Response of Dual-Purpose Sorghum Varieties to Fertiliser and Sowing Dates in Mali's Sudanian Zone
Madina Diancoumba1, Omonlola Nadine Worou1, Baloua Nebie1, Abdoulaye Tangara1, Mamourou Sidibe1, Aly Togo2, Mbairassem Bendigngar1, Birhanu Zemadim1
1International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics, Crop Improvement, Mali
Sorghum is an important multipurpose’ traditional cereal crop widely grown and consumed by smallholder farmers in the drylands of Africa. Low soil fertility, limited use of fertiliser and erratic rainfall distribution induced by climate change and land degradation, underline the need to ascertain an appropriate sowing time and an effective fertiliser strategy to reduce risks and increase sorghum productivity. The objective of this study is to analyse the interaction between sowing date (early, medium and late) and fertiliser types (mineral, organic, the combined and the control) to assess the synergies and trade-offs between these agricultural practices and to evaluate their impact on the agronomic performance of two dual-purpose sorghum varieties (Soubatimi and Peke) in the Sudanian region of Mali. Experiments were carried out at ICRISAT-Mali research station, during 2019 and 2020 rainy seasons and laid out in a split-split plot design. Destructive and non-destructive measurements on crop phenology parameters, leaf number and size, leaf area index and crop biomass at three stages and crop yield at harvest were assessed as well as changes in soil volumetric water content during crop growth. Results show that the highest average grain and stover yields were obtained with Soubatimi followed by Peke both sown early (DS1) under combined fertiliser treatment (mineral+organic). In general, a negative effect of late sowing was observed on grain yields in both varieties. In 2019, the interactions of sowing date × variety × fertiliser types were observed to impact grain and stover yields in the two varieties. This study revealed the potentials and constraints of production, of two improved dual-purpose varieties that are important sources of feed for livestock and food for human consumption.
Keywords: Dual purpose sorghum, fertiliser, Mali, Sudanian zone, sowing date
Contact Address: Omonlola Nadine Worou, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics, Crop Improvement, Route de Guinee, 320 Bamako, Mali, e-mail: n.woroucgiar.org