Field Evaluation of Yield and Yield Component Traits of Breeding Lines of Maize over Two Seasons in Derived Savannah Agro-Ecology
The understanding of yield and the interaction with its components is very important for selection in early generations of crop breeding. Twelve maize genotypes were collected from International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) along with seven landraces in order to identify the contribution of different traits to yield improvement. The experiments were carried out in two different seasons (March/April-early and July/August- late) in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Early season planting had a higher grain yield than late season planting. The difference in grain yield between early and late season was 3.92 tons/ha. This represents a 27.8% increase in grain yield during the early season over the late season planting. Number of ears per plant and shelling percentage were not influenced by seasonal effects. Ear weight and days to tasselling showed the highest direct positive effects of 0.972 and 0.665, respectively on grain yield, during early season. Furthermore, ear weight, followed by shelling percentage, exerted the highest direct positive effect on grain yield in late season. Higher indirect positive effects were obtained for ear diameter, ear length, ear height and plant height via ear weight in both seasons. Ear weight, days to tasselling and ear length were identified as the major traits affecting yield of maize in both seasons in the derived Savannah agro-ecology.
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