Selection criteria for culm strength in Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatumL.) to suit mechanical harvesting
AbstractKodo millet is an important small millet crop suited to dry land and subsistence farming in India. Due to scarcity of agricultural manpower, farm mechanization turns out to be inevitable to sustain the cultivation of millets. To facilitate mechanical harvesting the plant type should be non-lodging and sturdy. Hence, a thorough understanding of the basis for mechanical strength in kodo millet is a pre-requisite for identifying genotypes ideal for mechanical harvesting. Towards this objective, 297 kodo millet germplasm accessions were phenotyped for culm strength and other related traits. The study indicated that culm strength, measured in terms of pulling force, was positively correlated with culm diameter and plant height. But, it was independent of traits such as basal internode length, recovery angle after bending and degree of lodging. Thus, to identify non-lodging lines with sufficient culm strength to suit mechanical harvest, simultaneous selection for higher pulling force and recovery angle after bending, along with higher culm diameter and plant height appears to be relevant to identify genotypes suitable for mechanical harvest. Path analysis revealed that culm diameter is having the highest positive direct effect on pulling force followed by plant height and recovery angle after bending.
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