen fertilization rates up to 75kgN/fed caused significant increases in dry forage yield during the three collected cuts in the second season of study and the second cut during the first season of study as well as in the combined results. Plant height (cm) was significantly affected as cutting height above the soil surface increased in the second cut (2009) and the first cut (2010) where plant height increased at 10cm as cutting height than at 20cm above the soil surface. Significant differences were appeared in number of tillers/m2 as cutting height varied from 10 to 20cm in the two studied seasons. The highest cut of number of tillers/m2 was scored at 20cm cutting height than those at 10cm in the second and third cuts during the two growing seasons. A number of leaves/m2 as well as leaf area index were influenced significantly as cutting height increased during the two growing seasons except in the second and third cuts during 2009 or the third cut during 2010 for number of leaves/m2 and in the second cut of the first season (2009) and the third cut during 2010 for leaf area index. Significant effects were noticed in leaf/stem ratio as cutting height differed in the second or third cut in 2009 and in the three collected cuts in combined analysis. Green forage yield, dry forage yield/feddan increase significantly as cutting height differed during the two growing seasons as well as the combined results except in the first cut during the first season of study for dry forage yield. Green forage yield as well as dry forage yield was significantly affected by the interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height, where the highest yield was detected with adding 60–75kgN/fed and 20cm as cutting height (30.7ton/fed).

Academic research paper on topic "Response of growth and forage yield of pearl millet (Pennisetum galucum) to nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height"

Annals of Agricultural Science (2013) 58(2), 153-162

Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University Annals of Agricultural Science

www.elsevier.com/locate/aoas

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Response of growth and forage yield of pearl millet (Pennisetum galucum) to nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height

M.G. Shahin *, R.Th. Abdrabou, W.R. Abdelmoemn, Maha. M. Hamada

Agronomy Department, Faculty of Agric., Ain Shams Univ., Cairo, Egypt

Received 10 June 2013; accepted 22 June 2013 Available online 7 September 2013

Abstract Two field experiments were conducted in the experimental station farm, faculty of agriculture, Ain Shams University at Shalakan, Kalubia Governorate, during the two growing seasons, i.e. 2009 and 2010, to investigate the response of growth and forage yield production of pearl millet cv. Shandaweel 1 to nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height above the soil surface. Four nitrogen rates as ammonium nitrate (33.5%N), 0, 30, 45, and 60 kg N/fed, were arranged in the main plots and two levels of cutting heights (10 and 20 cm above the soil surface) in the subplot with four replicates in split-plot design. In the second season, nitrogen application increased up to 75 kg N/fed. The main results were as follows: Significant increases were appeared in plant height (cm), number of tillers/m2, number of leaves/m2, and leaf area index during the two growing seasons as nitrogen fertilization rates increased except at the third cut in the first season for plant height (cm) and number of tillers/m2, the first and second cuts of the first season for number of leaves/m2 and at the third cut during the first season of study for leaf area index, while leaf/stem ratio was not affected significantly during the two growing seasons. Green forage yield/fed was significantly increased as nitrogen application rates increased during the two growing seasons except at the third cut of the first season of study. Increasing nitrogen fertilization rates up to 75 kg N/fed caused significant increases in dry forage yield during the three collected cuts in the second season of study and the second cut during the first season of study as well as in the combined results. Plant height (cm) was significantly affected as cutting height above the soil surface increased in the second cut (2009) and the first cut (2010) where plant height increased at 10 cm as cutting height than at 20 cm above the soil surface. Significant differences were appeared in number of tillers/m2 as cutting height varied from 10 to 20 cm in the two studied seasons. The highest cut of number of tillers/m2 was scored at 20 cm cutting height than those

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +20 0109294652. E-mail address: mostafashhn@yahoo.com (M.G. Shahin). Peer review under responsibility of Faculty of Agriculture, Ain-Shams University.

