Pearl millet growth on an erosion-affected soil in the sahel

Michels, K and Bielders, C L (2005) Pearl millet growth on an erosion-affected soil in the sahel. Experimental Agriculture, 42 (1). pp. 1-17.

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The residual effects of three years’ mulch application and the associated erosion processes, such as soil loss or deposition, on pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) growth have been investigated on a Sahelian sandy soil in field and pot studies. The smallest millet yields were found on unmulched eroded plots despite mineral phosphorus (P) applications, whereas stover mulching or manure and urine consistently resulted in larger yields. Bioassays revealed that aluminium (Al) by itself was not growth-limiting. Neither nematodes nor lack of micronutrients contributed to the small millet yields. On soil from eroded plots, millet dry matter yield tripled after P addition, and increased by a factor of 13.5 when additional nitrogen (N) was applied. High P availability was found to be the key to reversing decline in yields on erosion-affected fields, but the addition of organic material is a prerequisite to prevent acidification.Manure was more effective than straw because of the large amounts of N and P it contained. The addition of small quantities of lime (CaCO3) may partly compensate for organic matter addition by increasing soil pH and reducing P fixation. P-Bray was not a suitable indicator of plant available P on degraded sandy acid soils

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2011 09:14
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2011 09:14
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We are grateful to H. Th¨oni, University of Hohenheim, for valuable statistical advice. The constructive comments of the anonymous reviewers were highly appreciated. This research was funded in part by the Netherlands Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
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