Rainfall instability difference in the effects of planting dates on growth and yield of maize in forest savanna eco climatic zone of Nigeria was investigated in this study to assess the reliability of the rain vis-à-vis optimum planting date for effective growth and good yield of the crop. Three planting date at 2 weeks interval between 13th march and 10th April were adopted for the experiment conducted at the research farm of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan during 2004 through 2006 planting season using completely randomized design. The results of the analysis showed that planting dates have significant effects on the growth and yield parameters of maize (P < 0.01). In the same vain, there were significant effects due to all other sources of variation (year and weeks after planting) as well as their interaction. Irrespective of the significance of these planting dates there were similarities between the multivariate correlations of the growth parameters for the different planting dates. Highest variation was recorded for the early planting date (13th March) while the least was recorded for the latest planting date (10th April).
Key words: Planting dates (PD), weather parameter pattern (WPP), rainfall instability difference (RID).
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