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Mechanisms of residue mulch-induced cereal growth increases in West Africa
The use of crop residues (CR) has been widely reported as a means of increasing crop yields across West Africa. However, little has been done to compare the magnitude and mechanisms of CR effects systematically in the different agro-ecological zones of the region. To this end, a series of field trials with millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.), sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], and maize (Zea mays L.) was conducted over a 4-yr period in the Sahelian, Sudanian, and Guinean zones of West Africa. Soils ranged in pH from ...
The nondestructive determination of plant total dry matter (TDM) in the field is greatly preferable to the harvest of entire plots in areas such as the Sahel where small differences in soil properties may cause large differences in crop growth within short distances. Existing equipment to nondestructively determine TDM is either expensive or unreliable. Therefore, two radiometers for measuring reflected red and near-infrared light were designed, mounted on a single wheeled hand cart and attached to a differential ...
Root-induced increases in soil pH and nutrient availability to field-grown cereals and legumes on acid sandy soils of Sudano-Sahelian West Africa
A field experiment with millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.), sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) and groundnut (Arachnis hypogeae L.) was conducted on severely P-deficient acid sandy soils of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to measure changes in pH and nutrient availability as affected by distance from the root surface and by mineral fertiliser application. Treatments included three rates of phosphorus (P) and four levels of nitrogen (N) application. Bulk, rhizosphere and rhizoplane soils ...