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Data from: Seed priming and Zaï pit practice improve field performance of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) in the Sahelian zone of Mali

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Dembele, Siaka S (2019). Data from: Seed priming and Zaï pit practice improve field performance of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) in the Sahelian zone of Mali [Dataset]. Dryad.


Poor seed germination caused by a variety of seed, soil and environmental factors lead to suboptimal seedling stand and ultimately yield suffers a serious setback. A number of priming techniques have been found to be effective in increasing germination and seedling growth and development. This includes techniques such as on-farm hydro-priming (seed soaking in well water) and osmo-priming (seed soaking in low osmotic solutions of Potassium silicate). Also, Zaï practice, a cropping system concentrating runoff water and manure in pits, may be a simple solution in addition to seed priming techniques for crop establishment under early drought and heat prone areas and for increased productivity of poor soils. This study aims to evaluate the combined effect of priming and cultural practices (ridge and zaï pits) on three sorghum varieties in the Sahelian zone of Mali. Data were collected during two growing seasons in 2014 and 2015. Monitored parameters were assessed by comparing the impact of priming with untreated sorghum seeds (the control) cultivated on ridges and zaï pits with or without compost. We also compared the effect of hydro-priming in water from well to osmo-priming using K2SiO3 performance. Hence, each of the 3 sorghum variety seeds were subjected to 3 different priming, sowed on ridges and zaï treatments. Variety banidoka and CSM63E recorded the maximum GP (54.0%) which was significantly higher than saba-tienda GP (48%). The priming treatments were not statistically different for germination but showed slight improvement in GP for primed (54%) compared to unprimed (48%). Germination percentages were significantly higher in zaï pits practice without (55%) and with compost (55%) compared to ridges (48%). Grain yield varied significantly among sorghum varieties (p<0. 04) and cultural practices (p<0. 01). There was no significant difference among priming treatments for grain yield. However, variety banidoka produced the highest grain yield (961 kg ha-1) followed by CSM63E (874 kg ha-1) and lastly saba-tienda (671 kg ha-1) with banidoka showing statistically different yield compared to saba-tienda. Zaï pits practice with compost obtained the highest GY (1131 kg ha-1), which was statistically different from the GY of zaï pits practice without compost (695 kg ha-1) and ridge practice (742 kg ha-1). Zaï pits practice without compost did not statistically differ from ridge practice. The findings showed that seed priming in addition to zaï pits practice improves seed germination and seedling development of sorghum probably by accelerating imbibition and providing continuous moisture during the germination phase. Combining seed priming and zai pit practice with compost appears a simple practice that will improve crop establishment and grain yield in the Sahelian zone of West Africa.

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National Science Foundation, Award: WASCAL