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Effect of plant density on growth and yield of Thysanolaena maxima: an important non-timber forest product of Meghalaya

Author: 
Etiban Lapasam and Tiwari, B. K.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Thysanolaena maxima is a wild grass cultivated by the farmers of Meghalaya. When the demand for broom increased, many erstwhile shifting cultivators got motivated to take up cultivation of this plant. In this paper, we report the findings of field experiments conducted to investigate the effect of plant density on growth and yield of T. maxima. The experiments were laid in Mynska village of Meghalaya and the study was conducted between July 2012 and February 2014 using Randomized Complete Block Design with four replicates and five spacing treatments. The study revealed that the growth and yield parameters are not impacted by plant density during the first year of its growth. During the second year, the effect of density on growth and yield became pronounced and 1.5x2.0 m spacing gave optimum number of tiller, tiller diameter, internodal length, leaf number, panicles number, harvest index and height and diameter of tussock. The yield of panicles was however maximum in the treatment 1.0x1.0 m spacing. The study concludes that up to two time harvests 1.5x2.0 m spacing may be adopted if farmers are interested for green biomass (fodder). However, for optimum production of broom grass panicles (broom), 1.0x1.0 m spacing is most appropriate.

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