Cumbu Cultivation Practices

Cumbu (Pennisetum glaucum)

I. SEASON AND VARIETIES

Districts/SeasonVarieties/Hybrid
1. IRRIGATED
i. Chithiraipattam (March-April)
All pearl millet growing districts except Nilgiris            CO 7, CO (Cu) 9, X 7, ICMV 221, TNAU cumbu hybrid, Co 9
ii. Masipattam (January-February)
All pearl millet growing districts except the Nilgiris,CO 7, CO (Cu) 9, X 7, ICMV 221, TNAU cumbu hybrid Co 9
2. RAINFED
i. Adipattam (June-July)CO 7, CO (Cu) 9, X 7, ICMV 221, TNAU cumbu hybrid Co 9
ii. Purattasipattam (September -October)CO 7, CO (Cu) 9, X 7, ICMV 221, TNAU cumbu hybrid Co 9

II. PARTICULARS OF CUMBU HYBRIDS AND VARIETIES

PARTICULARS

CO 7

X 7

CO (Cu) 9

Parentage(CO 6 x PK 560) PT 1921L111 A x PT 1890Selection from 
ICMV 93752
Season-irrigated/ rainfedBothBothBoth
Duration (Days)90 - 1009080-85
Grain yield (kg/ha)   
Rainfed2500 - 280025132354
Irrigated3000 - 350032952865
Plant height (cm)130 - 145155 - 180186-222
Tillers (No.)6 - 104 - 73-6
PigmentationGreenNon­- pigmented--
HairinessGlabrousGlabrousGlabrous
Days to 50% bloom65 - 7050 - 5550-55
Shape of earheadConical/ cylindrical/ spindleCandleCandle to cylindrical
BristlesNilAbsent
Length of earhead (cm)22 - 2625 - 3533-39
Breadth of earhead (cm)3 - 48-10
Grain colourSlate colourSlateGrey seed with yellow base
1000 grains weight (gm)6.8 - 7.28.0 - 9.09-11
Special featuresResistant to downy mildewResistant to downy mildewResistant to downy mildew

PARTICULARS

ICMV 221

TNAU cumbuhybrid CO 9

ParentageICRISAT CompositeICMA 93111A x PT 6029-30
Season-irrigated/ rainfedBothBoth
Duration (Days)75-8075-80
Grain yield (kg/ha)
Rainfed13% >ICTP 82032707
Irrigated--3728
Plant height (cm)140-200160-180
Tillers (No.)3-54-6
Pigmentation----
HairinessAbsentGlabrous
Days to 50% bloom50-5545-50
Shape of earheadSemicompact to compact lanceolate to oblanceolateCandle to Cylindrical
BristlesUsually non bristledAbsent
Length of earhead (cm)--25-35
Breadth of earhead (cm)Wide in girth3.1-3.6
Grain colourDark greyGreyish yellow
1000 grains weight (gm)10-1513-14
Special featuresResistant to downy mildew

Short duration Resistant to downy mildew


CUMBU (Pennisetum glaucum (L) R. Br. )

CROP MANAGEMENT
 
NURSERY

1. PREPARATION OF LAND

  • For raising seedlings to plant one ha select 7.5 cents near a water source. Water should not stagnate.
  • Plough the land and bring it to the fine tilth.

2. APPLICATION OF FYM

      Apply 750 kg of FYM or compost and incorporate by ploughing. Cover the seeds with 500 kg of FYM.

3. FORMING RAISED BED

  • In each cent mark 6 plots of the size 3 m x 1.5 m with 30 cm channel in between the plots and all around. 
  • Form the channel to a depth of 15 cm. 
  • Spread the earth excavated from the channel on the beds and level. NOTE: The Unit of 6 plots in one cent will form one unit for irrigation.

4.  REMOVAL OF ERGOT AFFECTED SEEDS AND SCLEROTIA TO PREVENT PRIMARY INFECTION

Dissolve one kg of common salt in 10 litres of water.   

