Assessment of hybrid sorghums [Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench.] for yield performance and adaptability in two locations (Nyankpala, Damongo) in Northern Ghana

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The experiment was conducted in Nyankpala-SARI (Savanna Agricultural Research Institute), and its satellite station in Damongo in the Northern Region of Ghana. The study made use of nine genotypes including seven hybrids from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Mali and two local varieties (Kapaala and Mankariga). The objective of the study was to determine the yield performance and adaptation of sorghum hybrids in Northern Region of Ghana. The experimental design was a Randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications in each location (Nyankpala and Damongo). Data was collected by recording observations on all plants from the three (3) central rows per plot in Nyankpala (site 1) and Damongo (site 2). They were subjected to analysis, using the Genstat Discovery Edition 4, and significant means were separated using the least significant difference (Lsd) at 5%. Genotype by environment interaction (GGE) bi-plot analysis was done, to evaluate genotype mean performance and stability between genotypes in the two target locations and to determine the discriminating ability and representativeness of the test environments. The results of the study indicated that considerable variability existed among the sorghum hybrids (genotypes), or among the two locations and the Genotypes by Environment interaction, in terms of seedling vigor, Plant stand, days to 50% flowering, days to 50% heading, plant height, number of harvested panicles, panicle weight, panicle length, grain weight, 100 grain weight, biomass yield, agronomic score ( overall desirability like panicle form, desirability of grain form, etc…) and also in terms of damage caused on panicles by birds, midges, and mold. These are the main characteristics used in the course of the study for the selection of the best hybrids. The hybrids such as Caufa (2764 kg/ha), Pablo (2666 kg/ha), and Mona (2496 kg/ha) produced higher grain yield than the others and the local varieties Kapaala (2181kg/ha) and Mankariga (294 kg/ha) at the two locations (Nyankpala and Damongo). Caufa, Pablo, Mona were the best high yielding hybrids that farmer could adopt to increase their yields significantly. By considering the mean scores given by the analysis of panicles appreciation, grain desirability, agronomic score, grain yield, at the two locations; the results showed the acceptance and preference to Soumalemba, Caufa, Pablo, Mona, and Yamassa. These hybrids could be candidates for release in Ghana.  
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Agronomy (Plant Breeding).