Productivity and residual benefits of grain legumes to sorghum under semi-arid conditions in south-western Zimbabwe: unravelling the effects of water and nitrogen using a simulation model

Ncube, B. and Dimes, J.P. and Wijk, M.T. van and Twomlow, S.J. and Giller, K.E. (2009) Productivity and residual benefits of grain legumes to sorghum under semi-arid conditions in south-western Zimbabwe: unravelling the effects of water and nitrogen using a simulation model. Field Crops Research, 110 (2). pp. 173-184.

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Abstract

The APSIM model was used to assess the impact of legumes on sorghum grown in rotation in a nutrient-limited system under dry conditions in south-western Zimbabwe. An experiment was conducted at Lucydale, Matopos Research Station, between 2002 and 2005. The model was used to simulate soil and plant responses in the experiment. Sequences of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) were used in the rotations. Legumes accumulated up to 130 kg of N ha-1 which was potentially available for uptake by sorghum in the following season. The APSIM model predicted total biomass, grain and N yields of the legume phase within the experimental error and performed well in predicting sorghum yield and N supplied in the rotation after cowpea and groundnut. The model generally under-predicted sorghum total biomass and grain yield after pigeonpea. Observed patterns of crop water use, evaporative losses during the dry season and re-charge of soil profile at the start of the rainy season were generally well predicted by the model. An assessment of output on sorghum N and water stresses in the rotation indicated that the legume-cereal rotation is more driven by soil nitrogen availability than water availability even under semi-arid conditions. Further legume-cereal rotation analysis using the model will assist in the understanding of other processes in the rotations in dry environments

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), PO Box 776, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Subjects: Plant Production
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry > Plant Physiology
Social Sciences > Plant Physiology and Biochemistry > Plant Physiology

Plant Physiology and Biochemistry > Biochemistry
Social Sciences > Plant Physiology and Biochemistry > Biochemistry
Divisions: Sorghum
Chickpea
Groundnut
Pigeonpea
Depositing User: Syamala
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 17:22
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 17:22
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2008.08.001
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/1589

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