  • Drop the seeds into the salt solution 
  • Remove the ergot and sclerotia affected seeds which will float.
  • Wash seeds in fresh water 2 or 3 times to remove the salt on the seeds.
  • Dry the seeds in shade.
  • Treat the seeds with three packets (600g) of the Azospirillum inoculant and 3 packets (600g) of phosphobacteria or 6 packets (1200g) of azophos.  

5. TREATMENT OF THE NURSERY BED WITH INSECTICIDES
 
Apply phorate 10 G 180 g or Carbofuran 3 G 600 g mixed with 2 kg of moist sand, spread on the beds and work into the top 2 cm of soil to protect the seedlings from shootfly infestation.

6.  SOWING AND COVERING THE SEEDS

  1. Open small rills not deeper than 1 cm on the bed by passing the fingers over it.
  2. Sow 3.75 kg of seeds in 7.5 cents (0.5 kg / cent) and use increased seed rate upto 12.5 kg per ha in shootfly endemic area and transplant only healthy seedlings.
  3. Cover the seeds by smoothening out the rills with hand.  Sprinkle 500 kg of FYM or compost evenly and cover the seeds completely with hands

NOTE: Do not sow the seeds deep as germination will be affected.

7. IRRIGATION TO THE SEED BED

  • Provide one inlet to each unit of 6 plots to allow water in the channels.
  • Allow water to enter the channel and rise up in it. Turn off the water when the raised bed is wet.
  • Irrigate as per the following schedule.

 Light Soil

Heavy Soil

1st

immediately after sowing

Immediately after sowing

2nd

on 3rd  day after sowing

On 3rd  day after sowing

3rd

on 7th  day after sowing

On 9th  day after sowing

4th

on 12th  day after sowing

On 16th day after sowing

5th

on 17th  day after sowing

 

PROTECTION OF SEEDLINGS IN THE NURSERY FROM PEST ATTACK

If seed bed is not treated before sowing, protect the nursery by applying any one of the insecticides given below on the 7th and 14th day of sowing by mixing in 6 litres of water.; Methyl demeton 25 EC 12 ml, Dimethoat 30 EC 12 ml.

Note:The seedlings should not be kept in nursery for more than 18 days. Otherwise the establishment and yield will be affected adversely.

  1. Ensure that cracks should not develop in the nursery. This can be avoided by properly adjusting the quantity of irrigation water.

PREPARATION OF MAIN FIELD

1. FIELD PREPARATION

i.

Plough with an iron plough twice and with country plough twice. Bring the soil into fine tilth.

ii.

CHISELING FOR SOILS WITH HARD PAN:  Chisel the soils having hard pan formation at shallow depths with chisel plough at 0.5m interval, first in one direction then in the direction perpendicular to the previous one, once in three years.

2. APPLICATION OF FYM OR COMPOST

Spread 12.5 t/ha of FYM or compost or composted coir pith uniformly on unploughed soil. Incorporate the manure by working the country plough and apply Azospirillum to the soil @ 10 packets per ha (2000 g) and 10 packets (2000g) of phosphobacteria (or) 20 packets (4000g) of azophos with 25kg of soil and 25 kg of FYM.

3. FORMING RIDGES AND FURROWS/BEDS

  • Form ridges and furrows (using 3 ridges) 6 m long and 45 cm apart. If pulses is intercropped, form ridges and furrows 6 m long and 30 cm apart. 
  • If ridge planting is not followed, form beds of the size 10 m2 or 30 m2 depending upon water availability. 
  • Form irrigation channels. 
  • To conserve soil moisture under rainfed condition, sow the seeds in flat and form furrows between crop rows during intercultivation on third week after sowing.

4. APPLICATION OF FERTILIZERS

Apply NPK fertilizers as per soil test recommendations as far as possible. If soil test recommendation is not available follow the blanket recommendation of 70:35:35 kg N, P2O5, K2O/ ha for all varieties. For hybrids, apply 80 kg N, 40 kg P2O5 and 40 kg K2O per ha. Apply the recommended N in three splits as 25:50:25 per cent at 0,15 and 30 DAS and full dose of phosphorus and potassium basally.  Combined application of azospirillum and phosphobacteria or azophos along with 75 per cent of the recommended level of N and P is recommended for rainfed conditions.

