Critical Sowing Date for Crop Choice among Winter Forage Cereals in Khartoum (Sudan)

Sawsan H. Mohammed, Mohammed A. M. Khair


An experiment was conducted for two consecutive winter
seasons (2004/05 and 2005/2006) at Shambat Research Farm, Khartoum
State (Sudan) to study the performance of three winter sown forage cereal
cultivars at five sowing dates. The objective of the study was to enable the
farmers to choose the most suitable forage crop for each sowing date in
Khartoum State. The treatments comprised three cultivars, viz. a local
variety of barley (Hordeum vulgare), referred to as ‘Baladi’, a local
variety of maize (Zea mays) referred to as ‘Higeri’ and sorghum
(Sorghum bicolor) cultivar ‘Abu Sabeen’, sown at five sowing dates viz. 1
and 15 December, 1 and 15 January and 1 February in each season. A
split-plot design with three replicates was used to execute the experiment.
The sowing dates were assigned to the main plots and the cultivars to the
subplots. At harvest, data were collected on the number of culms/m2,
number of days to harvest, plant height and the forage dry matter yield.
The results indicated that the dry matter yields of barley were the highest
in each of the first three sowing dates, whereas those of sorghum were the
highest in the last two sowing dates. The dry matter yield of maize was
comparable to that of sorghum during the first three sowing dates but was
markedly lower during the last two sowing dates. Hence, 15 of January
could be considered as a critical sowing date for the crop choice between
barley and sorghum in Khartoum State


Forage; barley; maize; sorghum sowing dates

Full Text:



Adam. H.S. (1996). The Agricultural Climate (in Arabic). Al Asala for

Press, Publishing and Media Production. University of Gezira,

Wad Medani, Sudan.

Ali, G.M. (2007) Effect of Seed Rates and Sowing Dates on Growth,

Forage and Seed Yield of Field Peas (Pisum sativum L.) in

Sudan Gezira. M.Sc. thesis. Sudan Academy of Sciences,

Khartoum, Sudan.

Babiker, S.A. and Khair, M.A.M. (2006). Effect of sowing date, seed rate

and cutting age on forage yield of clitoria in winter. Annual

Report, Forage and Pasture, Agricultural Research

Corporation, Sudan.

Bland, B.F. (1971) Forage and Pasture Research, Crop Production:

Cereals and Legumes, pp. 118-164. Academic Press. London

and New York.

Eltalib, M.A.M. (2009). Forage Yields Potential of the Secondary Crop of

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, cv. Abu Sabeen as Influenced

by Some Agronomic Practices of the Primary Crop. Ph.D.

thesis. Sudan University of Sciences and Technology,

Khartoum, Sudan.

Kambal, A.E. (1984). Comparative performance of some varieties of

sorghum, maize and pearl millet for forage production in

different seasons. Sudan. Agricultural Journal 10, 46-62.

Khair, M.A.M. (1999) Principles of Forage Crops Production (in

Arabic). Training and Publication Administration. Agricultural

Research Corporation. Wad Medani, Sudan.

Khair, M.A.M.; Salih, S.A.; Elhag, F.M. and Eltayeb, E. I. (2007). Dry

matter yield and quality of some winter sown forage crops in

the Sudan Gezira. University of Khartoum Journal of

Agricultural Sciences 15(2), 204-219.

Mohammed, A.A.; Ali, E.S.; Hamada, A.A. and Sirag, O.M. (2008).

Optimum sowing time for maize (Zea mays L.) in northern

Sudan. Sudan Journal Agricultural Research 12, 1-10.

Nour, A.M.; Khair, M.A.M. and Mohammed, B.A. (1998). Performance

of forage sorghum hybrids under Sudan conditions. A paper

submitted to the variety Release Committee, Agricultural

Research Corporation, Wad Medani, Sudan

Saeed, A.M. (1968). Some Physical and Chemical Properties of Certain

Shambat Soils. M.Sc. thesis. University of Khartoum. Sudan.

Salih, M.H.M. (1994). Fodder production of maize under varying sowing

dates and fertilizer levels. Annual Report, Shambat Reaerch

Station 1993/94, Agricultural Research Corporation, Sudan.

Salih, S.A; Khair, M.A.M. and Gangi, A. S. (2006). Effect of seed rate

and sowing date on the growth and forage yield of barley

(Hordeum vulgare L.) in the Gezira, (Sudan). University of

Khartoum Journal of Agricultural Sciences 14 (2), 252-264,

Salisbury, F.W. and Ross, C.W. (1978). Plant Physiology, 2nd edition.

Wadsworth Publishing Company Inc. Belmont California,


Skerman, P. J. and Riveros, F. (1990). Tropical Grasses. FAO, Rome

Sullivan, E. F. (1961). Effect of temperature and phosphorus fertilizer on

yield and composition of Piper Sudan grass. Agronomy

Journal 53, 357-358


  • There are currently no refbacks.