Full Length Research Paper

Evaluation of different moisture conservation practices on growth, yield and yield components of sorghum at Alduba, southern Ethiopia

Tekle Yoseph* and Wedajo Gebre

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted on research field of Alduba, Bena Tsemay district of south Omo zone, southern Ethiopia to determine the effects of different moisture conservation practices on growth, yield and yield components of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] under rain fed condition in 2010. The experiment was undertaken with four improved moisture conservation practices and one farmersí practice (farmersí practice, circular pitting, half moon, tied ridge, and open ridge). The experimental design was a randomized complete block design /RCBD/ with four replications. Phenological and growth parameters such as yield and yield components, total biomass and harvest index were studied. The results of analysis of variance showed that all the studied phenological and growth parameters were significantly affected by moisture conservation practices except days to heading. The number of days required to reach at mid maturity was delayed in the case of tied ridge than the rest of the moisture conservation practices being used. The maximum and minimum number of productive tillers per plant of (5) and (3) were recorded from tied ridge and the farmersí practice, respectively. The highest (180 cm) and the least plant heights of (159.75 cm) were recorded from tied ridge and the farmersí practice, respectively. The highest (19.25 cm) and the least panicle length of (15.5 cm) were obtained from tied ridge and farmersí practice, respectively. From the above findings, tied ridge had increased number of productive tillers per plant, plant height and panicle length. The result revealed that all the yield and yield components studied were significantly affected by moisture conservation practices. The grain yield obtained from tied ridge (3.625 t ha-1) was higher by 55.72% compared to farmersí practice (1.605 t ha-1). Therefore, it is possible to suggest that tied ridge is the best practice of moisture conservation practices that will increase crop productivity through enhanced soil moisture retention during the crop growing period. Hence, use of tied ridge is advisable and could be appropriate for sorghum production in the test area even though further testing is required to come up with strong recommendation.

Key words: Moisture conservation practices, sorghum, yield components, yield.

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