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Influence of dry season supplementation for cattle on soil fertility and millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) yield in a mixed crop/livestock production system of the Sahel

Sangaré, Mamadou, Fernández-Rivera, Salvador, Hiernaux, Pierre, Bationo, Andre, Pandey, Vijay
Nutrient cycling in agroecosystems 2002 v.62 no.3 pp. 209-217
Aristida, Pennisetum glaucum, Sahel, blood meal, bran, cattle, dry season, grain yield, livestock production, millets, mixed cropping, mulching, potassium chloride, residual effects, soil fertility, soil pH, straw, superphosphate
An experiment was conducted in 1996 and 1997 in semi-arid Niger, to determine the influence of supplementation (no supplement, supplemented with millet bran + simple superphosphate + blood meal) of cattle and mulching (0 or 3 t ha(−1) of Aristida sieberiana straw) on soil fertility and millet yield. Manure was applied through corralling at a rate of 3 t faecal dry matter (FDM) ha(−1) alone or associated to mulching. The residual effects of the treatments were measured on a second millet crop in 1997. Compared to control, the association of mulching and corralling of supplemented as well as non supplemented cattle increased soil pH (KCl) (P < 0.01), Bray1-P (P < 0.05) and NH4-N (P < 0.05); grain by 136% (P < 0.01) stover yeild by moer than 150% (P < 0.05); and N and P uptake (P < 0.01) during the two cropping seasons. The association of mulching and corralling increased soil NH4-N (P < 0.01) and soil pH (P < 0.01), compared to the sole corralling. The improvement of soil chemical properties resulted in grain yield increases of 54% (P < 0.01) and stover increases of 42% (P < 0.01). The effect of mulching and corralling association on grain and stover yeilds was higher when cattle were supplemented (67 and 50%) than when they were not supplemented (30 and 26%). The effects of the supplementation on grain and stover yields, and N and P uptake by millet, were restricted, when animals were corralled on bare soil (no mulching). The residual effects of supplementation were minimal.