Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.), also known as monkey-nut, peanut, earthnut and goobers, is a major cash crop and widely grown in all the tropical and subtropical regions of the world for direct use as food, oil and high protein meal, and is the second most important lowland oilseed crop after sesame in Ethiopia. However, its production and productivity is considerably low in Abergelle areas, Northern Ethiopia due to insufficient improved and disease resistant/ tolerant varieties. Thus, a field experiment was conducted during the 2016 and 2017 main cropping seasons using a randomized complete block design with three replications at Abergelle agricultural research center on station to evaluate the performance and select the best genotypes for kernel yield and yield related traits and to assess the association among traits of some released groundnut varieties under rain-fed conditions. There was significant genotypic variability for all the traits evaluated under study. Highly significant (P≤ 0.01) and positive association of kernel yield with dry pod yield (rg = 0.85, rp= 0.83), harvest index (rg = 0.82, rp= 0.86), shelling percentage (rg = 0.80, rp= 0.83) and biomass yield (rg = 0.43, rp= 0.31) was observed. However, the association between kernel yield and days to flowering and days to maturity was strongly negative and highly significant (P≤ 0.01). This indicates that selection for those traits showing positive and significant correlation coefficient with kernel yield would support the possibility to increase kernel yield and the vice versa. Overall, Fetene and Roba had better performance than the other varieties for yield with 1716 and 1621 kg ha-1, respectively. Therefore, Fetene and Roba are recommended as promising varieties to the farmers of Abergelle areas.
Keywords: Arachis hypogaea L., Correlation, Genotypic variability, kernel yield