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1. Panicle development and growth starts with neck node differentiation.
2. The initiation of the panicle primordium starts about 30 days before heading, which indicates the commencement of the reproductive phase. The panicle primordium becomes visible to the naked eye about 7-10 days after initiation. At this stage, 3 leaves will still emerge before the panicle finally exserts.
3. The panicle development period varies from 27-46 days.
4. The panicle becomes visible as a white feathery cone 1.0-1.5 mm long. It occurs first in the main culm and then in tillers where it emerges in uneven pattern. It can be seen by dissecting the stem.
5. As the panicle continues to develop, the spikelets become distinguishable.
6. The young panicle increases in size and its upward extension inside the flag leaf sheath causes the leaf sheath to bulge. This bulging of the flag leaf sheath is called booting.
7. Booting is most likely to occur first in the main culm. At booting, senescence (aging and dying) of leaves and non-bearing tillers are noticeable at the base of the plant.