Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique

Nampula, Mozambique

Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique

Nampula, Mozambique
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Tsujimoto Y.,Japan International Research Center for Agricultural science | Pedro J.A.,Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique | Boina G.,Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique | Murracama M.V.,Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique | And 5 more authors.
Plant Production Science | Year: 2017

Light-based analysis is a fundamental approach to quantify the effects of factors determining crop growth in a given environment. The objectives of this study are to confirm the applicability of a digital imagery technique to extract green leaf areas for estimating light interception (LI) of maize canopy and to understand the effect of fertilizer application on the LI and radiation use efficiency (RUE) of maize under various agro-environments in Northern Mozambique. A locally recommended variety, Matuba, was grown in a single season with three different N application rates (0, 30, and 80 kgN ha-1) at one hot/dry low-elevation site, two hot/humid mid-elevation sites, and one cool/humid high-elevation site. Repeated measurements with quantum sensors revealed that the digital imagery is applicable to estimate the LI of maize except for leaf-senescing period close to maturity. The N application demonstrated profitable yield increases with agronomic nitrogen use efficiencies (kg grain yield per kg N input) of 20.6-35.3 kg kg-1 except for the low-elevation site with severe drought stress. In the mid-elevation sites, the yield increases were mostly explained by the improvement of RUE while the effect on LI was small because the vegetative growth was naturally vigorous under high temperatures irrespective of N inputs. At the high-elevation site, the N application improved its stagnant initial canopy development and increased both RUE and LI. The simple and inexpensive imagery technique should be useful to identify physiological basis of maize responses to fertilizer application and its interaction with regional environment even under poorly equipped regions in the tropics.Light-based analysis is a fundamental approach to quantify the effects of factors determining crop growth in a given environment. The objectives of this study are to confirm the applicability of a digital imagery technique to extract green leaf areas for estimating light interception (LI) of maize canopy and to understand the effect of fertilizer application on the LI and radiation use efficiency (RUE) of maize under various agro-environments in Northern Mozambique. A locally recommended variety, Matuba, was grown in a single season with three different N application rates (0, 30, and 80 kgN ha-1) at one hot/dry low-elevation site, two hot/humid mid-elevation sites, and one cool/humid high-elevation site. Repeated measurements with quantum sensors revealed that the digital imagery is applicable to estimate the LI of maize except for leaf-senescing period close to maturity. The N application demonstrated profitable yield increases with agronomic nitrogen use efficiencies (kg grain yield per kg N input) of 20.6-35.3 kg kg-1 except for the low-elevation site with severe drought stress. In the mid-elevation sites, the yield increases were mostly explained by the improvement of RUE while the effect on LI was small because the vegetative growth was naturally vigorous under high temperatures irrespective of N inputs. At the high-elevation site, the N application improved its stagnant initial canopy development and increased both RUE and LI. The simple and inexpensive imagery technique should be useful to identify physiological basis of maize responses to fertilizer application and its interaction with regional environment even under poorly equipped regions in the tropics. © 2016 The Author(s).


Tsujimoto Y.,Japan International Research Center for Agricultural science | Pedro J.A.,Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique | Boina G.,Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique | Murracama M.V.,Instituto Investigacao Agraria Of Mocambique | And 5 more authors.
Plant Production Science | Year: 2015

Soybean has attracted increasing attention as a cash crop while subsistent maize production is the first priority for smallholder farmers in southern Africa. Our study examined the performance of maize-soybean intercropping system at three sites across northern Mozambique. Both monocropped and intercropped maize received three levels of N application, while soybean was grown without additional fertilization. The grain yield of monocropped maize applied N at three rates and that of monocropped soybean ranged 1.6 – 2.1 t ha–1 and 0.57 t ha–1, respectively, in Nampula; 1.7 – 3.9 t ha–1 and 1.87 t ha–1, respectively, in Gurue; and 2.8 – 4.5 t ha–1 and 2.01 t ha–1, respectively, in Lichinga. Relative to these values, maize-soybean intercropping demonstrated advantageous productivity over monocropping in terms of the land equivalent ratio (LER) at 1.15 – 1.49 across the experimental sites. LER above 1 was mainly attributed to the consistently superior growth of intercropped maize than the monocropped maize. Under moist field conditions, the LER values were particularly high in the non-fertilized plots because maize plants became more competitive and depressed the intercropped soybean yields to greater degrees with increasing N application rates. When exposed to a dry spell, intercropped soybean showed an apparent benefit in drought avoidance, as shown by the slow depletion of the soil water potential and leaf stomatal conductance and by the retention of the aboveground biomass relative to the monocropped soybean. These results indicate that maize-soybean intercropping can be beneficial to introduce soybean while ensuring subsistent maize production in the low-N-input and drought-prone environment that prevails in the region. © 2015, Crop Science Society of Japan. All rights reserved.

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