A two year experiment was conducted at Ascochyta rabiei sick plot infested West Belesa District to evaluate potential chickpea varieties and sowing date for the management of Ascochyta blight. Five varieties namely, Dhera, Habru, Ejeri, Chefe, Teje; and three sowing dates at 10-day intervals (15th July (early), 25th July (optimum) and 5th August (late) were used as treatments. Treatments were arranged in split plot design with three replications. Varieties were assigned on main plot and sowing date to sub-plot. Results indicated that the maximum incidence and severity of 44.65 and 30.06% respectively were recorded from Teje variety in early sowing while the minimum incidence and severity of 28.1 and 15.45%, respectively were recorded from Dhera variety in optimum sowing. The maximum grain yield of 33.49 q/ha and insignificance yield loss were recorded from Dhera variety in optimum sowing while the minimum grain yield and maximum yield loss of 18.41 q/ha and 44.97% respectively were recorded from Teje variety in early sowing. Based on mean value of two years experiment result suggested that Dhera variety applied at optimum sowing caused significant reduction in ascochyta blight incidence leading to a corresponding increase in grain yield of chickpea.
Key words: Chickpea, ascochyta blight, didymellarabiei, disease incidence, percentage severity index, area under disease progress curve, relative yield loss.
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