A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of rice varieties for grain yield and other agronomic traits in the rainfed lowland rice producing areas of Ethiopia; Assosa, Bako, Pawe and Tepi during the year of 2017 and 2018 cropping season. Six lowland rice varieties were included for evaluation and laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design with four replications.
The combined analysis across years and locations revealed significant variations (p≤0.001) among the tested varieties for days to heading, days to maturity, plant height, grain yield and thousand seed weight while non-significant difference was observed for number of filled grains per panicle and panicle length. Both location and year effects were highly significant for all measured traits. Variety by location and variety by year were highly significant (p≤0.001) for days to heading, days to maturity, plant height, number of filled grains per panicle, and grain yield though variety by year was not significant for thousand seed weight. Variety by location and variety by year were non-significant for panicle length.
Based on the performance of the variety in each test location and year, variety Ediget is recommended for Assosa (2.93 tha-1) and Bako (3.39 tha-1)) areas with days to heading and maturity (85 and 145 days) among the tested varieties, and variety Fogera-2 (5.19 tha-1) for Pawe areas with maturity date (121 days) while, in Tepi area variety Hibir followed by Gumara are recommended for better productivity (4.83 tha-1 and 4.68 tha-1) respectively. However, based on average grain yield over four locations and two years variety Ediget (3.22 tha-1) followed by Fogera-2 (3.07 tha-1) performed better than others and they are recommended for production.
Keywords: Lowland rice, Adaptation, Variety, Yield