Effects of Agronomic Practices on Blast (Pyricularia Grisea) and Yield Parameters of Finger Millet (Eleusinecoracana(L.) Gaertn) in Southern Guinea Savanna Zone of Nigeria
Finger millet is rich in proteins, sulphur, calcium, iron, low glycemic index and high fibre content. Despite its importance, it has yields of 400 kg ha-1 compared to 2,500 kg ha-1. Trials were conducted in 2017 and 2018 at the Research farm of Federal University Wukari (Latitude 7o50’-8o30’N and Longitude 9o68’-9o89’ E.) to investigate the response of finger millet and blast to plant population and fertilizer. The treatments consisted of two plant population (1 plant per stand and 2 plants per stand) and three N-fertilizer rates (0, 30 and 60 kg/ha). The treatments were laid out in factorial manner using RCBD with three replications. The results indicated that the leaf, neck and finger blast were highly significantly highest at 1 plant per stand and N level of 60 N kg ha-1. The highest numbers of effective tillers, fingers per head and 1000 kernel weight were recorded at the highest rate of 30N kg ha-1 compared to 0 N kg ha-1. Furthermore, plant population of 1 plant per stand and fertilization of 30 N kg ha-1 gave the highest grain yield (1728.42–2, 138.24 kg ha-1), compare to the lowest yield from 2 plants per stand and fertilizer rate of 0 kg ha-1.