Productivity and Water Use Efficiency of Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] Grown under Different Nitrogen Applications in Sudan Savanna Zone, Nigeria. International Journal of Agronomy
Nitrogen (N) is an essential nutrient for sorghum growth and development but often becomes limiting due to low availability and loss. The effects of N fertilization on water use efficiency (WUE) and physiological and yield traits of sorghum were investigated in two locations over two cropping seasons (2014 and 2015) in the Sudan Savanna zone of Nigeria. Three sorghum varieties were evaluated under six (6) N-levels (0, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 kg ha−1) at a constant phosphorus and potassium level of 30 kg ha−1. Results showed that N increased grain yield by 35–64% at the Bayero University Kano (BUK) and 23–78% at Minjibir. The highest mean grain yield in the N-fertilizer treatments (2709 kg ha−1 and 1852 kg ha−1 at BUK and Minjibir, resp.) was recorded at 80 kg N ha−1. ICSV400 produced the highest mean grain yields (2677 kg ha−1 and 1848 kg ha−1 at BUK and Minjibir, resp.). Significant differences were observed among the N-levels as well as among the sorghum varieties for estimated water use efficiency (WUE). The highest mean value coincided with the highest mean grain yield at an optimum application rate of 80 kg ha−1. N-fertilizer treatments increased WUE by 48–55% at BUK and increased WUE by 54–76% at Minjibir over control treatment. Maturity and physiological trait have a significant effect on WUE. The extra early maturing variety (ICSV400) recorded the highest mean WUE while late maturing variety (CSR01) recorded the lowest WUE.