Yield and Nutritional Quality of Oat (Avena sativa) Genotypes under Vertisols Conditions in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia
AbstractShortage of feed is a critical problem for livestock production in Ethiopia. However, the selection of oatgenotypes that perform better under vertisol conditions is very important to mitigate the feed shortage problem inthe central highlands of Ethiopia. So, the study was designed to evaluate the agro-morphological and nutritionalperformance of fifteen oat genotypes under vertisol conditions during the main cropping seasons of 2015 and 2016at Kuyu and Ginchi sub-stations of Holetta Agricultural Research Center. Randomized complete block designreplicated three times was used for evaluating the genotypes. The genotypes were sown with the recommendedseeding rate of 100 kg ha-1 using an inter-row spacing of 20 cm. Diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer at the rateof 100 kg ha-1 was uniformly applied at sowing for all genotypes at both locations and years. Data were collected onplant height, dry matter yield, leaf to stem ratio, straw yield, seed yield, thousand seed weight, harvest index, andnutritive values. All measured data were subjected to analysis of variance using procedures of SAS general linearmodel. The genotypes responded differently (P<0.001) for plant height, leaf to stem ratio, straw yield, seed yield,thousand seed weight, and harvest index. All measured agro-morphological traits of oat genotypes weresignificantly influenced by genotype by location by year interaction. In both cropping seasons, the genotypesproduced relatively better dry matter yield at Kuyu than Ginchi indicating the performance of genotypes was highlyhampered by heavy vertisol characteristics of Ginchi location. In the over years and locations combined analysis,genotypes 1600, 1740, 2596, 79983, 1493, and 1742 produced more than 15 t ha-1 dry matter yield at the soft doughstage. Oat genotypes that had relatively higher plant height and better dry matter yield showed higher straw yieldwhen compared with small plant height and lower dry matter-producing genotypes. The mean seed yieldperformance of oat genotypes in the combined analysis was 2250 kg ha-1 and the highest seed yield was recorded forgenotype 2806 followed by 79983, 2291, 8251, and 1742. Moreover, the chemical and in-vitro dry matterdigestibility analysis of oat genotypes was done and genotype 1486 produced the highest crude protein and in-vitrodry matter digestibility contents while the lowest was recorded from genotype SAIA. The highest crude protein yieldwas recorded for oat genotype 2291 followed by 2596, 2806, 1506, and 1742 and oat genotypes that produced thehighest crude protein yield also gave the highest digestible yield. Generally, better dry matter yield, crude proteinyield, digestible yield, and seed yield performances were recorded from genotypes 2291, 2596, 2806, 1506, 1742,8251, and 79983. Therefore, these oat genotypes were recommended for vertisol conditions of the study areas andsimilar agro-ecologies.
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