Influence of Maternal Season on Field Establishment of Sorghum Varieties Grown in Zimbabwe uri icon


  • Maternal season defined, as the prevailing environmental conditions during crop growth has beenknown to influence not only grain yield but also seed quality. A laboratory and field experiment wereconducted in October 2014, to determine the influence of total rainfall and mean monthlytemperature on germination, vigor and emergence of sorghum seeds which were harvested fromthree different seasons and were kept under controlled conditions. The laboratory experiment wasa 3 x 3 factorial experiment laid in completely randomized block design (CRD) replicated threetimes. The first factor was variety (Macia, SDSL 89473 and Sima), the second factor was growingseason (2004/5, 2006/7, 2007/8). A field experiment was carried out to investigate the emergenceof seed materials used in the laboratory experiment. The experiment was a 3 x 3 x 3 factorialtreatment structure laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with the third factorbeing sowing depth at 5.0, 7.5 and 10.0 cm. Seedling emergence was observed at 10 days aftersowing. In the laboratory experiment it was observed that there was no significant difference(P>0.05) on the effects of season and variety on germination of seeds. However, there wassignificant difference (P<0.001) on seed vigor due to variety under laboratory conditions. For thefield experiment, there was significant interaction (P<0.001) on seedling emergence due to season,sowing depth and variety. The highest emergence for all varieties was observed at a sowing depthof 5cm. It can be concluded that maternal season, which is the season in which the seed wasgrown, has great influence on the vigor of seed produced under dry-land agriculture. There is needto repeat the experiment using more seed lots harvested at many different seasons in order todetermine the exact optimum amount of rainfall and temperatures during the maternal season thatwill promote optimal germination and emergence of dry-land sorghum varieties

publication date

  • 2016