Main Article Content
Twenty accessions of five vicia species were evaluated for their agro-morphological differencesat Holetta and Ginchi in Ethiopia. The experiment was conducted in RCBD with threereplications. Data on establishment performance, growth rate, phenology, plant height,proportions of morphological fractions, biomass production rate and forage yield were collectedand analyzed. Most measured parameters showed significant (P<0.05) difference among thetested vetch species and their accessions at both locations. Shorter days to emergence, highervigor and lower seedling count per square meter at the early stage of growth, and lower aerialDM accumulations, lower branching performance, and shorter plant height over the growingperiod were recorded at Holeta and Ginchi. The difference between late and early maturingspecies for forage harvest was 25.0 days at Holetta and 27.9 days at Ginchi. Early maturingspecies had higher biomass production rate and the difference between the highest and thelowest was 37.5 kg ha -1 day -1 at Holetta and 47.8 kg ha -1 day -1 at Ginchi, and lower number ofbranches with the difference of 9.46 at Holetta and 12.13 at Ginchi. Taller vetch species gavebetter forage DM yield at forage harvest. Correlation analysis was also done for majorproduction traits to select the accessions for desired traits. Accordingly, forage dry matter yieldshowed a strong (P<0.001) positive correlation with days to forage harvest (r = 0.78) and plantheight (r = 0.79), but leaf to stem ratio was negatively correlated (P<0.001) with days to forageharvest (r = - 0.87), plant height (r = - 0.91) and forage yield (r = - 0.76). Generally, the resultindicated the presence of considerable variations in phenology, plant height, proportion ofmorphological fractions and their yields of vetch species and their accessions thereby suggestingthe possibility of improving vetch production through proper exploitation of the geneticresource differences.