Bajra Farming in India: What, Why and How?

Bajra Farming in India: What, Why and How?

Climate Information for Bajra Farming.

Best climatic conditions required for Bajra is moderate humidity and required temperature should range from 20 to 32 Celsius, with average rainfall between 40 cm. to 75 cm.

The crop may tolerate drought but cannot withstand high rainfall of 90 cm or above. Bright sunshine after light showers is very useful in the early stages of its growth.

Bajra Farming

Suitable soil for Bajra Farming.
Bajra can be grown on alluvial soil, arid soil, black soil.

It yields best if it's grown in soil having texture sandy loam, clay loam, with pH 6.0 to 7.0.

It cannot withstand waterlogged and acidic soil. Light soils of low inherent fertility good drainage, mild salinity are the best type for this crop. Crop does not tolerate soil acidity.

Bajra Farming

Recommended Sowing Times for Bajra Farming.

Rabi: Sowing starts in October and lasts up to November.

Kharif: Sowing starts in June and ends in July.

Zaid: Sowing starts in January and lasts up to February.

Land Preparation for Bajra Farming.

The crop needs very fine tilt because the seeds are too small. 2-3 harrowing's and ploughing is followed so that a fine tilth may be obtained to facilitate the sowing and proper distribution of seed at the appropriate depth.

Sowing methods and tips for Bajra Farming.

Sowing should be done by both the dibbling and drilling method. Dibbling: Sowing is done with the help of a small implement known as 'Dibbler'. It is a wooden or iron frame with pegs. The frame is pressed in the field and lifted and then one or two seeds are dropped by hand in each of the holes. Drilling method: Drilling method is exclusive to India. In this method, one person ploughs a hole in the land and the other person sows the seed. Ox is the most commonly used ‘person’ to plough the land.

Should have row distance between 40 - 45 cm.

Plant/Seed should be sown at a distance of 10 to 15 cm.

Seed depth should be in between 2.5 and 3.0 cm.

Irrigation Methods for Bajra Farming.

Bajra is grown rainfed and the crop being drought resistant hardly need any irrigation, however, it is observed that the yield may be significantly increased by irrigating the crop at critical growth stages like maximum tillering, flowering and grain filling stage. Water stress at these stages will affect yield drastically. Therefore light irrigations and efficient drainage is very essential for bajra production

Fertilizer Requirement for Bajra Farming.

In light soils (sandy loams) the applied nitrogen may be lost due to leaching with heavy rains. So, only about half of the recommended nitrogen dose should be applied at seedbed preparation. The remaining half of nitrogen dose is side-dressed when the crop is 25 days old. On soils which do not leach easily like black soils, all of the nitrogen may be applied during seedbed preparation. Pearl millet seeds are sensitive to fertilizer burn. Do not apply fertilizer in the furrow with the seed or very near the seed in the row after sowing. It should be applied as side-dressing Use of biofertilizer (Azospirillum and PSB) can economize the N and P fertilizer application. In zinc deficient soils of the pearl millet growing area of the country, application of 10 kg ZnSO4/ha is recommended.

Minimum Nitrogen Content (Kg/Ha): 80, Maximum Nitrogen Content (Kg/Ha): 100, Minimum Phosphorus Content (Kg/Ha): 40, Maximum Phosphorus Content (Kg/Ha): 50, Minimum Potassium Content (Kg/Ha): 0, Maximum Potassium Content (Kg/Ha): 0

Seeds Requirements for Bajra Farming.

Seed required for sowing one hectare farmland is in between 2.5 Kg. and 3.0 Kg.

Seed Treatment for Bajra Farming.

Seed treatment with biopesticides (Trichoderma harzianum @ 4g kg-1) or thiram 75% dust @ 3 g kg-1 seed will help against soil borne diseases. Seed treatment with 300-mesh sulfur powder @ 4 g kg-1 seeds controls the smut disease. For removing ergot affected seeds, they are soaked in 10% salt solution. Seed treatment with metalaxyl (Apron 35 SD) @ 6 g kg-1 seed controls downy mildew. Seeds are treated with Azospirillum (600 g) and Phosphobacterium to enhance the availability of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Bajra Farming

Best Seed varieties for Bajra Farming.

HHB 60, ICMH 356, Pusa 605, GHB 538, MP 7792 , MP 7872, RHB 121 (MH 892), HHB 67 (Unnat), Raj 171, Kaveri Super, 86M86, MPMH 17, MH 1747, KBH 108 (MH 1737)

Best Practices for Bajra Farming.

Hand weeding is followed to control the weeds or application of Atrazine @ 0.5 kg/ha would take care of most of the weeds.

Rotation of cultivars also should be adopted to avoid downy mildew disease problem. Pearl millet hybrids and open-pollinated varieties should be used in alternate years/seasons.

15-17 days after sowing do the thin operation and keep only healthy crops.

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Written by KrishiHub

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