• International Year of Millets (IYoM) : 2023

Kodo Millet

It is an erect annual with hairy nodes and fully sheated solid internodes. It gains 45-90 cm in height and profusely tillers; up to 18 tillers/plant have been recorded. Leaves are thick and stiff and linear to linear lanceolate. Ligules are membranous and hairy. Both leaves and stems are purple in colour. The inflorescence is a panicle with 2-8 spikes, each having a broad, flat rachis with a series of depressions in which the spikelets are held. Spikelets have a single flower, which opens up in the early morning hours (2.30-3 AM), however, the opening of flowers continues till sunrise. Flower is selfpollinated and seed-setting depends on the weather; drought severely affects it.

Climatic requirement: Kodo is grown mostly in warm and dry climate. It is highly drought tolerant and, therefore, can be grown in areas where rainfall is scanty and erratic. It is well thrive in areas receiving only 40 to 50 centimetre annual rainfall.

Soil: Kodo is grown from gravelly and stony upland poor soils to loam soils. Deep, loamy, fertile soils, rich in organic matter, are preferred for satisfactory growth. Well-drained soils with adequate moisture supply are required for uninterrupted growth of this crop.

rate: 10 kg/ha (line sowing) 15 kg/ha (broadcasting)

Seed treatment: Seed treated with Ceresan @ 3 g/kg of seed.

Sowing Time: Kharif- June to July Rabi- September to October

Method of Sowing: Broadcasting and line sowing.

Spacing: Row to row 22.5 cm, plant to plant10 cm and depth 3-4 cm.

Manures and fertilisers: Addition of organic manures is always beneficial since it helps to improve the water retention capacity of soil in addition to providing essential nutrients to the crop plants. The crop should be manured with 5-10 t/ha FYM about a month before sowing. Apply 40 kg nitrogen, 20 kg P2O5 and 20 kg K2O per hectare. All the fertilizers may be applied at the time of sowing in furrows.

Varieties: Following are the important varieties of the crop: JK-13, JK-48, GK-2, Vamban, IPS 147-1, JK-62, JK-76, GPUK-3 and Kherapa.

Water management: During dry periods, irrigations are required every 4-7 days depending on the severity of the drought and type of soil. First irrigation at 25-30 DAS and second irrigation at 40-45 DAS. Drainout the excessive rain water from the field during heavy and continuous rains.

Important weeds: Among grassy weeds, Echinochloa colonum, Enhinochloa crusgulli (sawan), Dactyloctenium aegypticum (makra), Elusine indica (kodo), Setaria glauca (banra), Cynodon dactylon (doob), Phragmites karka (narkul), Cyperus rotundus (motha), Sorghum halepanse (banchari) are common. The broad-leaved weeds are Celosia argentia (chilimil), Commelina benghalensis (kankoua), Phylanthus niruri (hulhul), Solanum nigrum (makoi) and Amaranthus viridis (chaulai).

Weed Control: It is essential to control weeds in the initial stages of plant growth. Generally two weeding at an interval of 15 days are sufficient. Weeding may be done with hand hoe or wheel hoe in line sown crop. Post-emergence application of 2, 4-D sodium salt (80%) @ 1.0 kg a.i./ha at 20-25 DAS. Isoproturon @ 1.0 kg a.i. /ha as pre-emergence spray is also effective in weeds control.

Diseases and its control measure:

Rust: Brown pustules are seen on leaves. This disease hinders photosynthesis and cause considerable loss in yield.

Control: Controlled to some extent by spraying of 0.2% solution of Mancozeb 75 WP.

Head smut (Sphacelotheca destruens): The affected ears are full of black masses covered with a thin yellow membrane. This is seed born disease.

Control: Seed treated with thiram or ceresan @ 2.5 g/kg of seed and soaking seeds in hot water at 55 oC for 7-12 minutes.

Insect-pests management:

Shoot fly: Apply Phorate @15 kg/ha (10% granules) in the soil at the time of field preparation or Carbofuran (Furadan) 3% granules @ 30 kg/ha in furrows or as broadcast before sowing.

White ants stem borer: These are two major insect pests of kodo crop. White ants may be controlled by applying 20-25 kg per hectare 5% Malathion or 2% methyl parathion dust in the soil before sowing.

Harvesting Time: In Kharif season, the crop becomes ready for harvest in the month of September or October in northern India and in Rabi season, it is harvested from January to February.

Yield: With improve package and practices, one can obtain 15-18 quintal grain and 30-40 quintal straw per hectare.