Toward farm specific recommendations for the use of mineral fertilizers in sahelian crop-livestock systems uri icon

abstract

  • Low soil fertility is recognized as the major constraint to rainfed cereal production in the Sahel. Given that most farmers can not afford enough fertilizer to cover all their fields, it is important to fine-tune the recommendations to maximize the fertilizer economic return at farm level while minimizing economic risks linked to climate fluctuations. This study was designed to help draw site/year/farm specific recommendations regarding hill placed application of mineral fertilizer either combined or not with organic amendments. A three year, multi-factorial experiment was conducted on-farm on three sites from 2003 to 2005 to test the effect of hill-placed application of small doses of DAP fertilizers on three pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) genotypes for a range of organic amendments. Results showed a consistent grain yield increase due to fertilizer application for the no-manure plots on 2 sites, the fertility level of the third site being good enough to mask to effect of mineral fertilizer with the exception of 2004, marked by an early drought. In normal conditions, no synergism was detected between organic and mineral fertilizer. However it became apparent in the case of re-sowing or late sowing with a larger effect of mineral fertilizer on manure plots

publication date

  • 2007