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Article

Effect of Mulching and Permanent Planting Basin Dimensions on Maize (Zea mays L.) Production in a Sub-Humid Climate

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Africa Centre of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa P.O. Box 138, Ethiopia
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Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, Makerere University, Kampala P.O. Box 317, Uganda
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Institute of Biology, Theoretical Ecology, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 2/4, Gartenhaus, D-14195 Berlin, Germany
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School of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa P.O. Box 138, Ethiopia
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Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Kyambogo University, Kyambogo P.O. Box 1, Uganda
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Department of Agricultural Infrastructure, Mechanisation and Water for Agricultural Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Entebbe P.O. Box 102, Uganda
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arturo Alvino
Water 2022, 14(1), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010079
Received: 15 August 2021 / Revised: 18 September 2021 / Accepted: 23 September 2021 / Published: 3 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Water)
In sub-humid regions, declining maize (Zea mays L.) yield is majorly attributed to unreliable rainfall and high evapotranspiration demand during critical growth stages. However, there are limited farm technologies for conserving soil water and increasing water use efficiency (WUE) in rainfed production systems amidst a changing climate. This study aimed at assessing the performance of different climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices, such as mulching and permanent planting basins (PPB), on maize growth, yield, water use efficiency and soil moisture storage. Field experiments involving mulches of 2 cm (M_2 cm), 4 cm (M_4 cm) and 6 cm (M_6 cm) thickness, permanent planting basins of 20 cm (PPB_20 cm) and 30 cm (PPB_30 cm) depths and the control/or conventional treatments were conducted for three maize growing seasons in the sub-humid climate of Western Uganda. Results indicate that maize biomass significantly increased under the tested CSA practices in the study area. Use of permanent planting basins relatively increased maize grain yield (11–66%) and water use efficiency (33–94%) compared to the conventional practice. Additionally, plots treated with mulch achieved an increase in grain yield (18–65%) and WUE (28–85%) relative to the control. Soil amendment with M_4 cm and M_6 cm significantly increased soil moisture storage compared to permanent planting basins and the conventional practice. Overall, the results highlight the positive impact of CSA practices on improving maize yield and water use efficiency in rainfed agriculture production systems which dominate the sub-humid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate smart agriculture; maize; water use efficiency; soil moisture storage; rainfed climate smart agriculture; maize; water use efficiency; soil moisture storage; rainfed
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zizinga, A.; Mwanjalolo, J.-G.M.; Tietjen, B.; Bedadi, B.; Gabiri, G.; Luswata, K.C. Effect of Mulching and Permanent Planting Basin Dimensions on Maize (Zea mays L.) Production in a Sub-Humid Climate. Water 2022, 14, 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010079

AMA Style

Zizinga A, Mwanjalolo J-GM, Tietjen B, Bedadi B, Gabiri G, Luswata KC. Effect of Mulching and Permanent Planting Basin Dimensions on Maize (Zea mays L.) Production in a Sub-Humid Climate. Water. 2022; 14(1):79. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010079

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zizinga, Alex, Jackson-Gilbert M. Mwanjalolo, Britta Tietjen, Bobe Bedadi, Geofrey Gabiri, and Kizza C. Luswata. 2022. "Effect of Mulching and Permanent Planting Basin Dimensions on Maize (Zea mays L.) Production in a Sub-Humid Climate" Water 14, no. 1: 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010079

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