African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6691

Full Length Research Paper

Response of taro (Colocasia esculenyta (L.)) to variation in planting density and planting dates on growth, radiation interception, corm and cormels yield in Southern Ethiopia

Alemu Dessa
  • Alemu Dessa
  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Dilla University P. O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia.
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Bizuayehu Tessfaye
  • Bizuayehu Tessfaye
  • College of Agriculture, Hawassa Universities, P. O. Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
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Walelign Worku
  • Walelign Worku
  • College of Agriculture, Hawassa Universities, P. O. Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
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Amsalu Gobena
  • Amsalu Gobena
  • College of Agriculture, Hawassa Universities, P. O. Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia.
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Anne Kathrine Hvoslef-Eide
  • Anne Kathrine Hvoslef-Eide
  • Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), P. O. Box 5003, 1432 As, Norway.
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  •  Received: 23 March 2018
  •  Accepted: 07 May 2018
  •  Published: 07 June 2018

Abstract

Taro production is mainly affected by agroecology, planting time and planting density.  To this effect, a field study was conducted to determine influences of planting density and planting dates on growth, radiation interception and yields of taro (Colocasia esculenyta (L.)). The experiment was conducted using four levels of planting density (15037, 19607, 26666 and 38461 plants ha-1) and four planting dates from mid-February to mid-April at 21 days interval at Areka and Hawassa locations. SAS statistical software package was used for the analysis of the data derived from the experiment. From the analysis, interaction of location by planting dates significantly (p<0.01) influenced date of emergence, stand count and plant height. While, leaf area, leaf area index (LAI) and plant height, were significantly influenced due to location by planting density interactions. However, dry matter production (DMP) was influenced by planting density only. Cumulative interception photosynthetically active radiation (CIPAR), corm weight, cormels number, marketable yield and total yield per plant were significantly (p≤0.05) influenced both by plant density and planting dates. Maximum total and marketable yield were obtained from 15037 plant ha-1 at late and early March planting dates.  Plant density and planting dates are therefore important agronomic management practices to improve the productivity of taro through enhancing the capacity of plant for light interception, growth and dry matter production.

Key words: Corm, cormels, dry matter, radiation interception, leaf area index (LAI).