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Effects of conventional and Namibia specific conservation tillage on soil moisture content in Ogongo, Namibia

Mudamburi, B., Ogunmokun, A.A. and Kachigunda, B.ORCID: 0000-0003-4286-917X (2019) Effects of conventional and Namibia specific conservation tillage on soil moisture content in Ogongo, Namibia. International Journal of Recent Engineering Research and Development, 4 (2). pp. 48-55.

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Farmers in Northern Communal Areas (NCA) of Namibia practise conventional tillage using mouldboard or disc implements that pulverise fragile soil structures thereby destroying vital organic matter. This subsequently creates hard pans and plough lines that lead to soil degradation and consequently reduced moisture content and low yields leading to food insecurity. Studies were conducted at the Ogongo Campus of the University of Namibia between 2011 and 2013 to compare the differences between two conventional tillage (CV) treatments (i.e. tractor - drawn disc harrow (TDH) and animal - drawn mouldboard plough (AMP) and two Namibia Specific Conservation tillage (NSCT) treatments (tractor - drawn ripper furrower (TRF) and animal - drawn ripper furrowers (ARF) used by farmers in Namibia. A Fallow treatment of No tillage No crop (NTNC) was used as a control. The experimental research design used was a „split plot randomized complete block design‟ with tillage method as the main plot factor, and two mulch rates (0 and 3 t ha-1) as the subplot factor in 4 blocks, totalling 40 plots. This study showed significant (p<0.003) differences in moisture among tillage methods and interaction between time and tillage (p<0.001), with soil moisture peaks in February for both years. TRF resulted in the highest percentage increase in moisture content with 8.1%, whilst TDH increased by 3.9%, ARF increased by 3.1%, AMP actually decreased by 3.1% over the two year period. There was however no mulch effect on the moisture levels over the two years. Overall, the moisture contents under the NSCT treatments were higher than the corresponding moisture contents under the CV technologies and fallow treatments, Farmers in the NCA of Namibia are therefore advised to adopt the NSCT methods.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: IJRERD
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