Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 405343
Title Contour hedgerows and grass strips in erosion and runoff control in semi-arid Kenya
Author(s) Kinama, J.M.; Stigter, C.J.; Ong, C.K.; Ng'ang'a, J.K.; Gichuki, F.N.
Source Arid Land Research and Management 21 (2007)1. - ISSN 1532-4982 - p. 1 - 19.
Department(s) Meteorology and Air Quality
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2007
Keyword(s) desertified environment - agroforestry systems - machakos - productivity - consequences - reduction - yields - water - sand
Abstract Most early alley cropping studies in semi-arid Kenya were on fairly flat land while there is an increase in cultivated sloping land. The effectiveness of aging contour hedgerows and grass strips for erosion control on an about 15% slope of an Alfisol was compared. The five treatments were Senna siamea hedgerows with tree prunings applied as mulch to crops (H + M), hedgerows with crops with prunings removed (H), mulch only applied to crops (M), crops with Panicum maximum grass strips (G), and a sole crop control of a rotation of maize (Zea mays) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). Cumulative results for four consecutive seasons showed that most successful treatment H + M reduced soil loss from just over 100 to only 2 Mg ha-1 (or t ha-1) and runoff from just below 100 to 20 mm as compared to the sole crop control C. Grass strips were less effective (15 Mg ha-1 and 46 mm, respectively). Cumulative maize yields (1993-1995) were reduced by 35% in H + M, 55% in H, and by more than 60% in G. Generally, the M plot produced similar yields to those of C. Cowpea yields were less affected than maize because mean rainfall was well above average during the cowpea seasons. The hedgerows, particularly in combination with mulch, and grass strips kept soil loss on steep slopes at tolerable and sustainable rates. Strong trade-offs between erosion control and crop productivity need not be a major deterrent to adoption by farmers, if the grass and trees provide other significant benefits to farmers
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