Field trials were conducted during the 2014 rainy season under rainfed and supplementary irrigation conditions to study the response of different maturity groups of maize to supplementary irrigation in the Sudan savannah. The treatments consisted of three early (2009 EVDT, 1999 EVDT and TZECOMP5W), one late (TZL COMP1SYN), one intermediate (IWDC2SYN) and one extra early (2009 TZEE) maturing maize varieties which were laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design and replicated thrice. Results revealed a significant difference (p<0.05) in terms of growth, phenology and yield among all the varieties. The yield characteristics as measured by number of kernels cob-1, cob yield, and grain yield all increased with the application of supplementary irrigation except for the early varieties. Late maturing varieties performed better under supplementary irrigation with TZL COMP1SYN producing the highest grain yield (6299 kgha-1). Application of supplementary irrigation increases grain yield (kgha-1) of the late maturing varieties (TZL COMP1SYN and IWDC2SYN) by 146 and 116%, respectively. However, there was reduction in yield for the early maturing varieties with the application of supplementary irrigation (22 and 4%), respectively. It is therefore recommended that where supplementary irrigation facilities are available, late maturing varieties should be planted as they are more high yielding.
Key words: Early maturing, late maturing, rainfed, supplementary irrigation, yield.
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