India is the biggest producer of Bajra. Besides being an edible crop, bajra stalks make up good fodder, suitable for feeding animals. Moreover, Pearl Millet or Bajra are India’s most traded commercial crops. Being the most nutritious & digestible cereal grain in India, it has huge demand.
Additionally, it’s a healthy option since it’s non-glutinous. Most suitable for people having a gluten allergy or celiac disease. They are rich in healthy carbohydrates and have essential amino acids, antioxidants, and multivitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, folic acid, beta-carotene, and niacin. Moreover, it contains minerals like Phosphorus, iron, magnesium & zinc.
Impressed by the health benefits of bajra? Sure you are! So, let’s discuss the key factors required for bajra or millet cultivation in India to get the highest yield. So prep up your best farming tractors like John Deere 5310 with a range of farming implements of choice.
Technical Tips to Sow, Grow & Harvest High-Quality Bajra Crops
- Climatic Conditions
Bajra grows well in warm & dry conditions. Moreover, being a drought-tolerant crop, it requires rainfall between 40cm-60cm yearly. In addition, the temperature for cultivation should be between 20°c-30°c. And during vegetable growth, ensuring moist weather can help with good growth.
In North India, Bajra is a Kharif crop, While in southern parts, it’s a summer crop under irrigation.
- Soil Requirements
Bajra records in various black cotton soil and sandy loam soil with good drainage systems. However, acidic soil with waterlogging capacity is not preferred. Moreover, it’s wise to avoid saturated soil for this crop’s cultivation. Moreover, for its cultivation, avoid saturated soil.
- Land Preparation
After the ploughing is complete, the field must get fine tilth from 2-3 harrowing. Moreover, the weeds must be removed during the land preparation stage. And using optimum hp tractors like Kubota mu4501 with ploughing & harrowing implements is an ideal choice.
- Sowing Rate & Spacing
Two of the following methods are ideal to use:
- The dibbling method with a seed rate of 3-3.5kg/ha.
- The drilling method with a seed rate of 4-5kg/ha.
For seeding, the row spacing should be 40-45cm. While plant-to-plant spacing must be 10-12 cm with a depth of 2-3 cm.
- Manuring & Fertilisation
10-15 tonnes of compost or farm yard manure/hectare is the optimum choice for fertiliser. And to get maximum profit, fertiliser should be decided after testing the soil.
Furthermore, 3-5 cm below the seed, applying half a dose of nitrogen and full doses of phosphorus and potassium will give favourable results. Moreover, a foliar spray from 3% urea is suitable for rainfed areas.
- Irrigation Facilities
Being a drought-tolerant crop requires up to 300-350mm of water. Tillering & flowering are critical phases & must be handled with care. Moreover, 5 irrigations are highly recommended, and for summer irrigated pearl millet, 6 irrigations are highly recommended.
3 irrigations are recommended for growing panicles, followed by flag leaf and flowering when sowing under limited moisture conditions. In addition, irrigation soil moisture of @50% or an ideal IW/CPE ratio of 0.4 is highly suitable.
- Harvesting & Yield
The crop is ready to harvest once the grain appears hardy & has enough moisture.
So, here are two methods suitable for harvesting bajra crops:
- Harvesting by cutting the earhead.
- Harvesting by cutting entire plants with sticks.
Additionally, put the cut plants for drying in the sun for 4-5 days. And beat the earbheads to separate the grains.
Average Yield from Millet Cultivation
- Under the irrigated conditions, you get 23-35 quintal/ha of grains & fodder @100-120 qtl/ha.
- Under rainfed conditions, the grain yield is 12-15 quintal/ha, and the fodder yield is 70-75 qtl/ha.
Best Season to Grow Bajra in India
Bajra is usually grown in the summer season, during the February-May months. Majorly in parts of India, including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Moreover, it is grown as a Rabi crop and grown post-rainy during November-February but relatively at a small scale. This rabi crop is highly popular in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Local Names for Bajra in India
Bajra has a variety of local names in India, as follows:
- Pearl Millet in English
- Bajra in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi
- Sajje in Kannada
- Kambu in Tamil
- Kambam in Malyalam
- Sajjalu in Telugu
- Bajri in Rajasthan, Gujarati, Marathi
Frequently Asked Questions on Bajra Cultivation
1. Which states are the leading producer of millet in India?
Ans. Major Pearl millet or bajra-producing states in India are Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, UP, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
2. What kind of soil is suitable for bajra cultivation?
Ans. Bajra thrives well on sandy soils and shallow black soil.
3. Which is the best season for growing Bajra in India?
Ans. The Bajra crop, a rich source of fibre and potassium, grows well in the winter season.
4. Do bajra or millets requires a lot of water?
Ans. Bajra cultivates well in warm yet dry climatic conditions. Moreover, being a drought-tolerant crop, it requires annual rainfall between 40-60 cm, which is quite low.