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Research Article Open Access

Plant Density Affects the Productivity of Maize / Fingermillet Systems in the Mid Hills of Nepal


Maize/fingermillet cropping systems are important for advancing sustainable food security in the mid hills of Nepal. Yet recently its productivity has either remained static or declined. Inadequate plant density is one of the major contributing factors to this system’s low productivity. A study was conducted to determine the productivity of a maize/fingermillet system under varying maize population densities. Two maize populations were tested: one having a density at harvest of 36000 plants ha-1 and another with 53,333 plants ha-1. These two population treatments were implemented on five farmer’s fields in the mid hill districts of Parbat and Baglung. Each farm contained four paired plots at two locations. The final number of plants at harvest as well as yield and yield components of both maize and fingermillet were observed from every quadrat at each field. The results showed that a higher initial maize population increased the productivity of the system by approximately150%. However, fingermillet yield was reduced by an average of 32% with increased final maize population from 36000 to 53333 plants ha-1. The recommended plant population of 53,333ha-1 is necessary for increasing productivity of maize/millet systems in the mid hills of Nepal.

Tika Bahadur Karki, Shrawan K Sah, Resam B Thapa, Andrew J McDonald and Adam S Davis

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