Crop geometry and intercropping did not influence the plant height of pearlmillet; Leaf area index of a canopy was important for predicting crop growth (Yin et al., 2003
). Crop geometry showed significant influence of crop (Table 2). Pearlmillet grown under paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
) recorded maximum LAI (3.3) and it was on par with pearlmillet grown under paired row sowing 30/60 x 15 cm (M3
) with LAI of 2.9. The orientation and angle of leaves was created to adjust at paired row sowing which in turns minimise the overlapping of leaves mutual shading resulted in greater leaf development which could increase the leaf area index. Similar results were obtained by Satheeshkumar et al
., (2011). Intercropping system produces significant difference on LAI at all the stages of the crop. No intercrop (S3
) treatment recorded higher LAI at all the stages of crop. This might be due to adequate availability of essential resources like water, nutrients and incoming sunlight without competition from intercrops (Triveni, 2016
Table 2: Effect of crop geometry and intercropping on growth parameters of pearlmillet.
In pearlmillet, number of earheads per hill was one of the factors considerably influencing the yield of crop (Table 3). Among the different crop geometries, there was no significant difference in number of earheads per hill but numerically pearlmillet grown under paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
) recorded higher number of earheads (1.4). Number of earheads were significantly influenced by different intercropping system. No intercrop (S3
) noticed higher number of earheads and was on par with treatment greengram as intercrop (S1
). This might be due to the better development of complementary relationship with greengram and adequate availability of water and nutrients under sole pearlmillet (Yadav et al., 2015
Table 3: Effect of crop geometry and intercropping on yield parameters of pearlmillet.
The earhead length and width was significantly influenced by crop geometry. Among the different crop geometry, the larger earheads were recorded under pearlmillet grown under paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
) which was on par with pearlmillet under paired row sowing 30/60 x 15 cm (M3
) It. may be attributed to better growth and development of plants under less plant density which leads into better source to sink relationship due to availability of balanced and adequate nutrients and better light, space and moisture unlike in narrow spacing (Sharanya et al., 2018).
Similar trend was observed in earhead width also. This might be due to less competition between the crops and more interception of sunlight. These findings were in accordance with Dhimmar and Raj (2009)
. Hooda et al., (2004)
also found similar results where pearlmillet nutrient and feeding area per plant as compared to normal spacing. Similar results were obtained by Ansari and Rana (2012)
and Singh et al., (2019). Baskar and Jagannathan, 2021
reported that all the yield attributing characters were higher under the wider spacing (120 x 60) in cotton. Intercropping system did not influence the earhead length and width of pearlmillet.
Grain yield, stover yield and harvest index (HI)
Crop geometry and intercropping produces significant impact on grain yield of pearlmillet (Table 4). Among the several crop geometries, pearlmillet in paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
) produced maximum yield and was on par with pearlmillet under paired row sowing 30/60 x 15 cm (M3
). This was mainly due to significant increase in yield components viz
., number of earheads per hill, earhead length, earhead width and thousand grain weight and it was achieved due to better light distribution upto lower leaves, sufficient availability of soil moisture and higher nutrient uptake in paired row system which in turn increased the photosynthetic rate resulted in increased sink size and finally reflected on the crop yield. This result was similar with the findings of Singh and Singh (2001)
. Among the different intercrops, no intercrop (S3
) produced more pearlmillet yield which was on par with green gram (S1
). Because of competition free environment and greengram seems to be less harmful for pearlmillet. This might be due to its short life span and also their growth peaks were not coincided with each grain yield and stover yield were statistically on par in both pearlmillet + greengram intercropping system and sole pearlmillet. Similar trend was observed in stover yield also. Harvest index did not show significant difference under different crop geometry and intercropping system. However, maximum harvest index of 0.34 observed in pearlmillet in paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
). With regard to intercropping systems, all treatments recorded similar harvest index of 0.33. The treatment interaction found to be non-significant under crop geometry and intercropping systems.
Pearlmillet grain equivalent yield (PEY) and benefit cost ratio (BCR)
Table 4: Influence of crop geometry and intercropping on yield, HI, PEY and BCR of pearlmillet.
Higher grain equivalent yield was obtained under pearlmillet in paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
). Intercropping system also showed significant difference on pearlmillet grain equivalent yield. The higher equivalent yield was recorded in greengram (S1
). The treatment interaction also made significant effect on pearlmillet grain equivalent yield. Pearlmillet under paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
) + greengram (S1
) recorded higher equivalent yield. Higher yield of pearlmillet and additional advantage of greengram yield due to healthy complementary relationship and good price of greengram might resulted in highest pearlmillet equivalent yield. Similar result was obtained by Rana et al., (2006)
and Yadav et al., (2015)
. Pearlmillet under paired row sowing 30/90 x 15 cm (M4
) + greengram (S1
) obtained higher benefit cost ratio and it might be due to higher yield of pearlmillet under wider spacing and extra yield obtained from intercrop made the higher advantageous of combination. This results were similar with the outcome of Choudhary (2009)
in which intercropping of pearlmillet with greengram in 2:2 paired rows was found more profitable than sole pearlmillet. Panjab and Joshi (1980)
also obtained more profit in pearlmillet + moth bean (2:2) intercropping system.