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Evaluation of Upland NERICA Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes for Grain Yield and Yield Components along an Altitude Gradient in Southwest Ethiopia

Keywords: Oryza sativa , yield component , grain yield , NERICA genotype , Rain fed upland

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Field experiments were conducted during the main rainy seasons of 2009 and 2010 at three rainfed upland locations of Southwest Ethiopia to evaluate and select high yielding NERICA genotypes. A total of fourteen rice genotypes consisting of 9 NERICA, 3 FOFIFA and 2 genotypes as check, laid down in a randomized complete block design with three replications were used as treatments. The study revealed highly significant (p<0.01) difference between all genotypes with respect to yield and yield component traits studied in the three locations, except for panicles per plant at Shebe. NERICA4 and NERICA3 gave the highest mean grain yield at Shebe (6008.9 and 5866.7 kg ha-1) and Gomma-2 (4262.2 and 3915.6 kg ha-1). At Eladale, the local check (X-Jigna) was with the highest yielder (1080 kg ha-1). Among NERICA genotypes tested, 77% of them recorded 5-6 tons of grain yields per hectare at Shebe. Performance of all genotypes increased sharply with decrease in altitude from Eladale to Shebe and vice versa. Mean grain yield advantage of 20-23% was achieved by NERICA4 and NERICA3 over check genotypes at Shebe. The two NERICA varieties were recommended for rice producing farmers with an altitude range of below 1500 m a. s. l. to maximize grain yields in Southwest Ethiopia.


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