Effect of crop rotation on grain yield and yield components of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the central highlands of Southern Ethiopia


Lake Mekonnen*

Cropping systems in the Ethiopian highlands consist primarily of cereals in rotation with grain legume and oilseed crops. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the dominant crop in wheat belt of Ethiopia and its production is mainly challenged by continuous wheat cropping year after year. Wheat based crop rotation was conducted in Silte zone, Allicho-wuriro district during 2019, 2020 and 2021 cropping seasons. The objective was to break down wheat monoculture and thereby enhance productivity and sustainability of wheat based farming systems. Rotational crops include potato, food barley, faba bean, field pea, lentils and continuous wheat were laid down in randomized complete design with three replications. Results indicated that faba bean and field pea wheat rotation increased wheat grain yield by 6.6% and 5.45 % of continuous wheat cropping, respectively. Demonstration of faba bean in the rotation enabled small-scale wheat farmers to use rhizobium inoculants with appropriate inoculation techniques. Their fore, small scale farmers in the study area and similar agro ecologies can increase wheat grain yield by using faba bean as a rotation crop.

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