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 370768
Title Multiple benefits of manure: the key to maintenance of soil fertility and restoration of depleted sandy soils on African smallholder farms
Author(s) Zingore, S.; Delve, R.J.; Nyamangara, J.; Giller, K.E.
Source Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 80 (2008)3. - ISSN 1385-1314 - p. 267 - 282.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-007-9142-2
Department(s) Plant Production Systems
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2008
Keyword(s) organic-matter - cattle manure - resource-allocation - crop production - western kenya - acid soils - management - zimbabwe - tropics - variability
Abstract Manure is a key nutrient resource on smallholder farms in the tropics, especially on poorly buffered sandy soils, due to its multiple benefits for soil fertility. Farmers preferentially apply manure to fields closest to homesteads (homefields), which are more fertile than fields further away (outfields). A three-year experiment was established on homefields and outfields on sandy and clayey soils to assess the effects of mineral nitrogen (N) fertilizer application in combination with manure or mineral phosphorus (P) on maize yields and soil chemical properties. Significant maize responses to application of N and manure were observed on all fields except the depleted sandy outfield. Large amounts of manure (17 t ha¿1 year¿1) were required to significantly increase soil organic carbon (SOC), pH, available P, and base saturation, and restore productivity of the depleted sandy outfield. Sole N as ammonium nitrate (100 kg N ha¿1) or in combination with single superphosphate led to acidification of the sandy soils, with a decrease of up to 0.8 pH units after three seasons. In a greenhouse experiment, N and calcium (Ca) were identified as deficient in the sandy homefield, while N, P, Ca, and zinc (Zn) were deficient or low on the sandy outfield. The deficiencies of Ca and Zn were alleviated by the addition of manure. This study highlights the essential role of manure in sustaining and replenishing soil fertility on smallholder farms through its multiple effects, although it should be used in combination with N mineral fertilizers due to its low capacity to supply N.
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