Effects of cultivation practices on spatial variation of soil fertility and millet yields in the Sahel of Mali

O. Samaké, E.M.A. Smaling, M.J. Kropff, T.J. Stomph, A. Kodio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The article provides a quantitative analysis of temporal variation in fallow characteristics, and spatial variation in fallow distribution, pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) yield and soil fertility in three villages in the Bankass area in Sahelian Mali. Plots of 5 m × 5 m along four transects were installed at 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 m from the edge of the village compounds to the outer boundary of the village territory. We found that currently, fallow is practiced only in ‘bushfields’, which are further than 200 m away from the dwellings. Significant increases in the amount of organic C and soil nutrients (N, P and K) were found with increasing fallow duration. This was due to gradual accumulation of organic matter from fallow vegetation and the presence of leguminous species. Soil nutrients and organic C were higher in homefields (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-345
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume109
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • nitrogen

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