Effect of Mixed Red Sea and Well Waters on Grain Yield of Three Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Monech) Cultivars in the Red Sea State, Sudan
A field experiment was conducted in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources Farm in the Red Sea coast at Arim, for two seasons (2011/2012 and 2013/2014) to investigate the effect of diluted Red Sea waters on the grain yield of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). The treatments consisted of three cultivars: forage sorghum (Abusabien), Aklomoy and White milo, three electrical conductivities (ECiw): 0.48, 5.4, and 9.4 dS/m, and three replicates. The treatments were arranged in a split-plot design, where ECiw treatments were designated main plots and sorghum cultivars subplots. Data were collected from the following yield parameters: Number of heads m-2, mean number of seeds per head, thousand grain weight and grain yield in tons ha-1. The main effect of ECiw on number of heads (NH) was significant only in the first season. With the exception of White milo in the first season, all varieties gave steady linear decrease of NH with increase of ECiw. The main effect of variety on NH was significant at the 5% level in both seasons and it was in following order: White milo > Aklamoy = Abusabien. The main effects of ECiw and variety and their interaction on the number of seeds per head (NS) were not significant in both seasons. However, the main effect of ECiw showed steady linear decrease of NS with increase of ECiw. The overall average NS was 359 in the first and 488 in the second season. The main effect of ECiw and its interaction with variety on thousand grain weight (TGW) was not significant in both seasons. However, the main effect of ECiw showed steady significant linear decrease of TGW with increase of ECiw. The overall mean thousand grain weight was 40g in the first season and 35.6g in the second season. In both seasons, the main effect of variety on the TGW was significant at the 5% level, and it was in following order: Aklamoy = Abusabien > White milo. In both seasons the main effects of ECiw and variety and their interaction on the sorghum grain yield (GY) were not significant. Nonetheless, the quantitative trends of GY in the two seasons were different. In the first season, the main effect of ECiw showed steady linear decrease of sorghum (GY) with increase of ECiw according to the following equation.
GY = - 0.2399 ECiw + 5.3087 (r2 = 0.9107)
In the second season the trend was quadratic showing an initial decrease followed by an increase. However, GY decreased with increase of salinity of the irrigation water.
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