Tef [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter], the indigenous Ethiopian cereal, has a very minute seed size, yet it has a strong bearing both on the preferences of farmers for planting material and consumers as quality measure. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of sieve-graded seeds on the grain weight of tef, and to investigate whether large seed size offers yield and agronomic advantages over using un-graded planting seed materials. Seeds of two tef varieties, DZ-01-974 and DZ-Cr-37 (early type) were sieve-graded in to five seed size treatments, and were field grown at Debre Zeit and Akaki experiment stations, in 2005 and 2006, along with the un-graded seed (Mix) as a control. A split-plot design replicated three times in randomized complete block arrangements was used; varieties were used as main plots while seed sizes were kept as sub-plots. Grain yield, days-to-panicle emergence (DPE), plant height, biomass yield and panicle length were considered. There was clear increase of 100-seed weight when seed size increased. However, seed size effects were statistically significant, but not agronomically meaningful, only for DPE. Generally, there were trends of increased grain yield (up to 7%) due to large seeds, but the advantages for the other traits were nil. Relative growth rates (RGR) were similar for the seed-size groups, and therefore, were unable to explain the lack of significant effects. In conclusion, under optimum production conditions, the added advantages of large seed size do not justify tef-seed grading. On the other hand, farmers may consider the use of smaller size seeds for planting and sell large size seeds for consumption purpose.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below