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Reduced tillage and nitrogen effects on soil water dynamics and maize (Zea mays L.) yield under semi-arid conditions

By: Mupangwa, W.
Contributor(s): Twomlow, S | Walker, S.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: United Kingdom : Taylor & Francis, 2016Subject(s): Conservation tillage | Soil water | Zea maysOnline resources: Access only for CIMMYT Staff In: International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability v. 14, no. 1Summary: Soil water and nutrients are critical drivers of crop production for smallholders of southern Africa. A three-year study was conducted to assess the effect of integrating single and double ploughing, ripping and planting basins with nitrogen fertilizer (0, 10 and 20 kg N ha–1) on soil water dynamics and maize (Zea mays L.) yields. The experimental design was factorial with four tillage methods and three nitrogen levels as treatment factors. The study was conducted under semi-arid conditions of Zimbabwe. Tillage methods had similar soil water patterns in the profile and no tillage × N interaction effects were observed on soil water dynamics. Soil water penetrated deeper into the profile under ripper and basin methods than conventionally ploughed treatments. Nitrogen increased maize yields (14–96%) and rainwater-use efficiency (20–92%) regardless of tillage methods and growing season quality. However, more studies are required to explore complementary techniques that can improve rainwater capture and prolong soil water storage, and improve soil fertility.
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Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Staff Publications Collection Available
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Soil water and nutrients are critical drivers of crop production for smallholders of southern Africa. A three-year study was conducted to assess the effect of integrating single and double ploughing, ripping and planting basins with nitrogen fertilizer (0, 10 and 20 kg N ha–1) on soil water dynamics and maize (Zea mays L.) yields. The experimental design was factorial with four tillage methods and three nitrogen levels as treatment factors. The study was conducted under semi-arid conditions of Zimbabwe. Tillage methods had similar soil water patterns in the profile and no tillage × N interaction effects were observed on soil water dynamics. Soil water penetrated deeper into the profile under ripper and basin methods than conventionally ploughed treatments. Nitrogen increased maize yields (14–96%) and rainwater-use efficiency (20–92%) regardless of tillage methods and growing season quality. However, more studies are required to explore complementary techniques that can improve rainwater capture and prolong soil water storage, and improve soil fertility.

Conservation Agriculture Program

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