continuous maize
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Yang Zhang ◽  
Yan Zhang ◽  
Yan Gao ◽  
Dandan Huang ◽  
Xuewen Chen ◽  

Residue return can prevent or restore the degradation of cropland, meanwhile, additional N input from residue return inevitably result in the changes of soil nitrogen (N) pools. Our objectives were to evaluate these changes in a 16-year field experiment. The residue return experiment consisted of no-tillage (NT) and mouldboard plough (MP), combined with continuous maize (Zea mays L.) (MM) and maize-soybean (Glycine max Merr.) rotation (MS) cropping systems, that is, NTMM, NTMS, MPMM, MPMS; conventional tillage (removal of crop residue and deep plough) with continuous maize (CTMM) was included as a control. The soil was separated into density (LF, light fraction) and particle size (sand, silt and clay) fraction. In 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm layers, soil TN content in NT was higher than MP, whereas the opposite trend was observed in 10-20 cm. Thus, the stratification ratio of soil TN was greater under NT. Cropping system affected soil TN as MM > MS. Residue return increased soil N storage by 6.44%-24.85% in the plough layer. Taking CTMM as the baseline, NTMM and MPMM increased the N storage in all physical fractions, while the decrease of silt-N storage was observed in NTMS and MPMS. Under residue return, the distribution of N storage changes in LF and sand fraction was affected by tillage practice, and that in silt and clay fraction was affected by cropping system. In summary, NTMM is effective for soil N accumulation due to its highest N storage and all physical fractions of N storage was enhanced.

2021 ◽  
Kazumichi Fujii ◽  
Risako Mitani ◽  
Yoshiyuki Inagaki ◽  
Chie Hayakawa ◽  
Makoto Shibata ◽  

Abstract AimsThe loss of soil organic matter (SOM) has widely been reported in the tropics after changing land use from shifting cultivation to continuous cropping. We tested whether continuous maize cultivation accelerates SOM loss compared to upland rice and forest fallow. Methods: Because litter sources include C4 plants (maize in maize fields and Imperata grass in upland rice fields) in Thailand, C3-derived and C4-derived SOM can be traced using the differences in natural 13C abundance (δ13C) between C3 and C4 plants. We analyzed the effects of land use history (cultivation or forest fallow period) on C stocks in the surface soil. Soil C stocks decreased with the cultivation period in both upland rice and maize fields. ResultsThe rate of soil organic carbon loss was higher in maize fields than in upland rice fields. The decomposition rate constant (first order kinetics) of C3-plant-derived SOM was higher in the maize fields than in the upland rice fields and the C4-plant-derived SOM in the forest fallow. Soil surface exposure and low input of root-derived C in the maize fields are considered to accelerate SOM loss. Soil C stocks increased with the forest fallow period, consistent with the slow decomposition of C4-plant-derived SOM in the forest fallows. ConclusionsContinuous maize cultivation accelerates SOM loss, while forest fallow and upland rice cultivation could mitigate the SOM loss caused by continuous maize cultivation.

2021 ◽  
Vol 213 ◽  
pp. 105143
Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes ◽  
Samuel Franco-Luesma ◽  
Victoria Lafuente ◽  
Pablo Sen ◽  
Asun Usón ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 165 ◽  
pp. 103971 ◽  
Adnan Mustafa ◽  
Xu Hu ◽  
Muhammad Mohsin Abrar ◽  
Syed Atizaz Ali Shah ◽  
Sun Nan ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vincent G. Vyamana ◽  
Shabani A.O. Chamshama ◽  
Samora Macrice Andrew

Abstract Agriculture forms a backbone of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) thus has the potential to contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, agriculture in the SSA is characterized by low production due to soil fertility depletion. Use of appropriate low input agricultural technologies may increase production and benefit smallholder farmers through increased productivity in already degraded land. A field experiment was established to assess tree coppice intercropping of Albizia harveyi and Albizia versicolor for soil fertility and maize yield improvements in Morogoro, Tanzania. Tree fallows of A. versicolor aged three years increased significantly soil organic Carbon, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium. Yields of maize grain, cobs and stover in maize fields intercropped with A. versicolor were significantly higher than those with A. harveyi. Fields with continuous maize cropping had the least yields of grain, cobs and stover. The studied agroforestry tree species are recommended for rotational woodlots and short rotation coppice systems to enhance agricultural productivity for achieving SDGs.

2021 ◽  
Vol 95 (2) ◽  
pp. 443-457
Misheck Musokwa ◽  
Paramu L. Mafongoya

AbstractDeclining soil properties have triggered lower maize yields among smallholder famers in South Africa. Legume trees such as pigeonpea can be used as improved fallows to replenish degraded soils. The objectives of the study were to: (1) examine the effects of improved pigeonpea fallows on enhancing biological, physical soil properties and maize yield responses and (2), analyze the relationship of maize grain yield to biological and physical soil properties after improved pigeonpea fallows at Wartburg, South Africa. Pigeonpea fallows were established in 2015/16 season and terminated in 2017 and subsequently maize was planted. A randomized complete block design replicated three times was used with five treatments: continuous sole maize without fertilizer (T1), natural fallow then maize (T2), pigeonpea + grass—pigeonpea then maize (T3), maize + pigeonpea—pigeonpea then maize (T4), two-year pigeonpea fallow then maize (T5). Improved pigeonpea fallows increased maize yields through improvement in soil macrofauna species abundance, richness and diversity, aggregate stability, infiltration rate. Pigeonpea fallows increased maize yield by 3.2 times than continuous maize without fertilizer. The maize grain yield (3787 kg ha−1), was the highest on two-year pigeonpea fallows while continuous maize without fertilizer had the least (993 kg ha−1). There was a significant positive correlation between soil macrofauna indices and physical soil properties to maize yields. Smallholders who have limited access to fertilizers can sustainably use improved fallows to restore degraded soils to achieve higher maize yields in South Africa.

Water ◽  
2020 ◽  
Vol 12 (10) ◽  
pp. 2761
Misheck Musokwa ◽  
Paramu L. Mafongoya ◽  
Paxie W. Chirwa

Maize production under smallholder systems in South Africa (RSA) depends on rainfall. Incidences of dry spells throughout the growing season have affected maize yields negatively. The study examined water distribution and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize rotated with two-year pigeonpea fallows as compared to continuous maize without fertilizer. A randomized complete block design, replicated three times, was used with four treatments, which included continuous unfertilized maize, natural fallow-maize, pigeonpea + grass-pigeonpea-maize, and two-year pigeonpea fallow-maize. Soil water mark sensors were installed 0.2; 0.5; and 1.2 m on each plot to monitor soil water tension (kPa). Soil samples were analyzed using pressure plates to determine water retention curves which were used to convert soil water tension to volumetric water content. Maize rotated with two-year pigeonpea fallows had higher dry matter yield (11,661 kg ha−1) and WUE (20.78 kg mm−1) than continuous maize (5314 kg ha−1 and 9.48 kg mm−1). In this era of water scarcity and drought incidences caused by climate change, maize rotated with pigeonpea fallows is recommended among smallholder farmers in RSA because of its higher WUE, hence food security will be guaranteed.

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