Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] grown under rain-fed conditions is usually affected by moisture stress at different stages, resulting in reduced yield. The assessment of variation in agronomic traits contributing towards drought escaping at these stages is of vital importance. This study was conducted during 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons using a randomized complete block design with three replications to evaluate 12 sorghum hybrids (one standard check) for their better performance under moisture stress conditions at Abergelle Agricultural Research Center on station. The data of 9 different agronomic traits were subjected to combined analysis of variance, estimation of genetic variability and heritability. Data was analyzed for variance for number of seeds per panicle, panicle length, plant height, days to flowering and maturity, 1000 seed weight, grain yield, biomass yield and harvest index under moisture stress conditions. The combined analysis of variance result for grain yield of the hybrids evaluated over seasons was highly significant at p< 0.001. Relatively high magnitude of phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variations (>20%) for grain yield, biomass yield and harvest index as well as high heritability (>80%) for biomass yield were recorded. Generally, the present study entails the presence of significant variations among sorghum hybrids. Therefore, the hybrid sorghum genotypes Enforce (3263 kg ha-1), NGC22319 (3113 kg ha-1) and NGC76319 (3068 NGC76319 kg ha-1) were identified as superior for grain yield under moisture stress conditions of Abergelle district.
Key words: Agronomic traits, grain yield, heritability, hybrid, moisture stress.
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