Method of application: For transplanted crop, open a furrow more than 5 cm deep on the side of the ridge (1/3 distance from the bottom), place the fertilizer and cover.  For the direct sown crop, mark the lines more than 5 cm deep 45 cm apart in the beds. Place the fertilizer below 5 cm depth and cover upto 2 cm from the top before sowing. In the case of intercropping with pulses, mark lines more than 5 cm deep 30 cm apart in the beds. Apply fertilizer only in the rows in which cumbu is to be sown and cover upto 2 cm. When azospirillum inoculant is used for seeds, seedlings use only 50 kg N/ha for variety, 60 kg N/ha for hybrid, as soil application in other words, reduce 25% N of soil test recommendations.

5. APPLICATION OF MICRONUTRIENT MIXTURE

Apply 12.5 kg/ha of micronutrient mixture formulated by the Department of Agriculture. Mix the mixture with enough sand to make 50 kg and apply on the surface just before planting/after sowing and cover the seeds. Broadcast the mixture on the surface to seed line. If micronutrient mixture is not available apply 25 kg of zinc sulphate per ha. Mix the chemical with enough sand to make 50 kg and apply as above.

 MANAGEMENT OF MAIN FIELD

1. TRANSPLANTING SEEDLINGS OR SOWING PRE-TREATED SEEDS Transplanted Crop
 Pull out the seedlings when they are 15 to 18 days old.

  1. Adopt the spacing 45 x 15 cm for all the varieties.
  2. Plant seedlings on the side of ridge, half way from the bottom. Depth of planting should be 3 to 5 cm.
  3. Root dipping with bio-fertilizers: Prepare the slurry with 5 packets (1000 g)/ha of Azospirillum inoculant and 5 packets (1000g/ha) of phosphobacteria or 10 packets of azophos (2000g/ha) in 40 lit. of water and dip the roots of the seedlings 15 - 30 minutes before planting.

Direct sown crop

Soaking of cumbu seeds either in 2% Potassium chloride (KCl) or 3% Sodium Chloride (NaCl) for 16 hours followed by 5 hours shade drying improves germination and stand.

  • Adopt the spacing of 45 x 15 cm for all varieties. If pulse is intercropped, adopt a spacing of 30 x 15 cm for cumbu and 30 x 10 cm for pulses. One pair row of cumbu is alternated with a single row of pulse crop.
  • In the furrows in which fertilizers have been applied, place 5 kg of seed, allowing them to fall 4 - 5 cm apart (Use higher seed rate of 5 kg to offset mortality).  The optimum population should be 1, 45,000 per ha. Use increased seed rate upto 12.5 kg per hectare in shoot fly endemic area and remove the shootfly damaged seedlings at the time of thinning.
  • Where pulse seeds are to be sown, drop pulse seeds to fall 5 cm apart and cover.

2.  WEED MANAGEMENT

Transplanted crop

Spray PE Atrazine 0.25 kg/ha on 3 DAT followed by one hand weeding on 30 - 35 DAT. If herbicide is not used hand weeding twice on 15 DAT and 30 - 35 DAT.

Direct Sown crop

  • Apply the PE Atrazine 0.25 kg/ha on 3 DAS as spray on the soil surface using Back-pack/Knapsack/Rocker sprayer fitted with flat type nozzle using 500 litres of water/ha.
  • Apply herbicide when there is sufficient moisture in the soil. 
  • Hand weed on 30 - 35 days after sowing if pre-emergence herbicide is applied.
  • If pre-emergence herbicide is not applied hand weed twice on 15 and 30 days after sowing.

3.  THINNING AND GAP FILLING

In direct sown crop after 1st weeding at the time of irrigation, gap fill and thin the crop to a spacing of 15 cm between plants; cowpea crop to 20 cm between plants and other pulses crops to 10 cm between plants.

