Tillage Effect on Soil Moisture Storage and Wheat Yield on the Vertisols of North Central Highlands of Ethiopia

  • K Kebede
  • E Bekelle


Vertisols are one of the agriculturally important soils in Delanta Dawunt, north central highlands of Ethiopia, for peasant farmers as almost all the cereal, soil and forage crops are grown on them. However, waterlogging during the growing season impedes the performances of cereal crops. It is crucial to seek for cost effective means to mitigate waterlogging for increased production. Hence, a field experiment was conducted to observe effectiveness of tillage on draining excess soil water. To this effect treatments, i.e., ‘flat seedbed, ‘traditional drainage system' (Shurube), ‘broadbed and furrow with 100 cm (BBF-100 cm)' and ‘broadbed and furrow with 80cm'(BBF 80 cm) were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications on 6 m by 4 m plot. The study revealed that BBF-100 cm, BBF-80 cm and traditional drainage system significantly increased the grain yield of wheat by 51.4 %, 41.6 % and 11.2 % compared to the control, respectively. Therefore, this study recommends ‘BBF-100 cm followed by BBF-80 cm to fight against seasonal waterlogging and to boost wheat production in the North central highlands of Ethiopia.

Keywords: Broadbed and furrow with 100 cm, Broadbed and furrow with 80 cm, Flat seedbed; Traditional drainage System; Tillage, Vertisols; Wheat

Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies of Management Vol. 1 (2) 2008: pp.49-55

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eISSN: 1998-0507