A Study of the Relationships Between Yield and Yield Components in Promising Cultivars of Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica)



To study yield and its relationships with yield components in 10 varieties of foxtail millet (KFM1 to KFM10), an experiment was carried out in Safiabad Agricultural Research Center in RCBD design with three replications for a period of three years (2003 to 2005). Vegetative and reproductive characteristics of each cultivar were recordered during the growing seasons. Three year results showed significant differences among cultivars for all the traits. KFM10 was found out as the most adaptable among the studied cultivars in Safiabad region due to its high seed and forage yield and less lodging because of its stem thicknes. Path analysis was employed to study the correlations among seed yield, dry forage yield as well as other traits. Results of path analysis for seed yield indicated that the number of tillers, stem diameter and days to 50% flowering positively and direct affected seed yield (respectively 0.564, 0.516, 0.472) while effected negatively (-0.323) spike length. Results of path analysis for dry forage yield indicated that the number of seeds per spike, number of leaves, number of tillers as well as days to 50% flowering had positive direct effect on the yield (respectively 0.247, 0.221, 0.3, 0.628). To improve seed yield in foxtail millet, it is finally recommended to select late maturity cultivars with high number of tillers, thicker stems and shorter spike lenght. In order to increase dry forage yield, the first priority should be firstly given to a selection of late maturity plants and then to plants with a higher number of leaves & tillers as well as higher number of seeds per spike. High residual effect for seed yield (0.67) and for dry forage yield (0.667) was indicative of the fact that lots of traits that affected seed yield and dry forge yield had not been dealt with in this research.