Effects of defoliation on grain yield and other characters of Sorghum

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Tadelle, G.S.
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Three late Ethiopian sorghum varieties were evaluated for their reactions to complete leaf removal, except the flag leaf, at two-week intervals from heading to 14 weeks post heading. Agronomic characteristics measured were plant height, lodging, seed set grain yield and 1,000 seed weight. All characters except plant height, were affected by defoliation. The earliest defoliated plots lodged the most and had the lowest per cent seed set with the severity of lodging decreasing and seed set improving with each delayed date of defoliation. Generally, grain yield was reduced significantly if defoliations were done in the first eight weeks' periods after heading. Leaf removal after about eight weeks post heading had no significant effect on grain yield. Similarly, defoliations up to the eighth week post heading significantly reduced 1,000 seed weight in the Alemaya-70 variety but in the other two varieties, Awash-1050 and WS-1763, the leaves had to be on the plants for at least ten weeks for the seeds to develop to the same weight as those from the non-defoliated plants.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 40 (4), pp. 337-341