Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2506946, 10 pages
Research Article

Performance of Sorghum Varieties under Variable Rainfall in Central Tanzania

1Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Dodoma, P.O. Box 395, Dodoma, Tanzania
2Department of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania
3Department of Soil and Geological Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3008, Morogoro, Tanzania

Correspondence should be addressed to Barnabas M. Msongaleli

Received 30 January 2017; Revised 17 March 2017; Accepted 4 April 2017; Published 27 April 2017

Academic Editor: Jerry Hatfield

Copyright © 2017 Barnabas M. Msongaleli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rainfall variability has a significant impact on crop production with manifestations in frequent crop failure in semiarid areas. This study used the parameterized APSIM crop model to investigate how rainfall variability may affect yields of improved sorghum varieties based on long-term historical rainfall and projected climate. Analyses of historical rainfall indicate a mix of nonsignificant and significant trends on the onset, cessation, and length of the growing season. The study confirmed that rainfall variability indeed affects yields of improved sorghum varieties. Further analyses of simulated sorghum yields based on seasonal rainfall distribution indicate the concurrence of lower grain yields with the 10-day dry spells during the cropping season. Simulation results for future sorghum response, however, show that impacts of rainfall variability on sorghum will be overridden by temperature increase. We conclude that, in the event where harms imposed by moisture stress in the study area are not abated, even improved sorghum varieties are likely to perform poorly.