PEARL MILLET GROWTH ON AN EROSION-AFFECTED SOIL IN THE SAHEL uri icon

abstract

  • 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

publication date

  • 2005