4. TOP DRESSING OF FERTILIZERS

  1. Top dress the nitrogen at 15 and 30 days after transplanting or direct sowing.
  2. In transplanted crop, open a furrow 5 cm deep with a stick or hoe at the bottom of the furrow, place the fertilizer and cover.
  3. In the case of direct sown crop apply the fertilizer in band.  If intercropped with pulses apply the fertilizer to cumbu crop only.
  4. After the application of fertilizer, irrigate the crop.

 WATER MANAGEMENT

STAGESDays after transplantation/sowing
Transplanted CropDirect Sown Crop
Light Soils
i. Germination1st  day after transplanting1st  day after sowing
4th  day4th  day
ii. Vegetative phase15th  Day17th  day
28th  day30th  day
iii. Flowering phase40th  day42nd  day
52nd  day55th  day
65th  day68th  day
iv. Maturity phase77th day79th  day
Total8 irrigations8 irrigations
Heavy Soils
i. Germination1st  day after planting1st  day after sowing
4th  day5th  day
ii. Vegetative phase15th  day15th  day
28th  day30th  day
iii. Flowering phase42nd  day45th  day
54th  day57th  day
iv. Maturity Phase66th  day70th  day
Total7 irrigations7 irrigations

NOTE: This is only a guideline and the irrigation schedule is to be adjusted depending upon the prevailing weather conditions.

HARVESTING THE CROP

1.  SYMPTOMS OF MATURITY

  • Leaves will turn yellow and present a dried appearance. 
  • Grains will be hardened.

2.  HARVESTING

Cut the earheads separately. 

  • Cut the straw after a week, allowing it to dry and stack it in the field till it can be transported.

3.  THRESHING, CLEANING, DRYING AND STORING

  1. Dry the earheads
  2. Thresh in a mechanical thresher or
  3. Spread it and drag a stone roller over it or
  4. Cattle thresh.
  5. Dry the seeds below 10 per cent and mix 100 kg of grains with 1kg of activated kaolin to reduce the rice weevil and rice moth incidence.
  6. Spray Malathion 50EC 10 ml/ lit @ 3 lit of spray fluid/100 m2 over the bags during storage godowns,
  7. For grain purpose the grain should be dried well below 10% moisture and stored in gunny bags.

Crop Protection

Crop Pest

Shoot fly: Atherigona approximata

Symptom of damage:

  • Young plants dry up causing dead heart
  • Ear heads- chaffy grains in the tip and well developed grains in the lower portion of ear heads

Identification of the pest:

  • Adult - Greyish white fly

Management:

  • Use seeds pelleted with insecticides
  • Seed treatment with imidacloprid 70 WS 10 g/kg of seeds
  • Plough soon after harvest, remove and destroy the stubbles.
  • Set up the TNAU low cost fish meal trap 12/ha
  • Spray any one of the following insecticides
    • Methyl demeton 25 EC 500 ml/ha
    • Dimethoate 30 EC 500 ml/ha
    • Neem seed kernel extract 5%
    • Neem Azal 1%

Stem borer: Chilo partellus
Symptom of damage:
  • Withering and drying of central shoot -“dead heart”
  • Red mining in the midrib
  • Bore holes visible on the stem near the nodes.
  • Tender folded leaves have parallel “shot hole”
  • Affected parts of stem may show internally tunneling   caterpillars.

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg: Scale-like flat oval eggs in batches on the under surface of leaves near the midribs
  • Larva: Yellowish brown with a brown head and prothoracic shield
  • Adult: Moth is medium size, straw coloured

Management:

  • Collect the stubbles after harvest and burn to destroy diapausing borers
  • Set up light trap till midnight to attract and kill the stem borer moth
  • Mix any one of the following insecticides with sand (total quantity of 50 kg)
    • Phorate 10G@ 8 kg
    • Carbofuran 3G@ 17 kg
    • Carbaryl 50 WP@ 1 kg (500 lit spray fluid/ha)

Larvae

Adult

Pink stem borer: Sesamia inferens.

