Feyera Liben Merga, Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research, Adama, Ethiopia, Charles S. Wortmann, Keim 369, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE and Tesfaye kinde, Agronomy, Haramaya University/CIMMYT, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Soil water deficits during crop establishment and early growth are important constraints to sorghum production in Ethiopia. Dry soil planting was evaluated as a means to take advantage of early rains and increases period of crop growth before rains cease in late September or early October. Trials were conducted to evaluate the effect of dry soil planting depth for sorghum with three water deficit scenarios. The best sorghum establishment with dry soil planting occurred with: a local compared with an improved cultivar; with 5-cm compared with 3-, 7-, and variable planting depth; and 0 compared with 30-mm of water applied after planting and then with 30-mm applied again at 15, 20, and 25 days after dry planting. The results demonstrated the potential for seed to lie in dry soil while waiting for rain and the hazard of germinating rainfall followed by a dry period of two or more weeks.