Use of Tine-Tillage, with Atrazine Weed Control, to Permit Earlier Planting of Maize by Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe uri icon

abstract

  • Because of shortages of oxen for mouldboard ploughing, delayed planting of maize is common in Mangwende, Zimbabwe and reduces grain yield by 32%. On-farm experiments over four years tested the possibility of using a ripper tine, with atrazine herbicide, to allow smallholders to plant maize earlier. Compared to mouldboard ploughing, tine cultivation increased grain yield at 13 out of 18 sites. All these sites had less than 240 mm of rainfall in January (which coincided with crop anthesis) and long term rainfall records suggest tine cultivation should raise yields in two out of three years. Handweeding and atrazine treatments gave similar grain yields when used with tine cultivation, provided weeds were controlled within 14 days of crop emergence. Tine cultivation was economic at sites where the yield was greater than that with the mouldboard plough. The farmers could manage the combination of tine and atrazine use on a field scale
  • Because of shortages of oxen for mouldboard ploughing, delayed planting of maize is common in Mangwende, Zimbabwe and reduces grain yield by 32%. On-farm experiments over four years tested the possibility of using a ripper tine, with atrazine herbicide, to allow smallholders to plant maize earlier. Compared to mouldboard ploughing, tine cultivation increased grain yield at 13 out of 18 sites. All these sites had less than 240 mm of rainfall in January (which coincided with crop anthesis) and long term rainfall records suggest tine cultivation should raise yields in two out of three years. Handweeding and atrazine treatments gave similar grain yields when used with tine cultivation, provided weeds were controlled within 14 days of crop emergence. Tine cultivation was economic at sites where the yield was greater than that with the mouldboard plough. The farmers could manage the combination of tine and atrazine use on a field scale.

publication date

  • 1992
  • 1992
  • 1992