Influence of In-situ Moisture Conservation Techniques and N rates on Agronomic Traits of Sorghum in Raya Valley, Northern Ethiopia (Published)
Soil erosion, low nitrogen availability and soil moisture stress during main season are among the major limitations to high crop production and sustainable land management in semiarid areas. In such area, in-situ moisture conservation techniques and right application of fertilizer are very important. The study was carried out to determine the appropriate in-situ moisture conservation technique and nitrogen rate for sorghum production in Raya Azebo (chercher) district of Tigray, Ethiopia in 2017 and 2018 cropping season on farmer field experiment. Adoption of soil moisture conservation techniques such as tie-ridges and mulching and appropriate use of fertilizer has shown improved soil moisture retention in a wide range of environments. The treatments includes four levels of moisture conservation techniques (planting on flat bed, closed end tied ridge , flat bed + grass mulch (3 cm thick ), closed end tied ridge + grass mulch); and three rates of nitrogen viz., 11.5, 23, and 46 kg N ha-1 laid out in factorial arrangement of RCBD design. According pooled mean result plant height, panicle length and panicle weight were not significantly (p>0.05) affected by the main effect of nitrogen, but leaf area, biomass yield and harvesting index were significantly influenced by the two main effects. Moreover, thousand kernel weight and grain yield have interaction effect. The maximum grain yield (3633 kg ha-1) and thousands seed weight (39.12 gram) was obtained from closed end tied ridge interact with 46 kg N ha-1 could be recommended for study area and related agro-ecology.
Keywords: moisture conservation, nitrogen fertilizer, yield of sorghum