Symptom of damage:

  • Central shoots dried and produce the dead hearts

Identification of the pest:

  • Egg: Bead like laid in rows within the leaf sheath 
  • Larva: Pinkish brown with dark head 
  • Adult: Straw coloured moth with white wings

Management:

  • Spray phosalone 35% EC at every 20 days interval

Grain midge: Geromyia penniseti

Symptom of damage:

  • Grain less glumes with white pupal case attached to the tip of the spikelet

Identification of the pest:

  • Adult: Light pink fragile fly

Management

  • Apply any one of the following at 50 % flowering
    • Carbaryl 10 D 25 kg/ha
    • Malathion 5 D 25 kg/ha
    • Carbaryl 50 WP 750 g/ha
 

Adult

Stink bug: Nezara viridula

Symptom of damage:

  • Grains become chaffy or spotted black and shrivelled
  • A stinking smell emanates from the bug

Identification of the pest:

  • Nymph:  Brownish red with multi colour spots
  • Adult: Green in colour

Management:

  • Apply any one of the insecticides
      • Carbaryl 10 D
      • Malathion 5 D
      • Carbaryl 50 WP 750 g

Diseases of cumbu 

Downy Mildew: Sclerospora graminicola

Symptom

  • Symptoms often vary as a result of systemic infection.
  • Leaf symptoms begin as chlorosis at the base and successively higher leaves show progressively greater chlorosis.
  • Infected chlorotic leaf areas can support abundant white asexual sporulation on the lower leaf surface.
  • Severely infected plants are generally stunted and do not produce panicles.
  • Green ear symptoms result from transformation of floral parts into leafy structures.


Management

  • Grow downy mildew resistant varieties CO7, WCC 75, CO(Cu)9, TNAU-Cumbu Hybrid-CO9
  • Transplanting reduces disease incidence. At the time of planting infected seedlings should be removed.
  • In the direct sown crop, infested plants should be removed up to 45 days of sowing as and when the symptoms are noticed.
  • Spray any one of the fungicides Metalaxyl + Mancozeb @500 g or Mancozeb 1000g/ha 

Ergot: Claviceps fusiformis

Symptom

  • Cream to pink mucilaginous droplets of "honeydew" ooze out of infected florets on pearl millet panicles.
  • Within 10 to 15 days, the droplets dry and harden, and dark brown to black sclerotia develop in place of seeds on the panicle.
  • Sclerotia are larger than seed and irregularly shaped, and generally get mixed with the grain during threshing
  • Conditions favoring the disease are relative humidity greater than 80%, and 20 to 30 0C temperatures during flowering.

Management

  • Spray any one of the fungicides like Carbendazim 500g or Mancozeb 1000g /ha when 5 - 10% flowers have opened and again at 50% flowering stage

Rust: Puccinia substriata

Symptom

  • Small reddish-brown to reddish orange, round to elliptical uredinia develop mainly on foliage.
  • As severity of infection increases, leaf tissue will wilt and become necrotic from the leaf apex to base.
  • In infection sites developing late in the season, uredinia are replaced by telia which are black, elliptical, and subepidermal.

Management

  • Sowing during December - May result in less incidence.
  • Adopt control measures when there is rust incidence in the early stages as spread of infection to top leaves results in poor grain filling.
  • Spray any one of the following fungicides when the initial symptoms of the diseases are noticed. Wettable sulphur 2500g / ha Mancozeb 1000g/ha
  • Repeat application 10 days after if necessary.

Individual Affected leaf

Affected field

Head Mold: Various fungi

Symptom
  • Pink, white, brown or grey fungal growth on grain. Apparently asymptomatic seed may be contaminated.
  • Many pathogens cause grain molds.
  • Grain molds on pearl millet tend to be more severe with humid conditions during grain fill and if grain harvest is delayed  
  • Several fungi cause grain molds, and these differ by the region of cultivation, crop management, environmental conditions prior to harvest, and storage conditions.
  • Management
  • Spray mancozeb 1kg/ha or Captan 1kg +Aureofungisol 100g/ha if intermittent rainfall  occurs during earhead emergence, a week later and during milky stage.

