Evaluation of water productivity, stover feed quality and farmers’ preferences on sweet sorghum cultivar types in the semi-arid regions of Zimbabwe

Mativavarira, M and Dimes, J and Masikati, P and Van Rooyen, A F and Mwenje, E and Sikosana, J L N and Homann-Kee Tui, S (2011) Evaluation of water productivity, stover feed quality and farmers’ preferences on sweet sorghum cultivar types in the semi-arid regions of Zimbabwe. Journal of SAT Agricultural Research, 9. 9pp.. ISSN 0973-3094

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Twenty sweet sorghum cultivars that included 17 improved cultivars (experimental grain, forage, dual and India released varieties) from India and 3 landraces from southern Africa were evaluated for their use as an alternative food and fodder crop for crop-livestock farmers. The trials were conducted during 2007/08 season in semi-arid conditions at Matopos Research Station, Zimbabwe. Three methods of assessment were applied to help identify suitable cultivars: grain and stover water productivity (WP), stover feed quality traits and farmers’ assessment of cultivars in the field. Grain and stover WP ranged from 0.6 to 2.7 kg m-3 and 1.2 to 4.0 kg m-3 respectively. We observed significant differences in cultivar groups on plant height, time to maturity, harvest index, grain WP, nitrogen uptake, nitrogen harvest index and stover metabolizable energy and digestibility (P <0.001), and sugar (Brix %) and stover WP (P <0.05). In the improved grain and dual type cultivars, grain yield increased by 118% compared to landraces and by 69% over the forage type while in the India released variety type cultivars grain yield increased by 86% compared to landrace yields and by 44% over the forage cultivars with an increase in stover yield. The landrace type was superior to all sweet sorghum types on feed quality traits (metabolizable energy and digestibility). The farmers’ assessment demonstrated the need to combine qualitative and quantitative screening methods. The farmers’ combined analysis showed that forage and grain yield are important parameters to the farmers following crop-livestock production systems. Results of the three methods showed that the dual type SP1411 was the preferred cultivar. Future breeding activities should therefore be directed towards the tradeoff trade off between grain yield potential and stover feed quality in the quest for developing a wider range of dual purpose cultivars.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Sorghum
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2011 09:43
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2016 09:57
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/4697
Official URL: http://ejournal.icrisat.org/Volume9/Sorghum_Millet...
Funders: Bundesministerium fuer Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit, International Livestock Research Institute, International Water Management Institute, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Acknowledgement: We would like to thank Bundesministerium fuer Wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit (BMZ) together with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) for funding the work. We appreciate the time and contributions of LT Gono (Windmill-Zimbabwe), M Jumbo (ICRISAT-Zimbabwe) and J Nyamangra (ICRISAT-Zimbabwe). We also thank BVS Reddy (ICRISAT-India) for assisting us with the germplasm. Special thanks go to M Blümmel and Team (ILRI-India) who carried out laboratory stover quality analysis and also commented on this paper. We also thank staff in Sorghum and Millets Research Unit (SMRU) of the Crop Breeding Institute for assisting in the data collection.
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