Sustainability of maize-based cropping systems in rural areas of Zimbabwe: an assessment of the residual soil fertility effects of grain legumes on maize (Zea mays [L.]) under field conditions

  • Oniward Svubure
  • Sheunesu Mpepereki
  • Fred Makonese

Abstract

The residual soil fertility benefits of the preceding legumes to the following maize crop were demonstrated in the study. Incorporating stover of Bambara nut, cowpea, groundnut dry bean and soyabean gave higher maize yields compared to plots where the stover was removed. Total maize dry matter yield increases of 1.30 tha-¹ to 5.19 ha-¹ were recordedfollowing legume stover incorporation compared to stover removal. Even removal of stover of these same legumes gave significant maize yield increases compared to those from the maize after maize or after fallow plots. The total maize dry matter yield was greater after legumes with stover removed (ranging from 4.41 to 9.91 tha-¹) than after maize (2.16 to 2.26 tha-¹) or one season fallow (1.57 to 1.84 tha-¹). So farmers who keep livestock can still remove legume residues as fodder to supplement grazing in the dry winter period and still benefit from improved maize yields. International Journal of Engineering, Science and Technology, Vol. 2, No. 7, 2010, pp. 141-148

Author Biographies

Oniward Svubure
Department of Irrigation and Water Engineering, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Off Harare-Chirundu Highway, P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, ZIMBABWE
Sheunesu Mpepereki
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, P. Bag MP 167, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, ZIMBABWE
Fred Makonese
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, P. Bag MP 167, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, ZIMBABWE
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2141-2839
print ISSN: 2141-2820