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Corralling, planting density, and N fertilizer rate effect on soil properties, weed diversity, and maize yield

Abdul Rahman, Nurudeen, Larbi, Asamoah, Opoku, Andrews, Tetteh, Francis Marthy, Hoeschle-Zeledon, Irmgard
Agroecology and sustainable food systems 2019 v.43 no.3 pp. 243-260
biomass, corn, experimental design, farmers, farming systems, flocks, goats, nitrogen fertilizers, plant density, planting density, sheep, soil properties, stocking rate, weed control, yield components, Ghana
The interaction effect of stocking density of sheep and goat corralling (SDSG), maize planting density (MPD), and N fertilizer rate (NFR) on soil properties, weed diversity, and maize yield were evaluated on-farm in a smallholder maize-livestock farming system of Northern Ghana during the 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons. A split-split plot design replicated on eight farms was used to study the effect of three SDSG (0, 70, and 140 head ha⁻¹), three MPD (66 667, 100 000, and 133 333 plants ha⁻¹), and three NFR (0–40-40, 60–40-40, and 90–40-40 NPK kg ha⁻¹). The SDSG at 70 and 140 head ha⁻¹ increased (P < 0.01) soil chemical and biological properties and weed diversity compared with the control in both cropping seasons. Maize growth, yield and yield components, and weed biomass were affected (P < 0.05) by the SDSG, MPD, and NFR interactions. Maize-livestock farmers with smaller flock size could use SDSG at 70 head ha⁻¹ with NFR at 90 kg ha⁻¹, whilst those with large flock size could stock at 140 head ha⁻¹ with NFR at 60 kg ha⁻¹ and MPD at 133 333 plants ha⁻¹ for increased maize yield and weed management.