Effect of Growth Stage Moisture Stress on Maize (Zea Mays L.) Yield and Water Use Efficiency at West Wellaga, Ethiopia

Robel Admasu


Often scarcity of water is the most severe constraint for development of agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas. Under this condition, the need to use the available water economically and efficiently is unquestionable. Based on the actual crop need, the irrigation management has to be improved so that the water supply to the crop can be reduced while still achieving high yield. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of moisture stress on four growth stage of BH-660 hybrid maize variety. A field experiment was conducted at Jimma Agricultural Research Centre at Haru agricultural research sub-centre station. A randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications was used. Sixteen treatments which combined and imposed at four growth stages were used. The two years combined result indicated that there were a significant (P<0.05) variation among treatments for yield, biomass and plant height and water use efficiency. The yield of maize was significantly (P<0.05) affected due to moisture stress imposed at different growth stages. Accordingly, the highest grain yield was obtained from irrigating all growth stage treatment (8357 kg ha-1) followed by irrigating all stage except initial stage (6887.6 kg ha-1). In contrast, imposing moisture stress at all growth stage was recorded the lower yield relatively, which followed by irrigating only at initial.  The crop water use efficiency was the lowest (0.50 kg/m3) at optimum irrigation water application and the highest (2.65 kg/m3) at stress at development, mid-season and late season stage. Therefore, imposing moisture stress during the three  growth stages except initial and no irrigation treatments had significantly reduce the yield of maize but stressing only initial stage gave higher yields , so depriving irrigation at initial stage helps to save extra water without greater yield penalty.

Keywords: Growth stages, Moisture stress, Maize, Water use efficiency


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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