The Effect of Rain-Fed and Supplementary Irrigation on the Yield and Yield Components of Maize in Mekelle, Ethiopia.
The effect of rain-fed with rain-fed supplementary irrigation on yield and yield components of Maize (Zea mays L.) was carried out at Mekelle University main campus under Tigray region in Ethiopia. The experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), and investigated in the early cropping season of the year 2007. There were two main treatments (Rain-fed (R1) and Rain-fed with supplementary irrigation (R2)). The R2 was irrigated three day interval after seedling at 110litre/plot. Fertilizer was applied to each plot at the rate of 180kg Dap/plot and 30gramUrea/plot. All management practices were the same with exception of water added to R2. Data were analyzed for variance and LSD at 5% level of significance. Result showed significant response on soil moisture content, harvested plant stand with number of cobs, fresh grain weight (kg) and dry grain weight (kg) while other parameters (plant height, number of rows with cobs, number of seed/cob and 1000 fresh and grain weight (kg)), shown non-significant difference. The significant effect on harvested plant stand with cobs number indicated that the use of supplementary irrigation is essential for maize production in arid environment. However, there is need to re-investigate the same experiment during the late cropping season to strengthening water use efficiency of the crop and minimize the effect of climate impact.
Keywords: Maize, Rain-fed, Rain-fed supplementary irrigation, water use efficiency, yield.
Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies of Management Vol. 1 (2) 2008: pp. 1-7