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Evaluation of short duration maize (<i>Zea mays</i> L) varieties for adaptation to a typical Southern guinea savanna ecology of Nigeria

G Olaoye
HE Omueti


The Southern Guinea Savanna (SGS) of Nigeria is yet to attain its potential for maize production primarily due to lack of information on productive maize genotypes that could fit into the erratic rainfall pattern in the ecology. Adoption of improved short duration maize genotypes intended for cultivation in marginal and drought-prone ecologies would boost maize production beyond its present level. As a preliminary step towards facilitating the adoption of such maize genotypes, 28 maize varieties belonging to two different maturity groups were evaluated in a replicated trial for three seasons at Ilorin in a typical SGS ecology. Significant genotypic differences (P<0.01) were observed for grain yield and other characters while the interactive effects of season x genotype also differed significantly (P<0.05 or 0.01) for grain yield indicating differences in performance of genotypes both between and within maturity group for grain yield. Rainfall amount and distribution at anthesis was the single most important factor which affected genotypic performance for grain yield as there was a direct relationship between the expression of yield potential and soil moisture availability during flowering. Between group comparison showed that early maturing genotypes were higher yielding than their extra-early counterparts by 0.39t/ha-1. However, ranges in the means for grain yield within early and extra-early were 0.63t/ha-1 and 0.92t/ha-1 and 1 and 3 days for anthesis-silking-interval (ASI) respectively, indicating that the latter were more variable for these characters. Rank summation index based on grain yield, ASI and ear aspect showed vars. Acr.95 TZE Comp4C3F2, TZE Comp4DMRBC2 and Syn E2 (early) and EV 98 TZEE-WC2, CSP-SR x TZEE-WSR and 95 TZEE-W1 (extra-early) as the outstanding entries which could be recommended for testing on farmers’ fields

JARD Vol. 5 (2) 2006: pp.97-111

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eISSN: 1596-5511