Long-term effect of tillage and manure application on soil organic fractions and crop performance under Sudano-Sahelian conditions
Soil and Tillage Research
Inst. l'Environnement Rech. Agric., 03 BP 7192, Ouagadougou 03, Burkina Faso; Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, Netherlands; Trop. Biol. and Fertility Programme, PO Box 30592, Nairobi, Kenya; An Intl. Ctr. Soil Fertil. Agric. D., BP 4483, Lomé, Togo
Human-induced degradation of natural resources in general and of soil in particular, is a major problem in many regions, including the Sudano-Sahelian zone. The combined effects of tillage and manure application on Lixisol properties and on crop performance were investigated at Saria, Burkina Faso, to find efficient soil management practices to improve soil fertility. A randomized block design with four treatments (hand hoeing only, hand hoeing+manure, ploughing only, oxen ploughing+manure) in three replications was started in 1990. Ten years later, total soil organic (SOC), particulate organic matter and C mineralization were measured. Initial SOC concentration was 4 mg/g and dropped to 2.1 mg/g soil in ploughed plots without manure and to 2.5 mg/g soil in hoed plots without manure. Manure addition mitigated the decrease of SOC in ploughed plots and even built up SOC in hoed plots, where it increased to 5.8 mg/g soil. Manure had a large effect on the fractions in which SOC was stored. In ploughed plots, a large amount of SOC was stored in physical particles >0.25 mm, while in hand hoed plots the maximum SOC was stored in finer fractions. In the topsoil, hoeing and manure resulted in a higher SOC than ploughing with no manure. However, in the 15-25 cm layer, particularly in September, particulate organic matter was greater in ploughed plots with manure than in hoed plots with manure. Crop yields were highest on ploughed+manure plots and lowest on ploughed plots with no manure. We conclude that applying manure annually mitigates the negative effect of ploughing and hand hoeing on SOC and related properties and therefore can contribute to the sustainability of the agricultural system in the Sudano-Sahelian zone. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Agriculture; Crops; Degradation; Manures; Natural resources; Organic compounds; Sustainable development; Manure applications; Particulate organic matter; Tillage; Topsoil; Soils; crop performance; manure; soil organic matter; tillage; Agriculture; Degradation; Farm Crops; Manure; Natural Resources; Organic Matter; Soil; Sustained Yield; Africa; Burkina Faso; Eastern Hemisphere; Sub-Saharan Africa; West Africa; World; Bos; Bovinae