Tef (Eragrostis tef) responses to phosphorus and potassium fertigation under semi-arid mediterranean climate

Moshe Halpern, Kelem Gashu, Isaac Zipori, Yehoshua Saranga, Uri Yermiyahu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) is an annual small grain, panicle bearing, C4 cereal crop native to Ethiopia, where it is a major staple food. The objectives of the present study were to characterize the responses of two tef genotypes to escalating phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) levels and to determine an optimum range for P and K at which tef performance is maximized. Two experiments were carried out in the Gilat Research Station, each testing two different genotypes of tef (405B and 406W), one experiment in pots in controlled conditions, and the other in the field. In both experiments, the highest grain yield increased until 6 mg L-1 P, and declined at 12 mg L-1 P. The decline was precipitous and significant in the pot experiment, and gradual and statistically insignificant in the field experiment. In the pots experiment, the grain yield increased until 40 mg L-1 K, with no significant decrease thereafter. The effect of K concentration was only seen in the grain yield and not in the size of the other plant organs. In the field experiment, grain yield was highest at 80 mg L-1 K, but it was not statistically different from 40 mg L-1. The effect of K on growth was only apparent at maturity and not at flowering.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1588
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

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  • Fertigation
  • Fertilizer optimization
  • Tef


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