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Effects of resource-conserving tillage in the Ethiopian highlands, a sustainable option for soil and water management and crop productivity: a case study from Dogua Tembien

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Abstract
In the Ethiopian highlands, croplands yield extremely high volumes of storm runoff and are the major contributor to sediment load in the rivers. Resource-conserving tillage is one of the options to curb these problems of high runoff response and sediment transport. Hence, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2009) on a Vertisol to quantify changes in runoff, soil loss and crop yield due to Conservation Agriculture (CA) in the sub-humid Dogua Tembien district of the Northern highlands of Ethiopia. The experimental layout was implemented in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) permanent raised bed (PB) in a furrow and bed system with 30% standing crop residue retention and no-tillage on top of the bed, (ii) reduced tillage, locally called terwah (TER), with ploughing once at sowing with 30% standing crop residue retention and contour furrows made at 1.5m distance interval, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of 3 tillage operations and removal of crop residues. All ploughing, as well as refreshing of the furrows of the permanent raised beds when sowing, was done using the local ard plough mahresha. Crops planted during the five years were wheat, grass pea, wheat, hanfets (wheat and barley sown together) and grass pea. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year (2007) at 2 L/ha before planting to control pre-emergent weed in PB and TER. Runoff and soil loss were measured in plastic sheet lined collector trenches, which were located at the lower end of each plot. Crop stands were evaluated with local farmers and NDVI was measured on the spot at several phenological stages, using green seeker. Significantly different (p<0.05) soil losses of 12.7, 16.2 and 27.3 t ha-1 y-1 were recorded for PB, TER and CT, respectively. Similarly, the mean runoff was 931, 1011 and 1041 m3 ha-1 y-1 from plots with PB, TER and CT treatments, respectively. The farmers‟ evaluation of crop performance in two years (2008 and 2009) showed a significantly higher score for PB (7/10) and least for CT (4.2/10). The NDVI of hanfets (2008) was significantly higher in PB (0.31) as compared to CT (0.27) 84 days after planting, while there was no difference at 59 days after planting. Although improvements in crop yield were observed, a period of at least four years of cropping was required before they became significant. Overall, the permanent raised bed and terwah tillage systems significantly reduced sediment loss and runoff, and increased crop yield. It is suggested that these tillage techniques, using the local plough without modifications, be implemented widely.

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Chicago
Araya Weldeslassie, Tesfay, Wim Cornelis, Jan Nyssen, B Govaerts, Fekadu Getnet, H Bauer, D Raes, Kindeya Gebrehiwot, Teklit Yohannes, and J Deckers. 2011. “Effects of Resource-conserving Tillage in the Ethiopian Highlands, a Sustainable Option for Soil and Water Management and Crop Productivity: a Case Study from Dogua Tembien.” In IAG/AIG Regional Conference 2011 : Geomorphology for Human Adaptation to Changing Tropical Environments, Abstracts, ed. Asfawossen Asrat, Francesco Dramis, Jan Nyssen, and Mohammed Umer, 23–23.
APA
Araya Weldeslassie, T., Cornelis, W., Nyssen, J., Govaerts, B., Getnet, F., Bauer, H., Raes, D., et al. (2011). Effects of resource-conserving tillage in the Ethiopian highlands, a sustainable option for soil and water management and crop productivity: a case study from Dogua Tembien. In A. Asrat, F. Dramis, J. Nyssen, & M. Umer (Eds.), IAG/AIG regional conference 2011 : geomorphology for human adaptation to changing tropical environments, Abstracts (pp. 23–23). Presented at the IAG/AIG Regional Conference 2011 : Geomorphology for Human Adaptation to Changing Tropical Environments.
Vancouver
1.
Araya Weldeslassie T, Cornelis W, Nyssen J, Govaerts B, Getnet F, Bauer H, et al. Effects of resource-conserving tillage in the Ethiopian highlands, a sustainable option for soil and water management and crop productivity: a case study from Dogua Tembien. In: Asrat A, Dramis F, Nyssen J, Umer M, editors. IAG/AIG regional conference 2011 : geomorphology for human adaptation to changing tropical environments, Abstracts. 2011. p. 23–23.
