Quantifying maize yield and erosion influencing factors for soillLoss prediction udner different tillage and soil amendments

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The study was conducted in Anwomaso, Kumasi, in the semi-deciduous forest zone of Ghana to assess the contribution of tillage and soil amendments on soil erosion control for sustainable maize production on a Ferric Acrisol. The treatments were tillage systems – no-till, plough-plant and plough-harrow-plant; and soil amendments – NPK, poultry manure (PM), ½ NPK + ½ PM and no amendment. The experiment was a 3x4 factorial; split plot arranged in randomized complete block design with three replications and was laid on an average slope of 6 % and 12 m long. Standard methods were used to quantify the input parameters of the Universal Soil Loss Equation under site-specific conditions. The test-crop was maize (Zea mays), Obaatanpa variety. The results showed Plough-plant to record greater moisture storage at the 15 -30 cm depth than the no-till and plough-harrow-plant. Seasonal variability in kinetic energy of rains was higher than the annuals, with the minor season having the highest CV of 37 %. The major season erosivity was 25 % and 16 % higher than minor season and annual erosivity respectively. Rainfall amount and total kinetic energy followed the same trend as erosivity with similar peaks and lows. Soil erodibility ranged from 0.01 to 0.026 Mg.ha.h /(ha.MJ.mm). The erodibility of plough-harrow-plant was significantly lower than that of the no-till and plough-plant. Tillage x soil amendments reduced soil loss relative to the bare fallow. No-till had the least soil loss under the tillage x amendments. Soil depth reduction, organic matter and nutrient losses followed the same trend as soil loss. Grain yield ranged from 741 kg/ha under no-till to 954 kg/ha under the plough-harrow-plant. The low yield was due to the incidence of a long dry spell and moisture stress during the experimental period. Total biomass ranged from 6342 kg /ha in plough-harrow-plant to 7669 kg/ha in the no-till. No-till with proper residue management and plough-plant amended with combination of NPK and poultry manure were identified as best options in sustainable land management practices.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of degree of Master of Science