Effect of different cover crop residue management practices on soil moisture content under a tomato crop Lycopersicon esculentumReport as inadecuate

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(2014)TROPICAL AND SUBTROPICAL AGROECOSYSTEMS.17(3).p.509-523 Mark abstract Water relations are among the most important physical phenomena that affect the use of soils for agricultural, ecological, environmental, and engineering purposes. In sub-Saharan African, water is most critical in limiting crop production and yields especially in the Arid and Sub-arid regions. The soil water storage, available water content and soil water balance under various cover crop residue management practices in a Nitisol were evaluated in a field experiment at the Kabete Field Station, University of Nairobi. The effects of surface mulching, above and below ground biomass and roots only incorporated of velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens), Tanzanian sunhemp (Crotalaria ochroleuca) and purple vetch (Vicia benghalensis) cover crops, fertilizer and non fertilized plots on soil water balance were studied. The experimental design was a split plot and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) was the test crop. Since water content was close to field capacity, the drainage component at 100 cm soil depth was negligible and evapotranspiration was therefore derived from the change in soil moisture storage and precipitation. Residue management showed that above and below ground biomass incorporated optimized the partitioning of the water balance components, increasing moisture storage, leading to increased tomato yields and water use efficiency (WUE). Furthermore, vetch above and below ground biomass incorporated significantly improved the quantity and frequency of deep percolation. Soil fertilization (F) and non fertilization (NF) caused the most unfavourable partitioning of water balance, leading to the lowest yield and WUE. Tomato yields ranged from 4.1 in NF to 7.4 Mg ha-1 in vetch treated plots. Vetch above and belowground biomass incorporated had significant (p ≤ 0.1) yields of 11.4 Mg ha-1 compared to all other residue management systems. Vetch residue treatment had the highest WUE (22.7 kg mm-1 ha-1) followed by mucuna treated plots (20.7 kg mm-1 ha-1) and both were significantly different (p ≤ 0.05) compared to the others irrespective of residue management practices.

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication: http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-5987987

Author: GN Karuku, CKK Gachene, N Karanja, Wim Cornelis and Hubert Verplancke

Source: https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/5987987


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