Growth and yield performance of four groundnut varieties in response to seed size

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Field experiments were conducted at the Plantation Crops section of the Faculty of Agriculture, KNUST, Kumasi (6˚ 43′N, 1˚ 36′W) during the major and minor seasons of 2007 to determine the influence of seed size on the growth and yield of four groundnut varieties. The varieties were Adepa, Azivivi, Jenkaah and Nkosour (all improved varieties maturing in 110 to 120 days. the seed sizes were small (<5mm diameter or 37g mean 100- seed weight), medium (5.1-8mm diameter or 53g mean 100- seed weight) and large (8.1-10mm diameter or 67g mean 100-seed weight) the The field experiments were laid out in a Split plot arranged in a randomized complete block design. The main plot factor was the groundnut varieties and the seed size as the sub plot factor. Under field in the major and minor seasons, plants from the large seeds had Under field in the major and minor seasons, plants from the large seeds had higher establishment rate than the medium and small seed sizes of the same variety. The accumulation of dry matter during early seedling growth showed that the shoot fresh and dry weights of plants from large seeds were higher than small seeded plants in the major season. The difference between the number of pods and seeds produced by plants from the different seed sizes were higher in the minor season than in the major season. Plants from the large seeds had the least number of pods per plants in the major season but in the minor season plants from the large seed size showed superiority over the other seed sizes. The seed dry weight of plants from large seeds was almost 10% greater than plants from the medium seeds. Varietal differences were mostly significant in the minor season where rainfall was low and productivity increased with seed size. In general at both seasons, plants from the large seed size were superior in terms of height, number of leaves, number of seeds, shoot dry weight and pod yield over the other seed sizes, especially during the minor season of cultivation. Farmers are recommended to use the large seed size for cultivation especially during the minor season.
A Thesis submitted to the Department Of Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in partial fulfilment Of the requirement for a Master Of Science (Agronomy) Degree.