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Alley Cropping and Green Manuring For Upland Crop Production in West Sumatra

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Title:Alley Cropping and Green Manuring For Upland Crop Production in West Sumatra
Authors:Evensen, Carl Lovell Imaikalani
Date Issued:1989
Abstract:Green manuring and alley cropping were studied as means of improving crop production and reducing lime requirements in Sitiung, West Sumatra. Two experiments were conducted between 1985 and 1988 on acid, high aluminum soil (pH of 4.2 to 4.7 and Al+H saturation of 70 to 90 %). Low levels of external inputs were used in these experiments.
In the alley cropping experiment, three tree species Paraserianthes falcataria. Calliandra calothvrsus, and Gliricidia sepium and a no tree control were compared as well as three lime rates of zero, 750 kg ha-1, and liming to 25% Al+H saturation. Paraserianthes and Calliandra both grew vigorously (producing about 3 T leaf ha-1 year-1) and showed no consistent response to lime, even at Al+H saturations of greater than 70%. Gliricidia grew poorly (producing about 0.5 T leaf ha-1 year-1) with growth especially limited at high soil Al+H saturation.
Upland rice (Orvza satival and cowpea (Viona unquiculatal crops responded to both lime and green leaf manure (GLM) application. Paraserianthes GLM application doubled rice yields and quadrupled cowpea yields as compared to control plots. However, overall yields declined over the study period, possibly due to increasingly sporadic rainfall distribution. Also, Paraserianthes hedges began to die after four years while Calliandra hedges remained vigorous. Ongoing studies are needed to evaluate sustainability.
Economic analyses procedures were developed for comparing alley cropping and liming practices. The Paraserianthes + Low lime rate treatment was shown to be most profitable. If lime is not available, alley cropping with Paraserianthes may be more profitable than farmer’s current practices.
In the second experiment, Crotalaria usaramoensis. Calopogonium mucunoides and Centrosema pubescens were grown as green manure crops during two dry seasons and were applied to a rotation of upland rice or maize followed by peanuts. Upland rice did not respond to either liming or green manure application, probably because it is tolerant of high soil acidity. Subsequent maize (Zea mays) and peanut (Arachis hvpoqaea) growth increased with liming, but overall there was little yield increase due to green manure application and little or no increase with inorganic N application. Therefore, the value of herbaceous green manures is questionable in farming systems in Sitiung, while alley cropping may have potential for improving crop yields on limited resource farms.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Agronomy and Soil Science

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