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Agricultural Journal
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 8  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 204 - 211

Response of Sorghum Cultivar’s to Nitrogen Levels on Yield, Water Productivity, Stover Nutritive Value Traits and Economic Benefits to Crop-Livestock Farmers in the Semi-Arid Areas of Zimbabwe

Munyaradzi Mativavarira, Patricia Masikati, Andre Van Rooyen, Eddie Mwenje, John Dimes, Michael Blummel, Bright M. Jumbo, Joseph L.N. Sikosana and Kizito Mazvimavi    

Abstract: An experiment was conducted at Matopos Research Station, Southern Zimbabwe to determine the response of improved sorghum cultivars to nitrogen application rate on two different soil types. Two sweet sorghum cultivars, E36-1 and PVK801 and one grain sorghum variety, Macia were evaluated on clay and sandy soils at 0 (farmers practice), 9 (micro-dosing) and 69 (recommended) kg Nha-1. They were evaluated for yield, water productivity, stover nutritional quality traits and economic benefits. On clay soil, stover yield and water productivity varied significantly (p<0.05) across cultivars and nitrogen application rates. The cultivars’ stover yield and water productivity were in the order of E36-1 = PVK801>Macia. On sandy soil, cultivars varied significantly (p<0.05) for grain yield and water productivity while nitrogen application rates varied significantly (p<0.05) for grain and stover yield and water productivity. Clay soil stover Metabolisable Energy (ME) concentration and in vitro organic digestibility (IOMD %) were in the order of E36-1 = PVK 801>Macia. The gross margin analysis revealed that higher returns were observed with sweet sorghum cultivars. Sweet sorghum cultivars in combination with higher nitrogen application rates bring more returns to farmers through higher yields, water productivity, improved stover nutritional quality and livelihoods in crop-livestock production systems of semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe.

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