MLA
Araya Weldeslassie, Tesfay, Wim Cornelis, Jan Nyssen, et al. “Effects of Resource-conserving Tillage in the Ethiopian Highlands, a Sustainable Option for Soil and Water Management and Crop Productivity: a Case Study from Dogua Tembien.” IAG/AIG Regional Conference 2011 : Geomorphology for Human Adaptation to Changing Tropical Environments, Abstracts. Ed. Asfawossen Asrat et al. 2011. 23–23. Print.
@inproceedings{1185515,
  abstract     = {In the Ethiopian highlands, croplands yield extremely high volumes of storm runoff and are the major contributor to sediment load in the rivers. Resource-conserving tillage is one of the options to curb these problems of high runoff response and sediment transport. Hence, a long-term tillage experiment has been carried out (2005 to 2009) on a Vertisol to quantify changes in runoff, soil loss and crop yield due to Conservation Agriculture (CA) in the sub-humid Dogua Tembien district of the Northern highlands of Ethiopia. The experimental layout was implemented in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications on permanent plots of 5 m by 19 m. The tillage treatments were (i) permanent raised bed (PB) in a furrow and bed system with 30\% standing crop residue retention and no-tillage on top of the bed, (ii) reduced tillage, locally called terwah (TER), with ploughing once at sowing with 30\% standing crop residue retention and contour furrows made at 1.5m distance interval, and (iii) conventional tillage (CT) with a minimum of 3 tillage operations and removal of crop residues. All ploughing, as well as refreshing of the furrows of the permanent raised beds when sowing, was done using the local ard plough mahresha. Crops planted during the five years were wheat, grass pea, wheat, hanfets (wheat and barley sown together) and grass pea. Glyphosate was sprayed starting from the third year (2007) at 2 L/ha before planting to control pre-emergent weed in PB and TER. Runoff and soil loss were measured in plastic sheet lined collector trenches, which were located at the lower end of each plot. Crop stands were evaluated with local farmers and NDVI was measured on the spot at several phenological stages, using green seeker. Significantly different (p{\textlangle}0.05) soil losses of 12.7, 16.2 and 27.3 t ha-1 y-1 were recorded for PB, TER and CT, respectively. Similarly, the mean runoff was 931, 1011 and 1041 m3 ha-1 y-1 from plots with PB, TER and CT treatments, respectively. The farmers\unmatched{201f} evaluation of crop performance in two years (2008 and 2009) showed a significantly higher score for PB (7/10) and least for CT (4.2/10). The NDVI of hanfets (2008) was significantly higher in PB (0.31) as compared to CT (0.27) 84 days after planting, while there was no difference at 59 days after planting. Although improvements in crop yield were observed, a period of at least four years of cropping was required before they became significant. Overall, the permanent raised bed and terwah tillage systems significantly reduced sediment loss and runoff, and increased crop yield. It is suggested that these tillage techniques, using the local plough without modifications, be implemented widely.},
  author       = {Araya Weldeslassie, Tesfay and Cornelis, Wim and Nyssen, Jan and Govaerts, B and Getnet, Fekadu and Bauer, H and Raes, D and Gebrehiwot, Kindeya and Yohannes, Teklit and Deckers, J},
  booktitle    = {IAG/AIG regional conference 2011 : geomorphology for human adaptation to changing tropical environments, Abstracts},
  editor       = {Asrat, Asfawossen and Dramis, Francesco and Nyssen, Jan and Umer, Mohammed},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Addis Ababa, Ethiopia},
  pages        = {23--23},
  title        = {Effects of resource-conserving tillage in the Ethiopian highlands, a sustainable option for soil and water management and crop productivity: a case study from Dogua Tembien},
  url          = {http://www.geomorph.org/sp/arch/RCG-ET2011abs.pdf},
  year         = {2011},
}