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Table 1 Optimum agrarian conditions for major cereals and millets

From: Millets: a solution to agrarian and nutritional challenges

Crop Scientific name Optimum soil type Height range Temperature pH Soil salinity (dS/m) Rainfall required Maturity time (days) References
Rice Oryza sativa Heavy to sandy loam Sea level up to 2500 m 21–37 °C 6.5 to 8.5 Less than 3.0 dS/m Range 100–300 cm
Average 120–140 cm
100–160 [13]
Wheat Triticum aestivum L. Light clay or heavy loam Sea level to 2500 m Range 1.3–35 °C
Average 15.5 °C
6.0 to 7.0 6.0 dS/m Range 30–100 cm 90–125 [15, 16]
Sorghum Sorghum bicolor Clay loamy soils to shallow soils Sea level to 3000 m Range 7–30 °C
Average 26–30 °C
5.0–8.0 4–6 dS/m 40–100 cm 90–120 [17, 18]
Pearl Millet Pennisetum glacum Loamy soils, shallow soils, soils with clay, clay loam and sandy loam texture Sea level to 2700 m 30–34 °C
*can grow up to 46 °C
6.0–7.0
*can grow up to 8.0 pH
11–12 dS/m
*yields are economically well up to ECe 8dS/m
20–60 cm 60–70  [19]
Finger millet Eleusine coracana Rich loam to poor upland shallow soils Sea level to 2300 m 26–29 °C
*lower productivity below 20 °C
4.5 to 7.5 11–12 dS/m 50–60 cm 90–120  [20]
Proso millet Panicum miliaceum Sandy loam, slightly acidic, saline, low fertility soils 1200–3500 m above sea level 20–30 °C 5.5 to 6.5 20–50 cm 60–90  [21]
Foxtail Millet Setaria italica L. Sandy to loamy soils Sea level to 2000 m Range 5–35 °C
Average 16–25 °C
5.5–7.0 6 dS/m 30–70 cm 75–90 [22,23,24]
Barnyard Millet Echinochloa, E. frumentacea (Indian barnyard millet) and E. esculenta (Japanese barnyard millet), Medium to heavy soils Sea level to 2000 m Range 15–33 °C
Average 27–33 °C
4.6–7.4 3–5 dS/m 45–70  [25, 26]
Kodo millet Paspalum scrobiculatum L.) Fertile to marginal soils Up to 1500 m 25–27 °C 800–1200 mm 100–140 [27]
Little Millet Panicum sumatrense Up to 2100 m 80–85  [27, 28]