Effect of Seeding Rate on Growth and Yield Performance of Rice (Oryza Sativa L.) Varieties at Mizan Aman, Southern Ethiopia

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Grain Yield, Growth Parameters, Phenological Parameters, Rice Varieties and Seeding Rate
Tilahun Alemayehu; Demelash Kefale; Walelign Worku
Rice (Oryza sativa L) is an annual cereal crop and is one of the most important staple food for a larger parts of world’s population. Although Mizan Aman has suitable agro ecology for rice production its productivity is much below the potential. This is associated with the use of inappropriate seeding rate for different rice varieties among other agronomic practice. Thus a field experiment was conducted at Mizan Agricultural Technical Vocational Educational and Training College in Mizan Aman , Bench Maji Zone , Southwestern Ethiopia during 2015/16 cropping season to evaluate the effect of seeding rate on growth and yield of rice varieties and identify best performing variety in the area along with optimum seeding rate. Factorial combinations of three varieties (Local, Nerica-4 and Superica-1), and four seeding rates (40, 60, 80 and 100 kg/ha) were arranged in Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications.All agronomic practices were performed accordingly. Results of the study revealed the existence of significant difference in crop phenology, as well as most growth parameters and yield components among the rice varieties and seeding rates. The interaction of varieties and seeding rates had significant effect on total tiller per plant and primary branches per plant. Rice variety Nerica-4 was significantly earlier in days to heading and maturity than the other varieties. The Local variety was significantly taller and produced significantly greater; dry biomass (12 t/ha), and panicle length (23.2 cm) than Nerica-4 rice variety. On the other hand, Nerica-4 had significantly higher grains per panicle (77.78), grain yield (5.22 t/ha), and harvest index (58.97) than Local and Supperica-1 varieties. The higher seeding rates (80, and 100kg/ha) produced significantly higher dry biomass (11.8 t/ha), while the lowest (40 kg/ha) seeding rate was with significantly higher in productive tillers per plant (4.41), grains per panicle (77.67), grain yield (5.20 t/ha), and harvest index (56.68%) than the other seeding rates. From the result of this study, it can be concluded that rice variety Nerica-4 and seeding rate of 40 kg/ha were the best performing treatments to be recommended for Mizan Aman area although the conclusion based on result obtained from one season experiment conducted at a single site would be hasty.