KEYWORDS

Pearl millet; Pennisetum galucum; Nitrogen fertilizer; Cutting height; Fresh forage yield; Dry forage yield

0570-1783 © 2013 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aoas.2013.07.009

at 10 cm in the second and third cuts during the two growing seasons. A number of leaves/m2 as well as leaf area index were influenced significantly as cutting height increased during the two growing seasons except in the second and third cuts during 2009 or the third cut during 2010 for number of leaves/m2 and in the second cut of the first season (2009) and the third cut during 2010 for leaf area index. Significant effects were noticed in leaf/stem ratio as cutting height differed in the second or third cut in 2009 and in the three collected cuts in combined analysis. Green forage yield, dry forage yield/feddan increase significantly as cutting height differed during the two growing seasons as well as the combined results except in the first cut during the first season of study for dry forage yield. Green forage yield as well as dry forage yield was significantly affected by the interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height, where the highest yield was detected with adding 60-75 kg N/fed and 20 cm as cutting height (30.7 ton/fed).

© 2013 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams

University.

Introduction

In Egypt, one of the most important problems for animal production is the reduction in forage crops productivity during the summer season. So, increasing forage crop productivity per unit area during the summer season or/and increasing the cultivated area of summer forage crops especially in the newly reclaimed lands become the back bone to solve this problem. Pearl millet is a summer forage crop which can be cultivated in the newly reclaimed lands to overcome this problem. To increase the forage production of pearl millet, it depends on many factors as mineral nutrition, soil fertility, sowing data, cutting height, etc.

Increasing nitrogen fertilization rates caused significant effect in many growth attributes of pearl millet as well as forage yield such as plant height at the rate of 80 kg N/ha (El-tilib et al., 2006), 90 kg N/fed (El-Houssini and Nasser, 1998; Manohar et al., 1991; Lakhana et al., 2005), 100 kg N/ha, (Puri and Tiwana, 2005), and 180 kg N/ha (Ayub et al., 2009) and (Pathan et al., 2010), number of tillers at 80 kg N/ ha (Verna et al., 2006), 90 kg N/ha (Lakhana et al., 2005 and Pathan and Bhilare, 2009), 100 kg N/ha (Pathan et al., 2010), 180 kg N/ha (Mesquita and Pinto, 2000), and 470 kg N/ha (Jinxing et al., 1998), number of leaves at rates of 90 kg N/ fed (El-Houssini and Nasser, 1998), 100-180 kg N/ha (Puri and Tiwana, 2005; Ayub et al., 2007, 2009), at rate of 80 kg N/ha (Bacci et al., 1999; Kathju et al., 2001); 90 kg N/ ha (Lakhana et al., 2005; El-tilib et al., 2006), 180 kg N/ha (Ayub et al., 2009) and 300 kg N/ha (Myandoab et al., 2011), leaf/stem ratio at rate of 90 kg N/fed (Hassan et al.,

2008), 135 kg/ha (Habib et al., 2007) and 300 kg N/ha (Piri and Tavassoli, 2012).

Green forage yield of pearl millet was at rates 120 kg N/fed (Mousa, 1991), 90-100 kg N/ha (Sharma et al., 1999; Manohar et al., 1991; Tiwana et al., 2003) and 180 kg/ha (Ayub et al.,

2009), and dry matter yield was at the rate of 90 kg N/fed (El-Houssini and Nasser, 1998); 90-120 kg N/ha (Tiwana et al., 2003; Lakhana et al., 2005; Puri and Tiwana, 2005; Hegde et al., 2006; Bhilare et al., 2010) and 180 kg N/ha (Ayub et al., 2009).

Growth attributes of some summer forage crops were influenced by cutting height above the soil surface such as plant

height of pearl millet at 15-30 cm (El-Houssini and Nasser, 1998), number of tillers (Koraiem et al., 1983), and leaf area index (El-Houssini and Nasser, 1998).

Forage yield (green or dry) of some summer crops influenced by cutting height above the soil surface (Creel and Fribourg, 1981) in sorghum (Koraiem et al., 1983 and El-Houssini and Nasser, 1998) and in pearl millet.

Materials and methods

Two field experiments were carried out during the two growing seasons; 2009 and 2010 at Shalakan Experimental Farm, Kalubia Governorate, Egypt, to study the response of growth and forage yield production of pearl millet to four treatments of nitrogen application (0, 30, 45, and 60 kg/fed) besides 75 kg N/fed at the second season of study only and two cutting height (10 and 20 cm) above the soil surface. Nitrogen fertilizer rates were applied in the form of ammonium nitrate (33.5%N) in three equal portions. The first portion was added at 7 days from sowing just before irrigation, the second portion was added after the first cut just before irrigation, i.e. 105 days from sowing, and the third portion was added after the second cut just before irrigation, i.e. 140 days from sowing.

