Wind erosion in the Southern Sahelian Zone and induced constraints to pearl millet production uri icon

abstract

  • On the sandy soils in the Southern Sahelian Zone, wind erosion owing to frequent short sand storms, especially at the beginning of the rainy season, is one of the constraints to crop growth. Sand storms and their effects on millet burial and growth were monitored during the 1990 growing season at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Sahelian Center, Niamey, Niger. During the growing season, the accumulated sand captured at 0.1 m above the soil surface attained 1262 kg m?2 vertical sampler opening. Ninety per cent of the millet pockets sown with the first rains were covered at 22 days after emergence and the crop was resown. During one single wind erosion event, 384 kg m?2 of sand was trapped and 40% of all millet pockets were totally covered. Surviving plants from the partially covered pockets showed delays in growth and development. The maximum plant height and leaf number were lower with a significant reduction in the leaf area index. Grain yield from unaffected pockets was nearly twice that of the pockets which were partially covered. Protection measures against wind erosion may have a potential to stabilize millet production in the Southern Sahelian Zone

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993