Study to investigate agronomic and economic effect of planting basin was conducted at Raya Alamata districts of Tigray, northern Ethiopia in 2016 and 2017 cropping season in conservation farming permanent experimental plots. A randomized complete block design (replicated three times) was employed. Included treatments were; planting basin with fertilizer, planting basin without fertilizer, planting basin with farmyard manure, planting basin with fertilizer and farmyard manure, planting basin with fertilizer and cow pea intercropping , planting basin without fertilizer under cow pea intercropping , conventional plots planted sole sorghum and cow pea. Analysis of variance for grain yield showed significantly (P<0.05) more variation among the farming practices considered in the study. Higher grain yield of 4.61 t ha-1 with optimum economic return and 4.0 t ha-1 were obtained from planting basin with fertilizer and planting basin with farmyard manure under the conservation farming respectively. While the lowest (2.86 t ha-1) mean grain was recorded in the conventional tillage. The effect of the tillage and planting method on soil physico-chemical properties may require longer time to be evident. The respondent of participating farmers have select planting basins with fertilizer, planting basin with farmyard manure and planting basin with farmyard and fertilizer 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively based on over all crop performance. Planting basin tillage under conservation farming packages outperforms their conventional farming counterparts. Planting basin tillage integrated with micro dosing of fertilizer, mulching of residues and cowpea intercropping can mitigate the effects of frequent dry spells, ensure food security, and ultimately cope the effect of climate change in the moisture deficit areas of Tigray and other similar agro ecologies.
Keywords: conservation farming, Sorghum, planting basin, conventional tillage