Growth and yield responses of new short season maize varieties (Zea mays L.) grown in Zimbabwe low rainfall areas under hand hoe basin technique

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Research Paper 01/02/2019
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Growth and yield responses of new short season maize varieties (Zea mays L.) grown in Zimbabwe low rainfall areas under hand hoe basin technique

Mvumi C
Int. J. Biosci.14( 2), 311-318, February 2019.
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Maize is the staple food, but persistently low yields of the crop in Manyau village, Nyanga District, due to farmers’ failure to choose the most potentially productive variety triggered off investigations of the growth and yield of new short season varieties introduced in the area. A field trial was carried out under hand hoe basin technique (HHBT). Treatments were Seed Co. (SC) 301, SC303, SC403 and SC419 cultivars; replicated 4 times. SC403 was the standard. A randomized complete block design (RCBD) was used. Varietal treatment showed highly significant (P<0.001) effect on plant height, leaf length (at 2, 4, 8 and 14 weeks from seed emergence), dry grain weight per plant and total dry grain yield per plot under HHBT. Plant height and leaf length of all cultivars increased with increase in weeks. There were significant differences in growth between SC419 and the standard, but significant (P<0.05) differences with the 3 series were prominent. The heaviest dry grain weight was recorded from SC419 (334.2 g/plant) and the least was recorded from SC301 (154.8 g/plant). The highest dry grain yield was from SC419 (21.33 kg/plot), whereas the least was from SC301 (11.80 kg/plot). The percentage difference was 44.6%. SC419, at 14 weeks, recorded highest of the cultivars in all parameters. SC403 recorded second highest. Most varieties show highest growth and yield potential under HHBT, irrespective of the series they belong to. In conclusion, farmers in semi-arid regions may grow SC419 as the first option, and SC403, as a second option, under HHBT.


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