Balanced Fertilization for Enhancing the Productivity of the Pearl Millet-Wheat-Green Gram Crop Sequence in Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Pearl millet-wheat is a common cropping system in dryland areas of India. However, system yields are often low due to inadequate and unbalanced nutrient application to the crops. This study was initiated to intensify the pearl millet-wheat cropping system through balanced application of nutrients for a targeted system yield as well as by inclusion of a legume crop in the system.


25 Mar 2015

2014 Annual Interpretive Summary

On-farm experiments were conducted at five villages within the district of Agra in Uttar Pradesh during 2013-14 to assess the effect of optimized nutrient management on system productivity and profitability of pearl millet-wheat-green gram cropping system. Eight nutrient application treatments included: T1) farmers fertilizer practice (FFP), T2) fertilization to achieve target yields of 3.75 and 3 t/ha of pearl millet and wheat, respectively, T3) fertilization to achieve a 4 t/ha target yield of pearl millet and wheat, T4) fertilization to achieve a 4.5 and 5 t/ha target yield of pearl millet and wheat, respectively, T5) fertilization to achieve 5 and 6 t/ha target yield of pearl millet and wheat, respectively, T6) N fertilizer omitted from T5 and T7) P fertilizer omitted from T5 and T8) K fertilizer omitted from T5. Green gram was grown on residual fertility after the wheat harvest.

Pearl millet grain yield varied from 3.1 t/ha under FFP to as high as 5.2 t/ha under Nutrient Expert® (NE)-based fertilizer recommendation for 5 t/ha yield target (150-98-70 kg N-P2O5-K2O/ha). The NE-based recommendation for 6 t/ha, out-yielded FFP by an average of 2.3 t/ha in the subsequent wheat crop. The average green gram grain yield under residual effect of T5 treatment was 1.5 t/ha, which was 42% higher than that of residual effect of FFP. The mean reduction in the grain yield of pearl millet due to N, P and K omission was 48, 15 and 18%, respectively, over T5. The corresponding mean figures for yield reduction in wheat grain were 51, 12 and 15%. The mean reductions in grain yield of green gram in the N, P and K omission plots were 30, 33 and 20%, respectively. The quality of produce of all the three crops in terms of protein content, improved significantly with increasing levels of NPK and maximum values were recorded under optimum dose of fertilizers for highest targeted yields of pearl millet and wheat. The optimum nutrient level developed using NE for targeted yield of 5 t/ha for pearl millet and 6 t/ha for wheat proved beneficial as this approach resulted in a mean net income of INR 50,680/ha and INR 71,920/ha vs INR 30,630/ha and INR 35,350/ha with FFP, respectively, for pearl millet and wheat. In green gram, the residual effect of the NE recommendation gave a highest mean net return of INR 65,590/ha.