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Research Articles

The relationship between rainfall characteristics and Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) cultivation in low country dry zone, Sri Lanka

Authors:

E. M. Wimalasiri ,

University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, MY
About E. M.
School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science
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M. J. Ashfold,

University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, MY
About M. J.
School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Faculty of Science
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S. Walker,

University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, MY
About S.
School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science

Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of Free State, PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
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S. P. Nissanka,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About S. P.
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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A. S. Karunaratne

Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, PO Box 02, Belihuloya 70140, LK
About A. S.
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
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Abstract

Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a drought tolerant minor millet found in rainfed low input agricultural systems in Sri Lanka. This paper presents an analysis of characteristics of rainfall, of the onset, retreat and length of the ‘Yala’ growing season (March-September) and the relationship between rainfall and crop husbandry strat-egies in a Proso millet growing area. Daily rainfall data (1983-2015) obtained from Udawalawa, Sewanagala, Pelwatta, Thanamalwila and Kuda Oya meteorological stations were analysed along with information gathered from a survey of farmers. Among these 5 stations significant (p < 0.05) differences were found in retreat date, the length of the season and rainfall amount during the season. It was observed that onset date can be used to predict the season length with high accuracy (r = -0.7335, significant at p < 0.05). The selection of crops and the timing of crop management practices in the Proso millet growing area coincided with the distribution of rainfall. However, the yields reported by farmers (mean 1.18 t ha-1) are far below the expected potential (4 t ha-1). Soil moisture con-servation and water management strategies could be critical to reduce the risk of water-related damage in the susceptible flowering stage.
How to Cite: Wimalasiri, E.M., Ashfold, M.J., Walker, S., Nissanka, S.P. and Karunaratne, A.S., 2017. The relationship between rainfall characteristics and Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) cultivation in low country dry zone, Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 20(1-2), pp.32–44. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v20i1-2.5372
Published on 24 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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