Pearl millet grains cv. Shandaweel 1 were sown on 15th May and 22nd May in the first and second seasons, respectively. The recommended cultural practices were followed as followed in Kalubia Governorate.

Data of growth attributes, i.e. plant height (cm), number of tillers/m2, number of leaves/m2, leaf area index, leaf/stem ratio, and forage yield as green and dry (ton/fed), were recorded just before the three cuts.

Statistical analysis

Treatments were arranged in split-plot design in four replicates where nitrogen fertilization rates were in the main plots while cutting height in the subplot. The subplot area was 15 m2. Data obtained were statistically analyzed, and combined analysis of variance for the two seasons was practiced as mentioned by (Snedecer and Cochran, 1967).

Table 1 Effect of nitrogen fertilization rates (N) and cutting height (C) on plant height (cm) of pearl millet during the two growing

seasons; 2009 and 2010 and combined results.

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 105.74 100.65 103.20 76.35 87.48 81.92 74.97 69.09 72.03

30 116.67 107.26 111.97 105.06 98.54 101.80 77.90 75.46 76.68

45 120.30 111.92 116.11 111.50 103.28 107.39 81.41 78.42 79.92

60 127.15 120.73 123.94 139.13 104.67 121.90 88.90 71.94 80.42

Mean 117.47 110.14 108.01 98.49 80.80 73.73

LSD 5%

N 12.02 15.45 n.s.

C n.s. 6.22 n.s.

N * C n.s. 12.45 n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 73.40 63.88 68.64 76.45 70.75 73.60 64.70 63.8 64.25

30 81.00 80.88 80.94 74.70 70.15 72.43 70.10 68.03 69.07

45 106.95 95.35 101.15 96.60 88.78 92.69 88.82 87.97 88.40

60 112.15 103.80 107.98 102.90 97.55 100.23 96.20 85.53 90.87

75 142.98 111.95 127.47 114.70 101.35 108.03 88.05 87.88 87.97

Mean 103.30 91.17 93.07 85.72 81.57 78.64

LSD 5%

N 11.32 12.48 9.26

C 7.04 5.04 n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Combined results

Zero 89.57 82.27 85.92 76.40 79.12 77.76 69.84 66.45 68.14

30 98.84 94.07 96.45 89.88 84.35 87.11 74.00 71.75 72.87

45 113.63 103.64 108.63 104.05 96.03 100.04 85.12 83.20 84.16

60 119.65 112.27 115.96 121.02 101.11 111.06 92.55 78.74 85.64

75 142.98 111.95 127.47 114.70 101.35 108.03 88.05 87.88 87.97

Mean 112.93 100.84 101.21 92.39 81.91 77.6

LSD 5%

N 5.97 6.63 5.11

C 4.13 3.00 n.s.

N * C 8.44 n.s. n.s.

n.s. = nonsignificant.

Results and discussion

Growth study Plant height

Data presented in Table 1 reveal that plant height was affected significantly by the application of nitrogen fertilization. These results were fairly true in two growing seasons; 2009 and 2010 and combined results except in the third cut of the first season only. With increasing nitrogen fertilization rates, plant height increased either in 2009 or 2010 and combined analysis except in the third cut of the second season or/ and second cut in combined results with adding 75 kg N/fed. These results may be due to the effect of nitrogen fertilization in pushing growth of pearl millet and the increments in internode length or/and number of internodes. Similar trend was reported by Ayub et al. (2009), El-Sarag and Abu Hashem (2009) and Pathan et al. (2010).

Plant height was affected significantly by cutting height in the second cut of the first season or in the first and second cuts of the second season and in the combined results. Plant height was taller at 10 cm cutting height than at 20 cm. The depression in plant height at 20 cm as cutting height than those of 10 cm may be due the part of stems remained in the soil surface. These observations were attended by Koraiem et al. (1983) and El-Houssini and Nasser (1998).

Data in Table 1 reveal that plant height was not affected significantly by the interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting heights in the two studied seasons as well as in the combined analysis in the three cuts except in the second cut during the first season and the first cut in the combined results.

