EFFECT OF PLANTING DENSITY ON GROWTH AND YIELD OF IRRIGATED
MAIZE AT ENDABAKLA SITE, WUKRO DISTICT, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA.
Berhan Mengesha, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +251914724216
Aksum University Shire-campus.
A study was conducted during the 2007 off-season at Wukro with the objective of
determining the effect of population density on growth and yield of maize varieties. The
experiment was laid out with Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications.
The treatments used were two varieties, Arkibi (local variety ) and Zama (improved
variety) and four planting densities of , 50000, 25000, 16625 and 86486 plants/ha(farmers
practice) respectively at constant inter row spacing of 80 cm. Variety treatments showed
significant difference for all growth parameters except for ear height. Significant
difference was observed among the population densities for plant height. The highest plant
height (143cm) was recorded at the population density of 86486 plants /ha and the lowest
plant height (131.33cm) was recorded at 25000 plants/ha. Significant difference was
observed among the population densities for cob weight, cob number and kernel number.
Population density of 16625 plants /ha resulted in significantly (P≤0.05) higher values of
cob weight (269g), while significantly (P≤0.05) lower values of this parameter was
recorded as (150.3g) at population density of 86486 plants /ha. Interaction effect of
variety and population density showed significant difference for cob number per plant and
kernel number per cob. The highest mean cob number of Zama was recorded at the
population density of 16625 plants /ha. However, the lowest cob number recorded at
population density of 86486 plants/ha. The interaction effect of variety and plant density
resulted in significant effect of kernel number per cob. Significantly higher kernel number
per cob were recorded from Zama variety as 510 and 506 at population densities of 50000
and 25000 plants/ha, respectively. The lowest was at 86486 plants/ha. The interaction
between variety and population density showed significant effect on grain yield. Zama had
obtained higher grain yield (7.11t/ha) at population density of 50000 plants/ha, but no
significant difference with 25000 plants/ha, while the lower yield was recorded at the
population densities of 16625 and 86486 plant/ha. It can be concluded that higher grain
yield had obtained from Zama variety at the population density of 50000 plants/ha but, no
significant difference with 25000 and 86486 plants/ha. Being as hybrid, high yield was not
obtained at higher population density. However, expected response of Zama for high input
conditions and its expected benefits on high population density was not obtained for grain
yield. Considering its breeding history and the relatively better growing environment
provided in the experiment, the obtained grain and stalk yield is not surprising. This
finding calls for a further study on population density on introduced hybrid; Zama,
Ethiopian hybrids and local varieties comparable in maturity.
Key words Maize, planting density, growth, yield