Crop residues and fertility
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CTA. 1986. Crop residues and fertility. Spore 2. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44447
A research programme sponsored by the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and UNESCO is investigating how organic matter in tropical soils breaks down. This knowledge is of vital importance to farmers in the tropics who have little...
A research programme sponsored by the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS) and UNESCO is investigating how organic matter in tropical soils breaks down. This knowledge is of vital importance to farmers in the tropics who have little besides dung and crop residues with which to fertilize their soils. Following two recent work' shops, a precise experimental package has been drawn up. It will be used to test the ways in which the fertility of tropical soils could be enhanced through managing these biological processes. The package will be tried in 11 international centres throughout the tropics: in South America, Africa, and southeast Asia. According to Dr Jonathan Anderson of Exeter University, UK, who is involved in the survey, the soil is usually prepared during the dry season, when crop residues are incorporated.-The seeds are planted when the rains start. Then plant growth and decomposition of the crop residues start simultaneously. If the residues are in a form which decomposes very rapidly, then much of the useful nitrogen and phosphorus may be lost from the soil before the maximum growth demand u from the plant. Woody or fibrous materials .tend to decompose slower than some leafy materials. By using different crop residues and manipulating the ways the residues are added to the ground, the release of nutrients and plant demands can be synchronised. Ways can also be found to stabilise the organic matter content of the soil. For further information contact: Dr Jonathan Anderson University of Exeter Exeter EX4 QJ UK