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Accueil du site → Master → Afrique du Sud → Effects of oats and vetch cover crops on light organic matter fractions and activities of selected enzymes in an irrigated maize based conservation agriculture system on Alice Jozini Ecotope in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

University of Fort Hare (2014)

Effects of oats and vetch cover crops on light organic matter fractions and activities of selected enzymes in an irrigated maize based conservation agriculture system on Alice Jozini Ecotope in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Mukumbareza Caroline

Titre : Effects of oats and vetch cover crops on light organic matter fractions and activities of selected enzymes in an irrigated maize based conservation agriculture system on Alice Jozini Ecotope in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Auteur : Mukumbareza Caroline

Université de soutenance : University of Fort Hare

Grade : M.Sc (Crop Science) 2014

Résumé partiel
Low soil fertility in the Eastern Cape Province (EC) is attributed to poor agricultural management, which reduces organic matter, among other factors. Conservation agriculture (CA), consisting of no-till, soil cover and rotations, is being promoted to improve soil quality and productivity. Soil biological parameters respond to the overall effects of management on the physical and chemical components of soil. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of oat (Avena sativa) and grazing vetch (Vicia dasycarpa) cover crops on soil biological activity after five years under CA and evaluate light organic matter fractions, MBC and activities of selected enzymes as early indicators of organic matter build up under in no-till maize based CA system. The study was based on soil samples collected from a five year trial with rotations of maize and sole cover crops and two younger trials (4 and 28 months) with oat and grazing vetch bicultures. In the five year old trial, oat and grazing vetch were planted at four fertiliser regimes (i) Fertilizer applied to cover crops and maize (F1), (ii) fertilizer applied to cover crops only (F2), (iii) fertilizer applied to maize only (F3) and (iv) no fertilizer applied (F4)) to give a 2 × 4 factorial plus control laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Fertilizer was applied at 10 kg P ha-1, as a compound (6.7% N ; 10% P ; 13.3% K) at planting and grazing vetch was inoculated with Rhizobium legunominosarium biovar viciae. Oat was top dressed using limestone ammonium nitrate (LAN – 28% N) at 7 weeks after planting (WAP) to make a total of 45 kg N ha-1. Three weeks after termination of the cover crops, all plots were split in half and maize was planted and fertilizer applied at 0 and 60 N kg ha-1. A third of the N was applied at planting (6.7% N ; 10% P ; 13.3% K). In the biculture trials, the treatments were 90% oat + 10% vetch, 70% oat + 30% vetch, 50% oat+ 50% vetch, 100% vetch and 100% oat and laid out in a RCBD with three replicates. Only basal fertilizer was applied to the cover crop at planting at 13.34 kg N ha-1, 20 kg P ha-1 and 26.66 kg K ha-1 using 2:3:4 (30 + 0.5% Zn) compound fertiliser. After cover crop termination, SC701 maize variety was planted, and fertilised at 60 kg N ha-1 with a third of the N applied as a basal. In the five year old trial, oat and vetch gave significantly (P < 0.05) higher MBC and activities of all soil enzymes measured than the weedy fallow at 0-5 and 5-20 cm depths. Fertilization of cover crop (F2) and maize (F3) gave similar MBC. The F4 in cover crops gave similar dehydrogenase activity with F3 under weedy fallow and that for vetch rotation was the same for F3 in oat. The F4 for grazing vetch had similar β-glucosidase activity as F1 and similar urease activity as F1, F2 and F3 of oat rotations. Acid and alkaline activity in F1 had similar results to F2. In the younger trials, biculture treatments did not improve total C, and N when compared with the weedy fallow. Dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, arylsulphatase and alkaline phosphatase activities were higher in the 28 month trial compared to the 4 month one while urease was higher in the 4-month old trial. Treatments with more than 50% oat content had higher acid phosphatase activity in the 4- than 28 month old trial. Effects of cover crop, as the main factor, was significant in all enzymes (P < 0.05), with 70% oat + 30% vetch treatment having the highest dehydrogenase and arylsulphatase while for alkaline phosphatase it had similar results to 90% oat + 10% vetch.

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Page publiée le 12 janvier 2016, mise à jour le 13 juin 2018