Field experiment was conducted to determine the effect of first irrigation period on sugarcane (Saccharium officinarium L.) establishment in the drought areas of Tendaho. Four levels of first irrigation application periods; 5 days pre-planting irrigation (DPI), 1 day after planting (DAP), 4 days after planting (DAP) and 8 days after planting(DAP) and four major varieties; N-14, NCO-334, CO-680 and B52-298 with high area coverage were used in a completely randomized block design with 4*4*3 factorial treatment arrangements. Sprout and Tillering data’s were collected at 30-45 and 45-90 days after planting, respectively. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that there was a significant interaction effect between the sugarcane varieties and time of first irrigation (TFI) (Varieties*TFI=p<0.0001) on sprouting rate, number of tillers per hectare, root establishment rate and number of dead setts buds in both sugarcane varieties. The maximum sprouting rate, number of tailoring root establishment were recorded with the application of 5 days pre-planting irrigation and 1 day after planting irrigation in all varieties while the lowest sprouting rate, number of tillers, root establishment was recorded on the 8 days after planting first irrigation application in all varieties. Therefore, applying first irrigation, in early times (5 pre-planting irrigation and 1 days after planting) was highly recommended with better sprouting rate, number of tillers and root establishment to all varieties expecting high cane yield and sugar yield in the Tropical areas of Tendaho.
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