Acta Scientific Microbiology (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Research Article Volume 5 Issue 8

Evaluating the Effects of Leucaena leucocephala Biomass and Planting Pits on Soil Moisture Content and Maize (Zea mays L) Performance

Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera1,2*, Mawoneyi Forget Mupfiga1 and Letticia Kudzai Kokerai3

1Chirichoga High School, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

2Department of Agriculture Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Zimbabwe Open University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

3Department of Crop and Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture, Resettlement, Lands, Water and Fisheries, Masvingo, Zimbabwe

*Corresponding Author: Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera, Chirichoga High School, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.

Received: April 20, 2022; Published: July 13, 2022

Abstract

Soil infertility and moisture stress are major constraints hindering crop production in semi-arid areas. Most soils are sandy loams which are infertile with low weatherable minerals. Smallholder farmers are resource poor farmers who are unable to afford large quantities of mineral fertilisers. Low and erratic rainfall plays an important role in causing moisture stress. Adoption of climate smart agriculture must be speeded to increase food security. The overall objective was to evaluate the effects of Leucaena leucocephala biomass and planting pits on soil moisture content and maize performance. The experiment was laid as completely randomised block design with soil moisture conservation as main factor and L. leucocephala biomass as subplot factor with three levels. Data was analysed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using Genstat version 14. Results show significant effect (P < 0.05) on soil moisture content due to application of Leucaena biomass at different rates. Highest soil moisture content was 11.5% at 0-20 cm and 12.5% from 20-40 cm after application of 5 t ha-1 biomass. Planting pits had higher soil moisture content for both depths. Interactive effects of Leucaena biomass and rainwater harvesting practices show significant effects (P < 0.05) on maize grain yield. Highest maize grain yield was 3326.8 kg ha-1 from treatment with 5 t ha-1 biomass. Planting pits recorded higher stover yield which was significantly different (P < 0.05) from flat cultivation. It can be concluded that the use of L. leucocephala biomass and rainwater harvesting of planting pits improved soil moisture content and maize yields. Farmers are recommended to use 5tha-1 of biomass in combination with planting pits to increase soil moisture content, grain and stover yields of maize.

Keywords: Leucaena leucocephala; Planting Pits; Soil Moisture; Maize

References

  1. Mupangwa W., et al. “Soil-water conservation and rainwater harvesting strategies in the semi-arid Mzingwane Catchment, Limpopo Basin, Zimbabwe”. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 31 (2006): 893-900.
  2. Nyamadzawo G., et al. “The Potential of Tied Contours for In-field Water Harvesting on Maize Yields in Semi-arid Marange Smallholder Farming”. Working Paper (2015).
  3. Mugendi DN., et al. “The role of agroforestry trees in intercepting leached nitrogen in the agricultural systems of the central highlands of Kenya”. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal 69 (2003): 69-79.
  4. Mugwe JN., et al. “Effects of plant biomass, manure and inorganic fertilizer on maize yield in the central highlands of Kenya”. African Crop Science Journal3 (2007): 111-126.
  5. Mucheru-Muna M., et al. “Enhancing maize productivity and profitability using organic inputs and mineral fertilizer in central Kenya small-hold farms”. Experimental Agriculture 50 (2014): 250-269.
  6. Kimaru SW. “Zai pits and integrated soil fertility management enhances crop yields in the drier parts of Tharaka Nithi county, Kenya”. PhD thesis. Kenyatta University, Kenya (2017).
  7. Mugandani R., et al. “Re-classification of agroecological regions of Zimbabwe in conformity with climate variability and change”. African Crop Science Journal 20 (2012): 361-369.
  8. Mudatenguha F., et al. “In situ rain water harvesting techniques increases maize growth and grain yield in a semi-arid agro-ecology of Nyagatare, Rwanda”. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology 16 (2014): 996-1000.
  9. Kebede D., et al. “Effects of Leucaena [Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit] Leaf Biomass and NP Fertilizer Application on Soil Fertility, Striga [Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth] Management and Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] Growth and Yield in Pawe District, Northwestern Ethiopia”. East African Journal of Sciences2 (2012): 147-156.
  10. Mugendi DN., et al. “Alley cropping of maize with Calliandra and Leucaena in the sub humid highlands of Kenya. Part 1: Soil fertility changes and maize yield”. Agroforestry Systems 46 (1999): 39-50.
  11. Patil S L and Sheelavantar MN. “Effect of cultural practices on soil properties, moisture conservation and grain yield of winter sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) in semi-arid tropics of India”. Agricultural Water Management 64 (2004): 49-67.

Citation

Citation: Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera., et al. “Evaluating the Effects of Leucaena leucocephala Biomass and Planting Pits on Soil Moisture Content and Maize (Zea mays L) Performance". Acta Scientific Microbiology 5.8 (2022): 79-83.

Copyright

Copyright: © 2022 Andrew Tapiwa Kugedera., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.




Metrics

Acceptance rate30%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days

Indexed In






News and Events


  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is May 30, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US