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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Yield and Agronomic Traits of Waxy Proso in the Central Great Plains

item Heyduck, Rob
item Baltensperger, D.
item Nelson, L. A.
item Graybosch, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/2007
Publication Date: 3/19/2008
Citation: Heyduck, R., Baltensperger, D., Nelson, L., Graybosch, R.A. 2008. Yield and Agronomic Traits of Waxy Proso in the Central Great Plains. Plant Breeding 48:741-748.

Interpretive Summary: The High Plains of the United States present one of the most challenging environments for crop cultivation. Few crops are adapted to the dry, arid conditions. Fewer yet may be cultivated within the relatively short growing season. Winter wheat is the predominant crop in the region, but growers long have desired alternative crops that could be late-seeded in spring should the winter wheat crop fail before harvest. Proso millet (Pancium miliaceum L.) is a short season annual grass with a very low water requirement. Proso has been successfully cultivated in the region, and can serve both as a late-seeded spring replacement crop for failed wheat plantings, or as an alternative rotational crop in the traditional wheat-fallow-wheat rotation used in the region. Commercial application of proso is, however, presently limited to the demands of the wild and domesticated bird-seed market, which tends to be fickle and erratic. Waxy proso, by virtue of the presence of two naturally occurring mutations, produces a type of starch, which, upon cooking, presents desirable culinary properties. Cultivation of waxy proso could expand demand for this crop into human food applications, and help stabilize proso production in the region. This report summarizes attempts to cultivate waxy proso introduced from mainland China. These forms proved too late in maturity for successful cultivation in the region. The report further documents results of efforts to breed adapted types by mating waxy proso parents with locally adapted forms. With the exception of Test weight, waxy progeny mean response for most traits was similar to check cultivars. Grain yield of one experimental line was not significantly different from Huntsman and Horizon, two commonly grown cultivars. Hence, waxy proso may be a future alternative crop in the western Great Plains.

Technical Abstract: Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a summer annual grass that is capable of producing grain in 60 to 90 days. This characteristic, and its efficient use of water, makes it well suited short, and often hot and dry, growing season in the high plains of Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. The introduction of novel end-use characteristics as waxy starch can stimulate an increased market for proso. In this study, 18 experimental F5 waxy lines derived from a cross of ‘Huntsman’ and PI436626 are evaluated across seven locations. Genotype by environment variation in waxy proso was mostly a matter of changes in magnitude and not crossover interaction. When crossover interaction implicated, it was generally slight and occurred at lower environmental means, i.e.locations with low mean response to any given variable. Waxy progeny mean yield was than Huntsman, but significantly higher than PI436626. With the exception of test weight, waxy progeny mean response for most traits was similar to check cultivars. Yield of one experimental line was not significantly different from Huntsman, and not significantly different from ‘Horizon’, the second highest yielding cultivar. In addition, regression analysis suggests that top-yielding waxy lines responded well to high yield environments. Seed sizes for all waxy lines were smaller than the check lines, but were significantly larger than PI436626. Waxy lines generally headed at a similar to Huntsman and the other non-waxy checks, and most were significantly earlier than PI436626. Late maturity of PI436626 was the main factor limiting its culture in the High Plains region.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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