Number of tillers

Data in Table 2 indicate that nitrogen fertilization rates showed significant effect on number of tillers/m2 of pearl millet

Table 2 Effect of nitrogen fertilization rates (N) and cutting height (C) on number of tillers/m2 of pearl millet during the two growing

seasons; 2009 and 2010 and combined results

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 128.65 107.50 118.08 58.50 71.00 64.75 53.75 57.75 55.75

30 138.50 107.50 123.00 70.75 77.32 74.04 53.00 57.00 55.00

45 161.25 141.75 151.50 80.50 87.67 84.09 59.65 61.33 60.49

60 138.65 124.25 131.45 76.00 89.00 82.50 61.38 63.75 62.57

Mean 141.76 120.25 71.44 81.25 56.95 59.96

LSD 5%

N 15.77 10.69 n.s.

C n.s. 9.26 n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 88.50 68.00 78.25 48.75 70.50 59.63 43.75 74.00 58.88

30 131.75 130.25 131.00 72.50 91.25 81.88 58.25 64.50 61.38

45 241.50 215.50 228.50 82.50 112.50 97.50 93.75 122.75 108.25

60 243.75 126.75 185.25 79.25 118.50 98.88 90.50 98.25 94.38

75 188.65 175.25 181.95 117.00 130.25 123.63 94.00 108.75 101.38

Mean 178.83 143.15 80.00 104.60 76.05 93.65

LSD 5%

N 65.47 32.03 23.90

C 29.73 16.80 8.89

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Combined results

Zero 108.58 87.75 98.16 53.63 70.75 62.19 48.75 65.88 57.31

30 135.13 118.88 127.00 71.63 84.29 77.96 55.63 60.75 58.19

45 201.38 178.63 190.00 81.50 100.09 90.79 76.70 92.04 84.37

60 191.20 125.50 158.35 77.63 103.75 90.69 75.94 81.00 78.47

75 188.65 175.25 181.95 117.00 130.25 123.63 94.00 108.75 101.38

Mean 164.99 137.20 80.28 97.82 70.20 81.68

LSD 5%

N 31.71 17.73 12.95

C 13.49 9.18 5.60

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

n.s. = nonsignificant.

plants. These effects were appeared during the two growing seasons; 2009 and 2010 and the combined results in the three studied cuts, except in the third cut during the first season of study. With increasing nitrogen fertilization rates from zero up to 45 kg N/fed, number of tillers/m2 increased and then decreased as nitrogen fertilization increased up to 60 or 75 kg N/ fed. These results may be regarded to nitrogen effect in increasing number of tillers/plant. These results are in agreement with those obtained by Mesquita and Pinto (2000) and Pathan et al. (2010).

Cutting height showed significant effect in number of til-lers/m2 as shown in Table 2 such affected was noticed in the two growing seasons and their combined results, except the first and third cuts in 2009. Plants which cut at 20 cm from the soil surface scored the highest number of tillers/m2 than those cut at 10 cm from the soil surface in the second and third cuts in the two growing seasons as well as combined

results. The reduction in number of tiller/m2 at 20 cm cutting height treatment may be due to the reduction in number of buds which caused tiller formation. These findings are in harmony with those obtained by Koraiem et al. (1983).

Data presented in Table 2 show that the number of tillers/ m2 was not significantly affected by the interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height in the two growing seasons and the combined analysis in the three cuts under study.

Number of leaves

Data presented in Table 3 show that the number of leaves/m2 was statistically influenced significant by increasing nitrogen fertilization rates in the two growing seasons (2009 and 2010) and the combined results in all cuts except in the first cut and third cut in the first season of study (2009). With

Table 3 Effect of nitrogen fertilization (N) rates and cutting height (C) on number of leaves/m2 of pearl millet during the two growing

seasons 2009 and 2010 and combined results.

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 695.30 546.13 620.72 368.70 275.52 322.11 232.90 206.23 219.57

30 750.95 578.08 664.52 416.98 406.58 411.78 250.00 219.45 234.73

45 814.30 728.05 771.18 494.49 482.49 488.49 267.66 265.15 266.41

60 779.63 698.88 739.26 541.38 520.78 531.08 280.23 225.98 253.11

Mean 760.05 637.79 455.39 421.34 257.70 229.20

LSD 5%

N n.s. 81.74 n.s.

