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 498128
Title Climate-smart crop production in semi-arid areas through increased knowledge of varieties, environment and management factors
Author(s) Murungweni, C.; Wijk, M.T. van; Smaling, E.M.A.; Giller, K.E.
Source Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 105 (2016)3. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 183 - 197.
Department(s) Plant Production Systems
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Cropping - Drought - Landscape position - Manure - Risk

In large regions of sub-Saharan Africa, semi-arid conditions are likely to increase with climate change, yet these regions are becoming more important to feed production zones due to increasing population pressure. A production system in the semi-arid south eastern Zimbabwe was studied to assess different possible growth conditions of food crop in relation to seasonal differences, spatial rainfall distribution, use of organic nutrients and different position in the landscape. The growth and yield of four crops (maize, sorghum, millet and groundnut) were assessed with or without manure during two seasons (2008/2009 and 2009/2010) in different landscape positions. Daily rainfall, soil and manure nutrient levels, seed germination, crop establishment, grain yield and above-ground residue biomass were measured. Most important determining factors of crop yield were landscape position and the different within season rainfall distribution of the two seasons. Manure increased yield of sorghum grown in upland and maize grown in lower lowlands. Millet was affected by Quelea quelea birds, the reason why it is unpopular in south eastern Zimbabwe. Best-fit strategies can double total yield from 1.67 to 3.29 t/ha from the average 5.1 ha that farmers usually crop in south east Zimbabwe. Farmers in semi-arid areas can reduce risk of total crop failure by making a clever use of both the low lying and the upland areas depending on crops of their interest.

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