Grain Crop Response to Contour Hedgerow Systems on Sloping Oxisols.

TitleGrain Crop Response to Contour Hedgerow Systems on Sloping Oxisols.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsAgus F, Garrity D, Cassel DK, Mercado A, Agus
JournalAgroforestry Systems
KeywordsASB, Degradation, erosion, Gliricidia sepium, Oryza sativa, Paspalum conjugatum, Penisetum purpureum, Zea mays
AbstractFarming systems that minimize the rate of soil degradation and optimize food crop yields are needed to sustain soil productivity on sloping, acid, infertile soils in the humid tropics. Research was conducted on two Oxisols with slopes ranging from 22 to 30% to evaluate the performance of several contour hedgerow systems, with and without the addition of 60 kg N ha−1 per crop, on rice (Oryza sativa) and maize (Zea mays L.) production. Contour hedgerows were double rows of the tree legume Gliricidia sepium (G); Gliricidia and the native grass Paspalum conjugatum (GPas); Gliricidia and an exotic fodder grass Penisetum purpureum (GPen); double rows of Penisetum (Pen); and a conventional open field (C) farming system without hedgerows. Gliricidia prunings and all crop residues were applied to the soil surface in the alleys, but Penisetum was harvested. Food crop yields in all hedgerow treatments tended to be less than the Control for the first two years, presumably due to the displacement of land planted to the food crop. In the third and the fourth years, the rice and maize yields of Treatments G and GPas exceeded the Control, most consistently when N was not applied. Penisetum reduced food crop yields regardless of N application presumably due to nutrient removal in the fodder. The results indicate that Gliricidia in a contour hedgerow increases food crop yield on strongly acid Oxisols by recycling nutrients and partially supplementing the N demand by the food crops.