Pearl millet, nitrogen, phosphorus, forage yield, nutritive value, TifLeaf 3


There is limited information on the nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilizer requirement of pearl millet forage in dryland systems. Determination of optimum N and P rates for pearl millet forage production in dryland environments of the Great Plains will have economic advantage for farmers and ranchers growing pearl millet for forage. A field experiment was conducted in 2016 at the Agricultural Research Center-Hays, KS, to investigate N and P fertilizer application effects on forage yield and nutritive value of pearl millet. Factorial combinations of five levels of N (0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 lb/a) and three levels of P (0, 15, and 30 lb/a) were evaluated in randomized complete block design with four replications. A forage-hybrid cultivar, TifLeaf 3, released by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) unit at the University of Georgia (Tifton, GA) was used for the experiment. The seed was drilled in six rows at 15 lb/a in individual plot sizes of 5 ft wide × 30 ft long. The results indicate that N fertilizer application increased forage yield, crude protein content, and in vitro dry matter digestibility. Although increase in N rate increased the protein content and digestibility of the forage, this single season on-station experiment indicates that N rate of 30 lb/a is adequate for pearl millet forage production under rain-fed conditions. Application of P fertilizer had no effect on forage yield. However, applying 15 lb P/a did increase in vitro dry matter digestibility compared to the check treatment.


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