Best Bet Technology Package Development to Improve Sorghum Yields in Ethiopia Using the Decision Support System for Agro-Technology Transfer (DSSAT) Model
International Journal of Science, Technology and Society
Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages: 7-13
Received: Nov. 9, 2015;
Accepted: Nov. 21, 2015;
Published: Feb. 16, 2016
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Fikadu Getachew, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Climate and Geospatial Research Directorate (CGRD), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Gizachew Legesse, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Climate and Geospatial Research Directorate (CGRD), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Girma Mamo, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Climate and Geospatial Research Directorate (CGRD), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sorghum is grown mainly in the semi-arid areas. In spite of the fact that there was observed high climate variability in the last few decades, rain fed sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] production is still an important source of food and feed in the semiarid regions of Ethiopia. Although sorghum is realized as crop tolerant to water deficit, compared with other semiarid crops in Ethiopia, climate variability and change has been challenging its production and no intensive crop simulation modeling was done as it was desired. In this study the CERES-Sorghum Model of Decision Support System for Agro-Technology Transfer (DSSAT) has been tested over the north Rift Valley of Ethiopia. We have checked what would be the best combination of management options under research and farmers’ practice conditions for each sites for the historical climatological periods (1980-2010) in which we have found that the model performs well in assimilating the real situation in our sentinel sites in both research and farmers’ management practices. The potential grain yield from the DSSAT model would go up to 2.5T/ha under best scenario rainfall seasons without applying the developed technology package application (which we call it farmer’s condition). The same sorghum variety has a potential yield of 6.2 T/ha if one can apply the recommended best bet technology packages (planting date, planting population, sowing data, fertilizer application rate and time) within the same season. Hereby we can assert that the application of the developed technology packages would make a difference of up to 3.7 T/ha of grain sorghum yield under the same season. Even though applying the technology packages according to the prevailing seasons would significantly matter the expected grain yield, the worst possible grain yield lose would be minimized by applying the best bet technology packages that fits the specific season. Moreover, the selected sentinel sites were few, the result can be extrapolated using the calibrated crop simulation modeling to larger areas to develop strategic plans to improve grain yield of sorghum in Ethiopia.
Best Bet Technology Package Development to Improve Sorghum Yields in Ethiopia Using the Decision Support System for Agro-Technology Transfer (DSSAT) Model, International Journal of Science, Technology and Society.
Vol. 4, No. 1,
2016, pp. 7-13.
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