Tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) is among the most important cereals in Ethiopia in terms of both acreage and production. However, its productivity is relatively low as compared to other cereals mainly due to drought and climate variability coupled with lack of drought tolerant varieties. A field experiment was conducted with the objectives of assessing the effects of genotypes and sowing dates on the growth and yield performances of tef. The experiment consisted of 36 entire factorial combinations of three sowing dates, and 12 tef genotypes including two standards checks with three replications laid out in split plot design of sowing dates as the main plots and genotypes as sub-plots were planted at Melkassa and Alme Tena during 2017/2018 main season. The combined analysis of variance over locations revealed highly significant (P≤0.01) variations for both sowing dates, and genotypes for most of the traits evaluated. The dates that ranged from July 15 to July 20 would be recommendable as appropriate time for sowing and the genotype Dtt2XDtt13 (RIL No.37) mean grain yield of 1345 kg ha-1over locations out-performed the rest of the genotypes including the standard checks. Hence, this genotype can be used for further testing. Since this is a mono-season experiment, further studies over multiple seasons and locations are required to make comprehensive conclusions and recommendations.
Key words: Genotypes, grain yield, growth parameters, phenology, sowing dates, tef.
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