Biomass contribution and nutrient recycling of organic matter management practices in tropical smallholder annual farming systems
Taylor & Francis Group - Informa UK Limited
Integrating a combination of organic matter management (OMM) practices can increase soil fertility, biomass, and nutrient recycling, but evidence of this potential is limited. This study tested the impact of integrating a combination of OMM practices on soil fertility, biomass, and nutrient recycling on smallholder farms. Following a randomised complete block design, a four-season experiment was conducted in 2018-2019 on 10 farms. The treatments (T) included T1: cowpea-maize-bean-maize rotation; T2: cowpea-maize-bean-maize rotation + farmyard manure; T3: Faidherbia albida alleys + cowpea-maize-bean-maize rotation; T4: F. albida alleys + cowpea-maize-bean-maize rotation + farmyard manure; and T5 (control): maize monocrop with diammonium phosphate application at 50 kg/ha application rate. T1-T4 are the OMM practices. The maize in T2-T4 was undersown with Mucuna pruriens. Soil fertility parameters (i.e. pH, water holding capacity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), biomass, and nutrients in the biomass were determined. There were no differences in soil fertility parameters among all treatments (P > 0.05). From the second to the fourth season, biomass was consistently higher under T3 and T4 than in other treatments. Moreover, the nutrients in biomass were higher in T3 and T4 than in other treatments, an indicator that OMM practices with alley crops can increase nutrient recycling.
Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge the farmers of Nyabbani Sub County for availing their land for the experiment and for fully participating in the field experiment. Bosco Bwambale (PhD) is acknowledged for reviewing this paper and Collins Muhangi for his assistance in soil and plant testing. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 2022, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09064710.2022.2134819 . Keywords: Alley cropping; biomass; Faidherbia albida; farmyard manure; legumes; Mucuna pruriens; nutrient recycling; organic matter; smallholder farm; soil fertility; Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Uganda; soil organic carbon; sandy clay loam; crop rotation; tropical bimodal climate.
Deous Mary Ekyaligonza, Thaddeo Tibasiima Kahigwa, Phillipp Dietrich, Bendicto Akoraebirungi, John Patrick Kagorora, Jürgen Kurt Friedel, Andreas Melcher & Bernhard Freyer (2022) Biomass contribution and nutrient recycling of organic matter management practices in tropical smallholder annual farming systems, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, 72:1, 945-956, DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2022.2134819