Experiment was conducted to study the effect of different moisture conservation practices on soil moisture, growth and yield of foxtail millet under rainfed alfisol during 2014-15. The experiment consisted of seven treatments viz., T1 Broad Bed and Furrow, T2 Compartmental Bunding, T3 Ridges and Furrows, T4 Tied Ridges, T5 Basin Listing, T6 Vertical Mulching and T7 Flat Bed. The soil moisture content ranges from 0.4 per cent to 17.2 per cent and the highest soil moisture of 17.2 per cent was recorded during the flowering stage of the crop growth under tied ridges followed by ridges and furrows (15.5 per cent). The results on yield attributing characters and yield revealed that crop grown under tied ridges followed by ridges and furrows attained fifty per cent flowering stage at 45 DAS and physiologically matured 10 days earlier as compared to other moisture conservation practices. Significantly higher productive tillers plant-1 (16.4), ear head length (22.2 cm) and test weight (3.06 g) were registered with tied ridges treatment and the next best treatment was ridges and furrows. Similarly, grain was significantly higher in tied ridges though it was at par with ridges and furrows and compartmental bunding. Whereas, green fodder yield was significantly higher in tied ridges (6654 kg ha-1) and the next best treatments were ridges and furrows and compartmental bunding. Higher gross returns (Rs 84465 ha-1), returns above variable cost (Rs. 60965 ha-1) with a benefit-cost ratio of 3.6 were recorded with tied ridges.
Soil moisture, drought, in situ, grain and green fodder yield
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