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Feeding the plant, not the soil: Performance criteria for organic matter technologies in Malawi

By: Snapp, S | Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT), Mexico DF (Mexico).
Contributor(s): Ikerra, S [coaut.] | Minae, S [coaut.] | Ransom, J.K.|Palmer, A.F.E.|Zambezi, B.T.|Mduruma, Z.O.|Waddington, S.R.|Pixley, K.V.|Jewell, D.C [eds.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookAnalytics: Show analyticsPublisher: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) CIMMYT : 1997ISBN: 92-9146-025-7.Subject(s): Cropping systems | Fertilizer application | Malawi | Soil chemicophysical properties AGROVOC | CIMMYT | Soil fertility AGROVOC | Nitrogen fertilizers AGROVOCDDC classification: 633.15 Summary: Organic matter practices can be divided into those that "feed the soil" and those that "feed the plant". We suggest that building soil organic matter is a problematic enterprise in Malawi smallholder cropping systems. Instead, a focus on organic matter technologies that feed the plant is a productive strategy for N-limited, sub-humid agroecozones of Malawi. Our data showed that nitrogen supply to maize from high quality residues and/or inorganic fertilizers can determine yields to a much greater extent than soil organic matter. Methodology to predict the nitrogen contribution of organic matter technologies was evaluated. Monitoring soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, and nitrogen budgeting techniques show promise. The ability of organic matter technologies to produce high quality biomass that enhances soil nutrient availability and crop yields is suggested as a performance criterion, rather than soil organic matter building capacity.Collection: CIMMYT Publications Collection
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Conference proceedings CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

CIMMYT Publications Collection 633.15 EAS No. 5 (Browse shelf) 1 Available 1M624172
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Organic matter practices can be divided into those that "feed the soil" and those that "feed the plant". We suggest that building soil organic matter is a problematic enterprise in Malawi smallholder cropping systems. Instead, a focus on organic matter technologies that feed the plant is a productive strategy for N-limited, sub-humid agroecozones of Malawi. Our data showed that nitrogen supply to maize from high quality residues and/or inorganic fertilizers can determine yields to a much greater extent than soil organic matter. Methodology to predict the nitrogen contribution of organic matter technologies was evaluated. Monitoring soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, and nitrogen budgeting techniques show promise. The ability of organic matter technologies to produce high quality biomass that enhances soil nutrient availability and crop yields is suggested as a performance criterion, rather than soil organic matter building capacity.

English

9801|AGRIS 9702

Jose Juan Caballero

CIMMYT Publications Collection

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Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT) © Copyright 2015. Carretera México-Veracruz. Km. 45, El Batán, Texcoco, México, C.P. 56237.
Lunes –Viernes 9:00 am. 17:00 pm. Si tiene cualquier pregunta, contáctenos a CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org