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Asian Journal of Crop Science
  Year: 2016 | Volume: 8 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 71-86
DOI: 10.3923/ajcs.2016.71.86
 
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Yield Responses of Maize and Sunflower to Mulch under No-till Farming Conditions in Northwest Cambodia

Stephanie C. Montgomery , Matthew K. Tighe, Chris Guppy, Graeme Wright, Richard J. Flavel, Sophanara Phan, Sophoeun Im and Robert J. Martin

Abstract:
Background: Upland farming in Northwest Cambodia experiences annual soil loss and erosion due to the combination of topography, monsoonal climate and plough based farming practices. This study investigated the potential for no-till farming as a more sustainable farming method in this region. Methodology: An experiment was conducted at two sites in neighbouring Northwest provinces to investigate the effects of varying rates (nil, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 t ha–1) of maize (Zea mays L.) stover mulch on yields of maize and sunflower (Helianthus annus) using no-tillage farming practices. Small plot replicated experiments were undertaken in the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Results: The 5 t ha–1 mulch treatment attained the highest yield in the pre-monsoonal maize trial. During the post-monsoon period maize yield increased by 0.4 t ha–1 with every 2.5 t of mulch applied, whereas nil mulch resulted in near crop failure. Post-monsoon sunflower failed to respond to mulch treatments at either site. The lack of response at the second site which received higher rainfall was probably due to mild seasonal conditions and adequate stored soil water. Maize was more responsive to mulch than sunflower in both seasons with mulch application increasing yield. Conclusion: Farmers who retain crop residues increase their chances of establishing a pre-monsoon crop and reduce the probability of crop failure. This study also demonstrated that a successful crop can be grown in the non-traditional sowing period of the post-monsoon. While farmers may not have the resources to justify applying mulch regularly, it is thought they may use the knowledge gained from this study to implement no-till farming practices and retain crop residues in situ.
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How to cite this article:

Stephanie C. Montgomery, Matthew K. Tighe, Chris Guppy, Graeme Wright, Richard J. Flavel, Sophanara Phan, Sophoeun Im and Robert J. Martin, 2016. Yield Responses of Maize and Sunflower to Mulch under No-till Farming Conditions in Northwest Cambodia. Asian Journal of Crop Science, 8: 71-86.

DOI: 10.3923/ajcs.2016.71.86

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajcs.2016.71.86

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