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Investigating Conservation Agriculture (CA) Systems in Zambia and Zimbabwe to Mitigate Future Effects of Climate Change

By: Thierfelder, C.
Contributor(s): Wall, P.C [coaut.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: 2010ISSN: 1542-7536 (Revista en electrónico); 1542-7528.Subject(s): Infiltration | mitigation | soil moisture | Conservation agriculture | Climate change AGROVOCOnline resources: Access only for CIMMYT Staff In: Journal of Crop Improvement v. 24, no. 2, p. 113-121Summary: Most models predict that climate change will affect the southern African region both through temperature rises and increased frequency and severity of drought. Conservation agriculture (CA) based on minimal soil disturbance, crop residue retention, and crop rotations offers potential solutions to mitigate the effects of seasonal drought. In Zimbabwe and Zambia, we investigated the effects of different maize-based CA systems on water relations and crop productivity from 2005-2009 and compared results with conventionally plowed plots. In all seasons, we found higher water infiltration on CA plots, and it was three to five times higher on direct-seeded CA plots compared to conventionally plowed control plots in 2009. This led to higher available soil moisture on CA plots. The increase in soil moisture will enable crops to overcome seasonal dry spells, mitigate the effects of drought, reduce the risk of crop failure, and secure livelihoods in the region.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection CIS-6110 (Browse shelf) Available
Total holds: 0

Peer-review: No - Open Access: Yes|http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?show=aimsScope&journalCode=wcim20#.UxehIvldX2M

Most models predict that climate change will affect the southern African region both through temperature rises and increased frequency and severity of drought. Conservation agriculture (CA) based on minimal soil disturbance, crop residue retention, and crop rotations offers potential solutions to mitigate the effects of seasonal drought. In Zimbabwe and Zambia, we investigated the effects of different maize-based CA systems on water relations and crop productivity from 2005-2009 and compared results with conventionally plowed plots. In all seasons, we found higher water infiltration on CA plots, and it was three to five times higher on direct-seeded CA plots compared to conventionally plowed control plots in 2009. This led to higher available soil moisture on CA plots. The increase in soil moisture will enable crops to overcome seasonal dry spells, mitigate the effects of drought, reduce the risk of crop failure, and secure livelihoods in the region.

Conservation Agriculture Program

English

INT2939

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