Abstract: Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a cereal well known for its ability to be successfully grown under drought and intense heat conditions, thus sustaining food security in arid regions. Considering that a trend of increasing drought severity is expected in the future in Southern Europe, solutions need to be found to enhance the resilience of agroecosystems to the effects of climatechange. From this perspective, proso millet re-introduction could represent an interesting tool in reducing water consumption for grain production and in providing a new resource to farmers. The aim of this study was to characterize proso millet adaptability to drought and low-input field conditions in the Mediterranean environment, especially considering water-related traits, such as water use efficiency. Limited water-demanding crops and yield stability can contribute to the resilience of agroecosystems and their adaptation to climate change. A three-year field crop experiment was conducted in northern Italy to assess proso millet’s performance in terms of productivity and water status in rainfed agriculture conditions. It was compared to a conventional irrigated corn, a typical summer cereal of the area. All years of experimentation were characterized by adverse meteorological trends, in the full manifestation of the uncertainties of climate change. Despite such different conditions from an agro-meteorological point of view, proso millet showed, in non-irrigated conditions, stable yield and water use efficiency (on average 0.30 kg/m2 and 1.83 kg/m3, respectively), and good agronomic performance. Proso millet, therefore, seems to offer interesting traits for reintroduction on the European side of the Mediterranean Basin, representing a resource for farmers. Moreover, the shortness of the proso millet life cycle (on average 108 days) allows it to be used as a catch crop in the event of major crop failure, an event becoming more likely in the climate change scenario. Furthermore, the possibility of producing grain while saving water (and other production inputs), even in very hot and dry years, increases the sustainability of agricultural production and the resilience of agroecosystems.

An Assessment of Proso Millet as an Alternative Summer Cereal Crop in the Mediterranean Basin

Ventura, Francesca
Primo
Conceptualization
;
Poggi, Giovanni Maria
Secondo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Vignudelli, Marco
Data Curation
;
Bosi, Sara
Methodology
;
Negri, Lorenzo
Investigation
;
Fakaros, Antonio
Data Curation
;
Dinelli, Giovanni
Ultimo
Funding Acquisition
2022

Abstract

Abstract: Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is a cereal well known for its ability to be successfully grown under drought and intense heat conditions, thus sustaining food security in arid regions. Considering that a trend of increasing drought severity is expected in the future in Southern Europe, solutions need to be found to enhance the resilience of agroecosystems to the effects of climatechange. From this perspective, proso millet re-introduction could represent an interesting tool in reducing water consumption for grain production and in providing a new resource to farmers. The aim of this study was to characterize proso millet adaptability to drought and low-input field conditions in the Mediterranean environment, especially considering water-related traits, such as water use efficiency. Limited water-demanding crops and yield stability can contribute to the resilience of agroecosystems and their adaptation to climate change. A three-year field crop experiment was conducted in northern Italy to assess proso millet’s performance in terms of productivity and water status in rainfed agriculture conditions. It was compared to a conventional irrigated corn, a typical summer cereal of the area. All years of experimentation were characterized by adverse meteorological trends, in the full manifestation of the uncertainties of climate change. Despite such different conditions from an agro-meteorological point of view, proso millet showed, in non-irrigated conditions, stable yield and water use efficiency (on average 0.30 kg/m2 and 1.83 kg/m3, respectively), and good agronomic performance. Proso millet, therefore, seems to offer interesting traits for reintroduction on the European side of the Mediterranean Basin, representing a resource for farmers. Moreover, the shortness of the proso millet life cycle (on average 108 days) allows it to be used as a catch crop in the event of major crop failure, an event becoming more likely in the climate change scenario. Furthermore, the possibility of producing grain while saving water (and other production inputs), even in very hot and dry years, increases the sustainability of agricultural production and the resilience of agroecosystems.
Ventura, Francesca; Poggi, Giovanni Maria; Vignudelli, Marco; Bosi, Sara; Negri, Lorenzo; Fakaros, Antonio; Dinelli, Giovanni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/876000
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