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Adams A.M.,University of Saskatchewan | Gillespie A.W.,University of Saskatchewan | Gillespie A.W.,Canadian Light Source Inc. | Kar G.,University of Saskatchewan | And 7 more authors.
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems | Year: 2016

Microdosing, the point-source application of a reduced fertilizer rate within 10 days of sowing, has increased short-term crop yields across the Sahel and is being actively scaled up as an agronomic practice. However, there is no information on the long-term effects of the technique upon soil fertility. To rectify this, this study used soil samples from the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Sadore, Niger, to assess the effects of 16 years of a reduced fertilizer rate of 15 kg N and 4.4 kg P ha−1 compared to unfertilized soil and a recommended rate of 30 kg N and 13.2 kg P ha−1 upon millet yield trend, soil chemical properties, and soil organic matter quality. The interaction of fertilizer with crop residue and manure amendments at 300, 900, and 2700 kg ha−1 was also assessed. Compared to unfertilized soil, the reduced fertilizer rate improved yield by 116 % but did not increase total N or available P. The recommended rate doubled available P and increased total N by 27 %, but resulted in slightly lower pH compared to the reduced rate. Yield trends were negative for both fertilizer treatments, indicating mineral fertilizer alone is not sustainable at Sadore. Crop residue or manure addition at 2700 kg ha−1 with fertilizer did not improve SOC but buffered pH by 0.3 units, provided nutrients beyond N and P, and changed the forms C and N functional groups in soil organic matter. © 2016 The Author(s)

Sanon A.,University of Ouagadougou | Ba N.M.,University of Ouagadougou | Binso-Dabire C.L.,Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research INERA | Pittendrigh B.R.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2010

The biopesticide Spinosad controls many insect pests of stored-food products. Laboratory and field trials were carried out to determine the efficacy of this pesticide against the cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (F.) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae), the main storage pest of cowpea, Vigna unguiculata, Walp, in West Africa. In the laboratory, Spinosad caused high mortality of adult C. maculatus and decreased the number of eggs laid by females. Spinosad, however, was less toxic in the 24 h treatment to C. maculatus than deltamethrin, an insecticide commonly used in Burkina Faso to control this insect. In "on-farm" experiments, Spinosad was effective in controlling C. maculatus. After 6 mo of storage, the number of insects emerging from cowpeas seeds was reduced by >80% by coating seeds with Spinosad but only by 43% by coating with deltamethrin. Less than 20% of the seeds were perforated in the Spinosad treatment compared with 29% for deltamethrin. Spinosad controlled C. maculatus throughout the 6 mo of cowpea storage whereas deltamethrin failed to control C. maculatus after 3 mo of storage. Spinosad has the potential to be more effective in controlling C. maculatus than deltamethrin. © 2010 Entomological Society of America.

Payne W.,Texas A&M University | Tapsoba H.,British Petroleum | Baoua I.B.,Institute Of Recherches Agronomiques Du Niger Inran | Malick B.N.,Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research INERA | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2011

The pearl millet head miner became a major pest in the West African Sahel during the droughts of 1972-1974, and has since remained a threat to food security. Pesticide control is unrealistic for subsistence farmers. Furthermore, there are no cultural control methods or genetic sources of resistance. Biological control was a possibility, but the required ecological knowledge did not exist in the 1970s. A biological control programme could have been rapidly developed through sustained and coordinated funding using existing knowledge. Instead, it took 25 years to lay the scientific groundwork through occasional bursts of uncoordinated short-term activity using international scientists funded by large donors. There was little funding and few prominent roles for national scientists until 2000, when they were empowered by a different approach taken by the McKnight Foundation. An operational system was quickly developed and deployed in which trained farmers rear and release the parasitoid Habrobracon hebetor to effectively eliminate the head miner. The national programme scientists demonstrated admirably that, when trusted and adequately supported and empowered, African researchers can deliver real and effective solutions that are scientifically sound, meet the needs of smallholder farmers, and contribute significantly to improved food security, community resilience and reduced poverty. © 2011 Earthscan.

Corbeels M.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | de Graaff J.,Wageningen University | Ndah T.H.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research | Penot E.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 10 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2014

Conservation agriculture (CA) is increasingly promoted in Africa as an alternative for coping with the need to increase food production on the basis of more sustainable farming practices. Success with adopting CA on farms in Africa has been limited, despite more than two decades of research and development investments. Through analyzing past and on-going CA experiences in a set of case studies, this paper seeks to better understand the reasons for the limited adoption of CA and to assess where, when and for whom CA works best. CA is analyzed and understood within a framework that distinguishes the following scales of analysis: field, farm, village and region. CA has a potential to increase crop yields in the fields, especially under conditions of erratic rainfall and over the long-term as a result of a gradual increase of overall soil quality. The impact on farm income with the practice of CA on some fields of the farm is far less evident, and depends on the type of farm. The lack of an immediate increase in farm income with CA explains in many cases the non-adoption of CA. Smallholders have often short-term time horizons: future benefits do not adequately outweigh their immediate needs. Another key factor that explains the limited CA adoption in mixed crop-livestock farming systems is the fact that crop harvest residues are preferably used as fodder for livestock, preventing their use as soil cover. Finally, in most case studies good markets for purchase of inputs and sale of produce - a key prerequisite condition for adoption of new technologies - were lacking. The case studies show clear evidence for the need to target end users (not all farmers are potential end user of CA) and adapt CA systems to the local circumstances of the farmers, considering in particular the farmer's investment capacity in the practice of CA and the compatibility of CA with his/her production objectives and existing farming activities. The identification of situations where, when and for whom CA works will help future development agents to better target their investments with CA. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Dao A.,Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research INERA | Sanou J.,Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research INERA | Gracen V.,Cornell University | Danquah E.Y.,University of Ghana
Maydica | Year: 2014

The Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research of Burkina Faso has extracted a large number of inbred lines from Open Pollinated Varieties, which are environmentally adapted and adopted by farmers. However, there is a gap in knowledge on heterotic grouping of these lines and their heterotic relationship with exotic lines. Twenty-four CIMMYT and INERA white lines were crossed to two CIMMYT testers and; twenty six IITA and INERA yellow inbred lines were crossed to two IITA testers. Two trials composed of 48 white testcrosses and 52 yellow test-crosses plus three checks were evaluated in well-watered and drought stress conditions in the dry season over two years. Signifcant general combining ability (GCA) effects due to lines and, testers for many traits including grain yield were observed. However, specific combining ability (SCA) effects for most traits except for plant and ear heights were not significant. Of the 24 CIMMYT and INERA white lines, 15 lines could be classified into het-erotic groups based on the SCA effects and testcross mean grain yield in well-watered environment and, 10 lines were classified under drought stress condition. Eighty five percent of the IITA and INERA yellow lines were clas-sified into heterotic groups in both drought and non-drought conditions. Thirteen yellow lines and five white lines maintained their heterotic groups in both well-watered and water-stressed conditions. © 2014 Consiglio per la Ricercame la sperimentazione in Agrcoltura. All rights reserved.

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