This work was conducted to study the performance of eight sorghum varieties that contrasted with intensified practices in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of Mali. Two experiments were carried out in 2018 and 2019 rainy seasons at Sotuba Agricultural Research Station in Mali. The experimental design used was a Split-split-plot with three replications and three factors including two plant densities (D1: 26666 plants ha-1 and D2: 53333 plants ha-1) as the main plot, three nitrogen levels (0, 41 and 82 kg N ha-1) as the subplot and varieties as the sub-subplot. Measurements focused on growth and physiological parameters, grain yield and yield components. The results showed that sorghum grain yield was positively correlated with straw yield, leaf area index, grain number per panicle, panicle number per m2, panicle weight per m2 in N0D1 (0 kg N ha-1 and 26666 plants ha-1) and N2D2 (178 kg N ha-1 and 53 333 plants ha-1). Furthermore, straw yield was positively correlated with the leaf area index and panicle weight m-² in N0D1 and in N2D2. Analysis of variance showed that plant density, nitrogen and variety effect on grain and straw yields were significant. The interaction density x nitrogen x variety effect was also significant on grain and straw yields. Grain and straw yields were high in the N2D2 treatment for eight varieties compared to the N0D1 treatment. GRINKAN, C2_075-15 and C2_007-03 varieties had the highest grain and straw yields in N0D1. These caudatum-type varieties could be recommended in less intensive sorghum production areas in Mali. The FADDA variety produced high grain and straw yields in N2D2. Guinea-type hybrid FADDA may be recommended for grain and straw production in intensive sorghum production areas in Mali.
Key words: Mali, intensification, varieties, Nitrogen, planting density, yields.
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