C 101.76 n.s. n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 343.70 291.20 317.45 319.27 250.00 284.64 278.10 160.05 219.08

30 595.90 566.80 581.35 388.50 320.25 354.38 252.27 240.15 246.21

45 1285.30 1082.10 1183.70 639.25 420.38 529.82 583.75 414.60 499.18

60 1348.60 688.90 1018.75 709.17 467.00 588.09 447.83 447.58 447.71

75 1418.80 913.40 1166.10 681.38 765.00 723.19 451.40 484.95 468.18

Mean 998.46 708.48 547.51 444.53 402.67 349.47

LSD 5%

N 353.91 164.15 109.34

C 179.22 80.07 n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Combined results

Zero 519.50 418.67 469.08 343.99 262.76 303.37 255.50 183.14 219.32

30 673.43 572.44 622.93 402.74 363.42 383.08 251.14 229.80 240.47

45 1049.80 905.08 977.44 566.87 451.44 509.15 425.71 339.88 382.79

60 1064.12 693.89 879.00 625.28 493.89 559.58 364.03 336.78 350.41

75 1418.80 913.40 1166.10 681.38 765.00 723.19 451.40 484.95 468.18

Mean 945.13 700.69 524.05 467.30 349.55 314.91

LSD 5%

N 178.04 99.91 59.63

C 98.07 45.66 32.97

N * C 251.78 141.30 n.s.

n.s. = nonsignificant.

adding 75 kg N/fed, the number of leaves/m2 increased in the second season of the growth and combined results during in the first, second, and third cuts. These increases were 267.33%, 154.07%, 113.70%, 148.59%, 138.39%, and 113.47% in the second season of growth and combined results in the three cuts, respectively, as compared with the control treatment (without addition). Saba et al. (1990), Okpara and Omaliko (1995) and Nazir et al. (1997) came to similar conclusion.

Data presented in Table 3 show that the number of leaves/m2 was influenced significantly by cutting height in the two growing seasons; 2009 and 2010 and combined results with exception of second and third cuts in the first season and third cut in the second season. At 10 cm above the soil surface as cutting height, values of number of leaves/m2 were greater than those of cutting height at 20 cm. These findings agree with that obtained by El-Hous-sini and Nasser (1998).

The effect of interaction between fertilization rates and cutting height on number of leaves/m2 was not enough to reach the 5% level of significance during 2009 and 2010 seasons in the three cuts as shown in Table 3. On the other hand, the number of leaves/m2 was influenced significantly as affected by the interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates x cutting height in the first and second cuts of combined results, but the third cut was vice versa.

Leaf area index. Results tabulated in Table 4 indicate that leaf area index (LAI) was affected significantly with adding nitrogen fertilizer except in the third cut of the first season. With increasing nitrogen application up to 60 kg N/fed, leaf area index increased during the two growing seasons; 2009 and 2010 or/and in the combined analysis. These results were fairly true with exception of the third cut in the first season (2009). These increments in LAI as nitrogen fertilization rates

Table 4 Effect of nitrogen fertilization rates (N) and cutting height (C) on leaf area index of pearl millet during the two growing

seasons 2009 and 2010 and combined results.

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 4.94 4.05 4.50 1.94 1.83 1.89 1.66 1.40 1.53

30 4.93 4.73 4.83 3.30 2.87 3.09 1.47 1.38 1.43

45 5.58 5.49 5.54 4.68 4.53 4.61 1.83 1.57 1.70

60 6.26 5.92 6.09 6.45 4.80 5.63 1.70 1.68 1.69

Mean 5.43 5.05 4.09 3.51 1.67 1.51

LSD 5%

N 0.84 1.69 n.s.

C n.s. 0.52 n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 4.65 4.05 4.35 1.97 1.95 1.96 1.26 1.24 1.25

