Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.), also known as monkey nut and peanut is the second most important lowland oilseed after sesame, and has become an important high value crop grown in the dry land areas of Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia. However, its production and productivity is considerably low in Abergelle due to insufficient improved and disease resistant/ tolerant varieties. Thus, a field experiment was conducted during the 2015 and 2016 main cropping seasons using a randomized complete block design with three replications at Abergelle agricultural research center on station. The objectives the study were to evaluate the performance and select the best for seed yield and yield related traits and to see the association among traits of released groundnut varieties under rain-fed conditions. The combined analysis of variance result revealed a significant (P≤ 0.05) varietal differences for days to 50% flowering, seed filling period, 90% physiological maturity, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, dry pod yield, seed yield, biomass yield, harvest index, hundred seed weight and shelling percentage. The correlation coefficient analysis also showed highly significant (P≤ 0.01) and strongly positive association of seed 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). However, the association of seed yield with days to flowering and days to maturity were strongly negative and highly significant (P≤ 0.01). This confirmed the fact that selection for those traits showed positive and significant correlation coefficient with seed yield supports the possibility to increase seed yield and the vice versa. Overall, Fetene had better performance than the other varieties for yield (1716 kg ha-1) and the yield related traits. Therefore, it is recommended as promising variety to the farmers of Abergelle area and other districts having the same agro ecologies in Tigray region, northern Ethiopia.
Keywords: Dry low land, Arachis hypogaea L., Correlation, Seed yield