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Smallholder farmer management impacts on particulate and labile carbon fractions of granitic sandy soils in Zimbabwe

Autor: Mtambanengwe, F.
Autor: Mapfumo, P.
Año: 2008
Resumen: Crop production in maize-based smallholder farming systems of Southern Africa is hampered by lack of options for efficiently managing limited and different quality organic nutrient resources. This study examined impacts of farmers&rsquo; short- and long-term organic resource allocation patterns on sizes and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) fractions. Farmers&rsquo; most- (rich) and least- (poor) productive fields were studied for two seasons under low (450&ndash;650 mm yr-1) to high (>750 mm yr-1) rainfall areas in Zimbabwe, on Lixisols with -6% clay and 88% sand. Rich fields received 0.5&ndash;14 Mg C ha-1 compared with <4 Mg C ha-1 for poor fields, and the differences were reflected in soil particulate organic matter (POM) fractions. Organic inputs were consistent with resource endowments, with well-endowed farmers applying at least five times the amounts used by resource-constrained farmers. Rich fields had 100% more macro-POM (250&ndash;2,000 lm diameter) and three times more meso-POM (53&ndash;250 um) than poor fields. Application of high quality (>25 mg N kg-1) materials increased labile C (KMnO4 oxidizable) in top 60 cm of soil profile, with 1.6 Mg C ha-1 of Crotalaria juncea yielding labile C amounts similar to 6 Mg C ha-1 of manure. Labile C was significantly related to mineralizable N in POM fractions, and apparently to maize yields (P<0.01). Farmers&rsquo; preferential allocation of nutrient resources to already productive fields helps to maintain critical levels of labile SOM necessary to sustain high maize yields.
Lenguaje: English
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Tipo: Article
Pais: Zimbabwe
Región: Southern Africa
Paginas: 1-15 pags
No de Revista: 1
Revista: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Volumen de la Revista: 81
Palabras Claves: Maize yields
Palabras Claves: Organic matter management
Palabras Claves: Oxidizable carbon
Palabras Claves: Resource e ndowment
Palabras Claves: smallholder farmers

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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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