30 4.84 4.84 4.84 3.29 2.44 2.87 1.61 1.32 1.47

45 5.55 5.37 5.46 4.63 4.49 4.56 1.72 1.38 1.55

60 6.49 5.97 6.23 5.17 4.81 4.99 2.01 1.57 1.79

75 6.12 5.83 5.98 5.33 4.94 5.14 2.33 1.94 2.14

Mean 5.53 5.21 4.08 3.73 1.79 1.49

LSD 5%

N 0.99 0.80 0.29

C n.s. n.s. 0.19

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Combined results

Zero 4.80 4.05 4.42 1.96 1.89 1.92 1.46 1.32 1.39

30 4.89 4.79 4.84 3.30 2.66 2.98 1.54 1.35 1.45

45 5.57 5.43 5.50 4.66 4.51 4.58 1.78 1.48 1.63

60 6.38 5.95 6.16 5.81 4.81 5.31 1.86 1.63 1.74

75 6.12 5.83 5.98 5.33 4.94 5.14 2.33 1.94 2.14

Mean 5.55 5.21 4.21 3.76 1.79 1.54

LSD 5%

N 0.62 0.79 0.13

C n.s. 0.35 0.29

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

n.s. = nonsignificant.

increased may be regarded to the increase in leaf area or/and number of leaves per unit area (Table 3) with increasing nitrogen fertilization rates. These trends are in agreement with those obtained by Paciullo et al. (1998), Jinxing et al. (1998) and Kathju et al. (2001).

Leaf area index influenced significantly by cutting height in the second cut (2009), at the third cut (2010) and at the second and third cuts (combined data). At 10 cm from the soil surface as cutting height, plants scored higher LAI than those at 20 cm in the two growing seasons and combined results in all cuts under study. These findings may be owing to the increments in the number of leaves (Table 3). Similar trends were found by El-Houssini and Nasser (1998).

Leaf area index was of pearl millet was insignificantly influenced by the interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates

and cutting height during the three studied cuts in the two growing seasons and combined data (Table 4).

Leaf/stem ratio

Leaf/stem ratio was not affected by the application of nitrogen fertilization rates, except the first cut in combined data as shown in Table 5.

Data in Table 5 approved the differences in Leaf/stem ratio in the second and third cuts in (2009), and the three cuts of the combined analysis reached the 5% level of significance and decreased with increasing cut height from 10 cm to 20 cm.

Leaf/stem ratio was not significantly influenced by the interaction of nitrogen fertilization rates x cutting height during the two growing seasons; 2009 and 2010 and combined results except in the combined data of the first cut at all collected cuts (Table 5).

Table 5 Effect of nitrogen fertilization rates (N) and cutting height (C) in leaf/stem ratio in pearl millet during the two growing

seasons 2009 and 2010 and combined results.

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 1.07 0.98 1.03 1.16 0.98 1.07 0.40 0.40 0.40

30 1.11 1.10 1.11 0.96 0.82 0.89 0.37 0.26 0.32

45 1.25 1.08 1.17 0.93 0.70 0.82 0.41 0.29 0.35

60 0.98 0.93 0.96 0.92 0.55 0.74 0.47 0.35 0.41

Mean 1.10 1.02 0.99 0.76 0.41 0.33

LSD 5%

N n.s. n.s. n.s.

C n.s. 0.15 0.05

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 1.40 1.33 1.37 1.42 1.08 1.25 0.88 0.76 0.82

30 1.22 1.16 1.19 1.07 1.03 1.05 0.83 0.78 0.81

45 0.95 0.91 0.93 1.02 0.94 0.98 0.63 0.60 0.62

60 1.10 1.02 1.06 1.06 0.90 0.98 0.73 0.54 0.64

75 1.80 0.91 1.36 0.92 0.91 0.92 0.57 0.48 0.53

Mean 1.29 1.07 1.10 0.97 0.73 0.63

LSD 5%

N n.s. n.s. n.s.

C n.s. n.s. n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s. n.s.

Combined results

Zero 1.24 1.16 1.20 1.29 1.03 1.16 0.64 0.58 0.61

30 1.17 1.13 1.15 1.02 0.93 0.97 0.60 0.52 0.56

45 1.10 1.00 1.05 0.98 0.82 0.90 0.52 0.45 0.48

60 1.04 0.98 1.01 0.99 0.73 0.86 0.60 0.45 0.52

75 1.80 0.91 1.36 0.92 0.91 0.92 0.57 0.48 0.53

Mean 1.27 1.03 1.04 0.88 0.59 0.49

LSD 5%

N 0.22 n.s. n.s.

C 0.10 0.09 0.06

N * C 0.31 n.s. n.s.

n.s. = nonsignificant.

