Teff is the only cultivated cereal crop from the genus Eragrostis
and it is the major staple food of Ethiopians. In Ethiopia, the quality of teff and its market price are primarily determined by its grain color. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of soil physicochemical characteristics across multiple locations in the two main teff growing regions of Amhara and Oromia states in Ethiopia on teff grain color and nutritional quality of a single variety. Grain and soil samples were collected from 24 field sites cultivated with the popular teff variety ‘Quncho’ (DZ-Cr-387/RIL-355). The teff grain samples collected from the 24 locations were evaluated for grain color, proximate composition, amino acid composition, and grain mineral concentration and the soil samples were analyzed for their physicochemical properties. Sample location means were considered different p
< 0.05. Teff grain color indices of hue (H), saturation (S), and brightness (V), grain proximate composition, amino acid composition, and mineral concentration differed among locations (p
< 0.05). There were significant negative correlations between grain S color value and soil pH, SOC, Ca, Mg, S, and Na. Soils with greater pH, SOC, Ca, Mg, and S generally had lower S values and thus, whiter color teff grains. There were considerable variations in the measured parameters for soil and teff grain physicochemical properties. The results indicated an opportunity for management interventions necessary to obtain uniformity in grain color and chemical composition for the same variety of teff grown in the two major regions in Ethiopia.
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