African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Seed size effect on grain weight and agronomic performance of tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter]

  G. Belay*, A. Zemede, K. Assefa, G. Metaferia and H. Tefera  
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Debre Zeit Center, P.O. Box 32, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia.
Email: [email protected] ; [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 August 2009
  •  Published: 30 September 2009

Abstract

 

Tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter], the indigenous Ethiopian cereal, has a very minute seed size, yet it has a strong bearing both on the preferences of farmers for planting material and consumers as quality measure. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of sieve-graded seeds on the grain weight of tef, and to investigate whether large seed size offers yield and agronomic advantages over using un-graded planting seed materials. Seeds of two tef varieties, DZ-01-974 and DZ-Cr-37 (early type) were sieve-graded in to five seed size treatments, and were field grown at Debre Zeit and Akaki experiment stations, in 2005 and 2006, along with the un-graded seed (Mix) as a control. A split-plot design replicated three times in randomized complete block arrangements was used; varieties were used as main plots while seed sizes were kept as sub-plots. Grain yield, days-to-panicle emergence (DPE), plant height, biomass yield and panicle length were considered. There was clear increase of 100-seed weight when seed size increased. However, seed size effects were statistically significant, but not agronomically meaningful, only for DPE. Generally, there were trends of increased grain yield (up to 7%) due to large seeds, but the advantages for the other traits were nil. Relative growth rates (RGR) were similar for the seed-size groups, and therefore, were unable to explain the lack of significant effects. In conclusion, under optimum production conditions, the added advantages of large seed size do not justify tef-seed grading. On the other hand, farmers may consider the use of smaller size seeds for planting and sell large size seeds for consumption purpose.

 

Key words: Eragrostis tef, seed size, tef, tef agronomy.