Forage yield Fresh forage yield

Data presented in Table 6 reveal that fresh yield/feddan of pearl millet was statistically influenced by nitrogen fertilization rates in the three cuts during the two growing seasons, i.e. 2009 and 2010 and the combined results except in the third cut for the first season only. Generally, with increasing nitrogen application, fresh yield/feddan increased. These increments in fresh yield amounted to 2.94, 8.56, 9.92, and 17.63 tons/fed annually with adding 30, 45, 60, and 75 kg N/fed as compared with control treatment (zero N) as shown in combined results. These increments in fresh yield may be due to the increases in plant height (Table 1), number of tillers/m2 (Table 2), and number of leaves (Table 3) as nitrogen application rates increased. Similar re-

ports were obtained by Desale et al. (2000), Ayub et al. (2007) and Bhilare et al. (2010).

Fresh yield/fed was affected significantly by cutting height in the second season of study and in combined results in all cuts (Table 6). On the other hand, cutting pearl millet at 20 cm from soil surface gave the highest fresh yield in the second and third cuts in the two studied seasons. These results may be owing to the great number of buds which gave more tillers and leaves. These results are in a good accordance with those obtained by Hoveland (1960) and El-Houssini and Nasser (1998).

The interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting heights had significant effect in fresh yield/fed in the first cut during the second season and the combined results. On the other hand, annually fresh yield was significantly influenced by the interaction of nitrogen fertilization and cutting heights.

Table 6 Effect of nitrogen fertilization rates (N) and cutting height (C) on fresh forage (ton/fed) of pearl millet during the two

growing seasons 2009 and 2010 and combined results.

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut Total yield

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 4.61 3.56 4.09 4.14 4.31 4.23 2.20 2.22 2.21 10.95 10.09 10.52

30 5.72 5.56 5.64 4.46 4.74 4.60 2.26 2.91 2.59 12.44 13.21 12.83

45 8.77 6.73 7.75 5.24 5.48 5.36 2.49 2.50 2.50 16.50 14.71 15.61

60 9.19 8.41 8.80 5.77 6.70 6.24 2.28 3.04 2.66 17.24 18.15 17.70

Mean 7.07 6.07 4.90 5.31 2.31 2.67 14.28 14.04

LSD 5%

N 1.49 1.40 n.s. 2.25

C n.s. n.s n.s. n.s.

N * C n.s. n.s n.s. n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 3.82 3.24 3.53 2.63 3.56 3.10 2.06 2.62 2.34 8.51 9.42 8.97

30 5.88 5.24 5.56 4.05 4.84 4.45 2.44 2.61 2.53 12.37 12.69 12.53

45 10.04 7.75 8.90 6.15 7.54 6.85 5.02 5.48 5.25 21.21 20.77 20.99

60 10.60 7.70 9.15 5.55 8.88 7.22 4.76 5.76 5.26 20.91 22.34 21.63

75 17.25 9.60 13.43 8.90 10.18 9.54 3.92 4.88 4.40 30.07 24.66 27.37

Mean 9.52 6.71 5.46 7.00 3.64 4.27 18.61 17.98

LSD 5%

N 1.80 1.48 1.10 2.12

C 1.22 1.02 0.63 n.s.

N * C 2.73 n.s. n.s. n.s.

Combined results

Zero 4.22 3.40 3.81 3.39 3.94 3.66 2.13 2.42 2.28 9.73 9.76 9.74

30 5.80 5.40 5.60 4.26 4.79 4.52 2.35 2.76 2.56 12.41 12.95 12.68

45 9.41 7.24 8.32 5.70 6.51 6.10 3.76 3.99 3.87 18.86 17.74 18.30

60 9.90 8.06 8.98 5.66 7.79 6.73 3.52 4.40 3.96 19.08 20.25 19.66

75 17.25 9.60 13.43 8.90 10.18 9.54 3.92 4.88 4.40 30.07 24.66 27.37

Mean 9.31 6.74 5.58 6.64 3.14 3.69 18.03 17.07

LSD 5%

N 1.07 0.99 0.59 1.25

C 0.78 0.58 0.36 n.s.

N * C 1.51 n.s. n.s. 2.15

n.s. = nonsignificant.

