Improving Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.) Productivity in Salt-affected soils in Senegal: A Greenhouse and Field investigation

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Virginia Tech


The primary soil limitations to crop yield in the Senegalese "Peanut Basin" include salinity, acidity, and fertility. Crop yield may be increased by use of soil amendments and salt-tolerant cultivars. Objectives of this research were to evaluate salt tolerance of various millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.) cultivars and compare effects of soil amendments on millet growth and yield in greenhouse and field studies. The research included two greenhouse experiments (i) comparing the salt tolerance of seven pearl millet cultivars (IBMV 8402, SOSAT C88, ICMV-IS 88102, IKMP1, IKMP2, IKMV 8201 and GAWANE) using five levels of electrical conductivity (0.3. 2.1, 4.2, 5.2 and 6.3 dS m-1) and (ii) assessing SOSAT C88 responses to various organic (compost and peanut shells) and inorganic (phosphogypsum; PG) amendments in manufactured saline soils (4.2 dSm-1); and (iii) a two-year (2014-2015) field experiment in Senegal evaluating the effects of local organic amendments (peanut shells and compost) on the responses of three millet cultivars (SOSAT C88, GAWANE and IBMV 8402) under low and high soil salinity. Cultivars SOSAT C88 and IBMV 8402 performed best in saline greenhouse media. The soil amendments that elicited the best millet plant responses in the greenhouse experiment were yard waste compost and peanut shells. Phosphogypsum exacerbated salinity effects by increasing electrical conductivity. In the field study, there were no differences among treatments. Cultivars IBMV 8402 and SOSAT C88 could be cultivated in saline soils amended with peanut shells.



millet, saline acid sulfate soils, compost, lime, phosphogypsum, fertilizers