Bipolaris Leaf Spot: Bipolaris setariae

Symptom

  • Foliar symptoms vary, as brown flecks, fine linear streaks, small oval spots, large irregular oval, oblong, or almost rectangular spots measuring 1-10 x 0.5-3 mm.
  • Large fusiform lesions are sometimes produced.
  • Lesions may expand and coalesce.
  • Lesions may be solid dark brown but usually become tan or greyish brown with a more or less distinct dark brown border.

Symptom on stem

Symptoms on leaf sheath

Cercospora Leaf Spot:Cercospora penniseti  

Symptom

  • Foliar lesions are typically oval, 1-8 x 0.8-2.5 mm, with dark brown margins and pale tan to grey or white centers, dotted with rows of black conidiophore tufts. Lesions can form on stems.

Symptom in field

Individual affected leaf 

Curvularia Leaf Spot-Curvularia penniseti

Symptom

  • Small yellow-brown spots on leaves expand to oblong lesions. Center of lesions change to brown and margins remain yellow. Lesions are more common on leaf margins.

Management

  • Leaf spots can be managed by spray Mancozeb 1kg/ha    

Symptom in field

Individual affected leaf

Post Harvest Technology

Bajra also known as cumbu, pearl millet is the predominant crop in India. It has the same quantity of protein as wheat. The protein contains a high proportion of prolamine followed by the globulin and albumins. Pearling of bajra to about 8% polish leaves most of the germs intact and the nutritive value is not seriously affected. Pearling improves appearance and taste of the products. The grain is sometimes eaten after it is parched, the product being similar to popcorn. The grain is also suitable for the preparation of malt. It is consumed after dehusking and cooked in the same way as rice. More commonly it is ground into flour and made into chappathi. It is also made into thin porridge.

Composition

Nutritive Value of Sorghum :

FoodEnergy 
K.cal
Protein
g
Fat
g
Carbo-
hydrates
g
Calcium
mg
Iron
mg
b Carotene
mcg
Thiamine 
mg
Riboflavin
mg
Niacin
mg.
Bajra36111.65.067.5428.01320.330.252.3

The coarse grain contains 8-10 percent husk. The average chemical composition of bajra grain is as follows: moisture, 12.4; protein, 11.6; fat 5.0; carbohydrate, 67.1; fibre, 1.2; and mineral matter, 2.7 per cent. The mineral matter is rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron. The protein contains a high proportion of prolamine, followed by globulin and albumins. The starch is composed of 32.1 per cent amylase and 67.9 per cent my pectin. The grains are rich in thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

VALUE ADDITION
Popping of bajra

Selection

The millets were cleaned to remove the dust, dirt, chaff and stones by winnowing and sieving. The cleaned grains were dried in the sun for 5 to 6 hours.

Soaking

The selected millets were soaked separately in cold water (1:1.5) for one hour drained and conditioned for 30 min. Another batch was soaked in water along with addition of Butylated Hydroxy Toluene (BHT) as antioxidant at the rate of 0.5 g per kg for one hour. 

Removal of surface moisture

Treated samples were dried for five minutes to remove the moisture.

Popping

The millets were popped using an Euro popcorn machine.

Flaking of Bajra

Flow chart for processing of Bajra flakes

Cumbu Biscuits

Biscuits are popular snack foods worldwide made from refined wheat flour. Non wheat flours like sorghum and pearl millet flours have been used to replace part of wheat flour in preparation of acceptable biscuits and cookies, mainly as health foods, to increase the fibre, minerals and vitamin content

Ingredients

Refined wheat flour   70 g
Cumbu flour               30 g
Shortening                  50 g
Powdered sugar         50 g
Baking powder          0.5 g

Method

  1. Add baking powder to refined wheat flour (control) and millet flour blends and sieve twice.
  2. Creamed fat and powdered sugar.
  3. Blend the cream with flour and make a dough, roll and punch out biscuits
  4. Bake at 140  for 30 minutes
  5. Cool and pack in polythene bags.
Preparation of READY-TO-USE BEVERAGE MIX**

Preparation of NUTRIMIX