Impact of the Micro-catchment’s Water-harvesting Technique on Sorghum Growth and Yield in South Darfur State

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Ahmedai, Salih
Ahmed, Mukhtar
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A field experiment was conducted in Mershing village, 85 km north of Nyala, for two consecutive seasons (2000 and 2001) to investigate the effect of the shape of microcatchment’s water-harvesting method on sorghum growth, yield and water use efficiency. The soil of the experimental site is sandy loam over clay loam derived from an undifferentiated basement complex and classified as Rhodic/ Aridic Paleustalf. The treatments consisted of three types of micro-catchments; namely, C-, V- and L-shaped and the natural land as control (N). Each treatment was replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. The results of the two seasons consistently showed that the C-shaped micro-catchment was the most effective in water harvesting, soil water conservation and crop growth and production. The second season had favorable amount (378.5 mm) and distribution of rainfall, and hence it resulted in better growth and yield of sorghum. In this season, the mean dry fodder yield was 2.933, 1.904, 1.511 and 1.004 ton/ha for the C, V, N and L treatments, respectively. The mean grain yield was 1.845, 0.992, 0.764 and 0.333 ton/ha for the same treatments in sequence. Furthermore, plant height, leaf area index, 1000 grain weight, water use and water use efficiency for the Cshaped micro-catchment were 123 cm, 2.9, 22.1 g, 355 mm and 5.2 kg/, respectively. The C-shaped catchment was most effective in water harvesting, and thus it gave the highest number of plants and heads, the tallest plants, the broadest leaves, the largest grains and hence the highest fodder and grain yields. The yield and the water use efficiency of sorghum in this study are comparable to those obtained, under comparable conditions, in various countries in Africa.
Sorghum; South Darfur State; water harvesting