ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 90 Number 1
Yield of sesame (Sesamum orientale L) in the Northern Savanna Zone of Ghana. (25)
The mean seed yield of sesame (Sesamum orientale L.) grown in Ghana by broadcasting the seeds is low. A field experiment to determine the effect of different plant populations and planting distances on the seed yield of sesame was conducted at Nyankpala in the northern Savanna zone of Ghana in 2009 and 2010. The treatments including row planting populations of 333,000/ha, 332,000/ha, 222,000/ha, 166,000/ha and broadcasting at the rate of 300,000 seeds/ha were laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) and replicated four times with SJ2 as the test crop variety. The most appropriate plant populations and planting distances that significantly (p< 0.05) increased seed yield/ha were 60 x 5 cm (333,000 plants/ha) and 60 x 10 cm spacing (332,000 plants/ha). Although plant population by broadcasting method was similar to the above; the seed yield was significantly (p<0.05) lower because the method of planting resulted in over-crowding which might have enhanced interplant competition for resources such as nutrients. Plant spacing (60 x 15 and 60 x 20 cm) that gave lower plant densities produced significantly (p<0.05) higher branches and pod number/plant but these could not be translated into higher seed yields/unit area as these compensatory factors were not enough to raise yields/unit area. Pod length, seeds/pod and plant height at harvest were not affected by plant population in the study. Farmers in the northern savanna zone of Ghana should therefore be sensitized and encouraged to adopt the 60 x 5 cm spacing at 1 plant/stand (333,000 plants/ha) or 60 x 10 cm spacing at 2 plants/stand for high sesame yields. The broadcasting method should be discouraged since it results in low seed yields and makes weed control, fertilizer application and harvesting more difficult.
Keywords: Seed yield, plant populations, savanna zone, results, row planting and broadcasting