Modelling the effects of maize/lablab intercropping on soil water content and nitrogen dynamics using APSIM-Model

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dc.contributor.advisor Odhiambo, J. J. O.
dc.contributor.advisor Hoffmann, M. P.
dc.contributor.author Rapholo, Seroto Edith
dc.date 2020
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-30T10:29:04Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-30T10:29:04Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.citation Rapholo, Seroto Edith (2020) Modelling the effects of maize/lablab intercropping on soil water content and nitrogen dynamics using APSIM-Model. University of Venda, South Africa.<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1568>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1568
dc.description MSCAGR (Soil Science) en_ZA
dc.description Department of Soil Science
dc.description.abstract Maize (Zea mays L.) is widely grown in the semi-arid regions of South Africa mainly for its grain that is used for direct human consumption, feed for animals and raw materials for the industries. The challenges of soil infertility, water supply, and availability of high yielding cultivars remain a major constraint for its production in this environment. These constraints are a major threat to sustainable crop production and food security. Maize/lablab Zea mays L.\ L. purpureus) intercropping system could thus become an option for food security among small scale maize producers in dry environments. Preliminary studies show the huge potential of maize/lablab intercropping in the semi-arid environments of the North-Eastern South Africa. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the effects of maize/lablab intercropping on soil water content, nitrogen dynamics and crop productivity based field experiments and crop simulation modeling using the model APSIM. The trials were conducted at two sites (Univen and Syferkuil) in Limpopo province, South Africa, for two seasons (2015/2016) and 2016/2017). The treatments consisted of; (i) sole maize (ii) sole lablab (iii) maize and lablab planted at the same time (Maize+lablab-ST) and (iv) maize with lablab planted 28 days after maize (Maize+lablab-28).The treatments were laid out in an RCBD replicated 4 times, with individual plots size measuring 4.5 m × 4 m (18 m2) and the layout of the field as consisting of 4 plots per block giving a total of 16 plots in 4 blocks. The following parameters were determined: soil water content, soil NO3--N and NH4+-N levels, dry matter and grain yield. The APSIM-model (version 7.7) was then used to simulate maize grain yield and dry matter production to assess risks associated with the production of maize/lablab intercropping. The results obtained from this study showed that maize/lablab intercropping had significant effects on measured parameters (grain, biomass yield soil water content, and N-minerals). Maize+lablab-28 produced 46 % higher grain yield than sole cropping (24%) and maize+lablab-ST) (30%). The results also showed variation in soil water content at different depths among the treatments. The soil water content was increased with depth. The intercropped plots and lablab sole had significantly higher soil water content than the sole maize. At all depths, the highest soil water content was obtained under sole lablab followed by maize+lablab-ST and maize+lablab-28. It was notable however that maize/lablab intercropping showed a higher NO3--N and NH4+-N levels at all depths. At both sites, the soil NO3--N showed a sharp drop at V7 sampling time. The results showed the benefits of intercropping in comparison to sole cropping as demonstrated by positive land equivalent ratios of >1 for both cropping systems in both years and sites. Modelling exercises showed that APSIM was able to simulate the results sufficiently. In the simulation experiment, a stronger negative effect of planting lablab with maize simultaneously was found. Hence, delayed planting of lablab should be a standard practice en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_ZA
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xv, 90 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Zea mays L. en_ZA
dc.subject L. purposes en_ZA
dc.subject Intercropping en_ZA
dc.subject APISM - model en_ZA
dc.subject Simulate en_ZA
dc.subject Validate en_ZA
dc.subject.ddc 635.670968
dc.subject.lcsh Corn -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Legumes -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Intercropping -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Catch crops -- South Africa
dc.subject.lcsh Cropping systems -- South Africa
dc.title Modelling the effects of maize/lablab intercropping on soil water content and nitrogen dynamics using APSIM-Model en_ZA
dc.type Dissertation en_ZA

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