Yarwasha: An early-maturing, drought tolerant sorghum variety for low-rainfall areas of western Sudan | Crop Management (Crop Varieties)

In North Kordofan, sorghum occupies anarea of 336,000 ha with 122 kg/ha average productivity annually. Due tofrequent pearl millet crop failures during the last two decades, sorghumcultivation in North Kordofan State has expanded northward to predominantlypearl millet producing areas. Low and variable rainfall, short rainy season,terminal drought stress, late maturity and low yield potential of l Read more..

Description of the technology or innovation

In North Kordofan, sorghum occupies anarea of 336,000 ha with 122 kg/ha average productivity annually. Due tofrequent pearl millet crop failures during the last two decades, sorghumcultivation in North Kordofan State has expanded northward to predominantlypearl millet producing areas. Low and variable rainfall, short rainy season,terminal drought stress, late maturity and low yield potential of localvarieties are major crop production constraints in the rainfed areas of theState. Hence, early maturing varieties with stable high yield are necessary forsustainable crop production.


Assessment/reflection on utilization, dissemination & scaling out or up approaches used

Yarwasha has been evaluated underresearcher managed on-station trials and under farmer managed demonstrationplots for several seasons in Sheikan locality, North Kordofan State. It wasofficially released in 2003 for general cultivation in the low rainfall areasof western Sudan extending between latitudes 12° and 13° 35′N, or an areafalling south of a line joining Bara and Elfashir and north of a line joiningEldiling and Niyala (Figure 1.1). Annual rainfall ranges between 300 mm in thenorthern border and 450 mm in the southern border (Figure 1.2). The length ofthe growing season at Elobeid Research Station in the northern border does notexceed 75 days (Figure 1.3). Rains occur between July and October with the peakin August. Variation in rainfall amount and distribution is common within andbetween seasons. The average daily temperature ranges from 10°C and 35°C, withan annual variation of 15°C. April, May and June are the hottest months of theyear, and December, January and February are the coolest. Wind directionchanges according to the season; north-east in winter, and south-west insummer. Soils are predominantly sandy interspaced with silt depressions andgardud soils. Sandy soils are very deep, coarse to fine, with low organicmatter.

Figure 1.1: Kordofan and Darfur regions.


Figure 1.Rainfall distribution in western Sudan.

 

Figure 3: Length ofgrowing season, Elobeid city.

 

Yarwasha is a sorghum variety with earlygrowth vigour, medium tall plant height, large creamy white grain, blackglumes, loose awnless head, moderately thick non-juicy stalk, and leaves withwhite midrib (Figures 1.4). It produced stable high grain yield of 1319 kg/ha,has high grain quality (13% protein) and matures within 85 days, 28 daysearlier than the cultivated local varieties. Under farmer-managed demonstrationplots at four locations Yarwasha produced 427 kg/ha while Zinnari produced only147 kg/ha (Figures 1.5 and 1.6). These characteristics render Yarwasha the bestsorghum variety to be considered for promotion in the marginal rainfed areas.Yarwasha is recommended to be grown in the low rainfall areas of western Sudan.However, it can also be grown in similar arid and semi-arid regions of ECA.