Effects of Inter- and Intra-Row Spacing on Growth, Green Cob Number and Biomass Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.) Varieties at Agarfa, Southeastern Ethiopia

Asfaw Shaka


Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important grain crop of the world and it ranks second, after wheat in hectarage and first in total production and productivity. In Ethiopia, maize has increasingly become a popular crop with steady growth in production area and yield. However, green cob maize production packages, including its appropriate spacing, are not yet determined. Evidences on effects of inter and intra-row spacing on growth and green cob yield of maize are not well explored. Therefore, this study was conducted at Agarfa from March 2015 to July 2015 to determine the effects of inter-and intra-row spacing on growth, green cob number and biomass yield of maize (Zea mays L) varieties under supplemental irrigation. The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design with factorial combination of four inter-row (55 cm, 65 cm, 75 cm, and 85 cm) spacing, two intra-row spacing (25 cm and 30 cm) and two maize varieties (Melkassa-II and BHQPY-545) with three replication. Data were collected on growth, green cob number and biomass yield and analyzed using GenStat, (2012) The experiment result revealed that leaf area and number of cobs per plant were highly significantly (P<0.01) affected by inter-row spacing x variety while cob length, number of cobs per hectare and above ground fresh biomass yield were significantly (P<0.05) affected by inter-row spacing x variety. The highest cob number (65232.32 ha-1) was recorded for variety BHQPY-545 and (61739.39 ha-1) for variety Melkassa-II at narrowest inter-row spacing of 55 cm (Table 5). Similarly, the highest fresh biomass yield of 51.3 and 48 ton ha-1 was obtained from variety BHQPY-545 and Melkassa-II respectively at 55 cm inter-row spacing. In general, significantly higher number of marketable green cobs and aboveground fresh biomass yield were obtained at closer inter-and intra-row spacing for maize varieties tested in the study area. Therefore, it can be concluded that spacing combination of 55 cm x 25 cm favored attaining of higher economic returns, green cob number and fresh biomass yield of maize in the area under supplemental irrigation.

Keywords: Phenology, Plant Density, Population, Economic Benefit, Biomass

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/9-9-05

Publication date:May 31st 2019

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

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