Dry forage yield

Data in Table 7 report that dry yield (ton/fed) increased significantly as nitrogen fertilization rates increased from zero up to 75 kg N/fed in the three cuts of the second season of study and combined results as well as in the second cut of the first season of study. Addition of 75 kg N/fed caused annual increases in the dry yield (1.60, 3.13, 4.06, and 6.93 ton/fed) as compared with the control treatment (0 kg N/fed). These results may regard to the increases in photosynthetic products as leaf area or leaf weight and stem length as affected by increasing nitrogen fertilization rates. Many investigates came to similar conclusions (Singh 1999; Puri and Tiwana 2005).

Dry forage yield (ton/fed) was significantly as affected by cutting height during the two growing seasons, i.e. 2009 and 2010 as well as combined results in the three cuts except in the first cut in the first season of study. Cutting height at

10 cm scored the highest dry forage yield in the first cut, while cutting height at 20 cm was the best in the second and third cuts during the two studied seasons. For annual dry yield, significant results were announced in the second season of study and combined results. Herrera et al. (1967), Abdel-Gawad et al. (1983) and Koraiem et al (1983) came to similar results.

Interaction between nitrogen fertilization rates and cutting height had significant effect on dry forage yield/fed in the second cut in 2009 and first or second cuts in 2010 as well as in combined results. In the first cut, adding 60 or 75 kg N/fed and 10 cm as cutting height scored the highest dry forage yield/fed. At the second and third cuts, applying 60-75 kg N/fed and cutting heights at 20 cm gave the height dry forage yield in the two studied seasons or combined results.

Table 7 Effect of nitrogen fertilization rates (N) and cutting height (C) on dry yield (ton/fed) of pearl millet during the two growing

seasons 2009 and 2010 and combined results.

kg N/fed Cutting height (cm)

1st Cut 2nd Cut 3rd Cut Total yield

10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean 10 20 Mean

Season 2009

Zero 2.49 1.81 2.15 0.67 0.95 0.81 0.78 0.83 0.81 3.94 3.59 3.77

30 2.85 2.63 2.74 1.49 1.65 1.57 0.81 1.20 1.01 5.15 5.48 5.32

45 3.00 2.80 2.90 1.48 2.01 1.75 0.87 1.08 0.98 5.35 5.89 5.62

60 3.44 3.02 3.23 1.87 3.33 2.60 0.83 1.19 1.01 6.14 7.54 6.84

Mean 2.95 2.57 1.38 1.99 0.82 1.08 5.15 5.63

LSD 5%

N n.s. 0.82 n.s. 1.68

C n.s. 0.34 0.22 n.s.

N * C n.s. 0.67 n.s. n.s.

Season 2010

Zero 2.42 1.65 2.04 0.80 1.02 0.91 0.74 0.95 0.85 3.96 3.62 3.79

30 2.93 2.58 2.76 1.47 1.58 1.53 0.79 1.54 1.17 5.19 5.70 5.45

45 3.65 3.53 3.59 1.75 2.92 2.34 1.89 2.65 2.27 7.29 9.10 8.20

60 3.53 3.44 3.49 1.94 4.43 3.19 1.93 2.39 2.16 7.40 10.26 8.83

75 6.32 3.18 4.75 2.88 5.44 4.16 1.42 2.18 1.80 10.62 10.80 10.71

Mean 3.77 2.88 1.77 3.08 1.35 1.94 6.89 7.90

LSD 5%

N 0.54 0.55 0.46 0.71

C 0.43 0..38 0.28 0.60

N * C 0.97 0.86 n.s. 1.00

Combined results

Zero 2.46 1.73 2.09 0.74 0.99 0.86 0.76 0.89 0.83 3.95 3.61 3.78

30 2.89 2.61 2.75 1.48 1.62 1.55 0.80 1.37 1.09 5.17 5.59 5.38

45 3.33 3.17 3.25 1.62 2.47 2.04 1.38 1.87 1.62 6.32 7.50 6.91

60 3.49 3.23 3.36 1.91 3.88 2.89 1.38 1.79 1.59 6.77 8.90 7.84

75 6.32 3.18 4.75 2.88 5.44 4.16 1.42 2.18 1.80 10.62 10.80 10.71

Mean 3.70 2.78 1.72 2.88 1.15 1.62 6.57 7.28

LSD 5%

N 0.52 0.44 0.26 0.77

C 0.31 0.24 0.16 0.41

N * C 0.73 0.63 n.s. 1.08

n.s. = nonsignificant.

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