Evaluation of Drought Tolerant Maize Varieties under Drought and Rain-Fed Conditions: A Rainforest Location

Abimbola Oluwaranti, Oluwatosin Temilade Ajani


Newly developed drought tolerant maize (Zea mays L.) varieties have been hypothesized to be of different genetic make-ups, hence this study was conducted to evaluate drought-tolerant maize varieties under drought and rain-fed conditions, identify the highest yielding varieties and determine the relationship between agronomic traits and varieties’ yield under these conditions in a rainforest location. Nine drought tolerant varieties of maize and a local check were evaluated during the early part of the early cropping season (March) (Drought) as well as the actual early cropping season (May-June) (Rain-fed) of 2015 at the Teaching and Research Farm (T&RF) of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (7°28'N, 4°33'E and 244 m above sea level). There were significant differences among the two environments for all the traits measured. The performance of the drought tolerant maize varieties is better under the rain-fed condition. The yield performance of all varieties are not significantly different from each other (1.36 tons/ha to 2.75 tons/ha) under drought except EVDT-W 2000 STR C0 (1.10 tons/ha). All the varieties evaluated under rain-fed condition produce higher grain yield (2-44 tons/ha-3.69 tons/ha) which are not significantly different each other. All the yield components except ear height and length had a strong positive relationship with grain yield under drought while only ear number and weight had relationship with yield under rain-fed condition. In conclusion, among the drought tolerant maize varieties, EVDT-W 2000 STR C0 need further improvements to drought. Furthermore, ear weight can be used to select parents for the development of drought tolerant maize varieties in this agro-ecology.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jas.v8n7p153

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