Abdul-Ganiyu et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences, Vol. 5 (7), pp. 265-277, December 2015.
Manuscript Number: 100415139
Effects of Different Planting Distance on Soil moisture content and Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.) in Tolon District of Northern Region, Ghana
Shaibu Abdul-Ganiyu1, Benjamin Osei-Mensah1, Thomas A. Apusiga1, Hirohiko Ishikawa2, Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic1
1 University for Development Studies, Faculty of Agriculture, Tamale, Ghana
2 Kyoto University, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Uji, Kyoto, Japan
Rain-fed farming systems dominate Ghanaian agriculture, especially regarding the cultivation of major staples, such as maize, yam, cassava and rice. In this environment, farmers depend strongly on seasonal rains and every alteration in precipitation distribution affects their very livelihood. Recent threats of climate change aggravate the already delicate balance of food production and security. This research determined the effects different planting distance on soil moisture and yield of maize in Tolon District. Experimental plots were laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD), with four replicates and four treatments. The four treatments comprising different planting distance: T1 (20 x 80 cm); T2 (30 x 80 cm); T3 (40 x 80 cm) and T4 (50 x 80 cm), distributed randomly and independently in each plot. The size of each plot was 4 m by 5 m (20 m2), surrounded by bunds, with bund height of 10 cm, bottom width of 10 cm and top with of 5 cm. The space between plots was 1m. Soil moisture content was monitored using Tensiometers and Time Domain Reflectrometer, while non-weighing lysimeter used to establish the field water balance. Crop parameters monitored were plant height, number of leaves, days to 50 % tasseling and maturity, LAI, grain and biomass yields. The results indicated that there was significant difference for yield and yield-related parameters, but not on soil moisture content when maize was planted at four different planting distances. This suggested that planting distance has effects on maize yield but not soil moisture content. Maximum soil and air temperatures were within the optimum range for rain-fed maize production in the Tolon District during the field experiment. Soil moisture content was at either field capacity or near saturation throughout the various growth stages of maize, with only small amount of water lost to deep percolation. Planting at 20 cm by 80 cm distance had a higher yield, compared to the rest of the treatments. Maize famers should adopt that planting distance to maximise yield. Farmers should also be advised to start planting of maize in July, to escape the effect of early season drought on crop establishment and growth.
Keywords: Maize, Planting distance, Soil moisture content, Rain-fed, Water balance.
Abdul-Ganiyu, S. (2011). Hydrological Analysis of River Basins; A Case of Nasia, a Tributary of the White Volta River Basin of Ghana. VDM Verlag Dr. Muller GmbH & Co. KG Dudweiler Lanstr.99, 66123 Saarbrucken, Germany. ISBN: 978-639-35138-5.
Adu, S.V. (1995). Soils of the Nasia basin. Memoir No. 6. Soil Research Institute. Kumasi.
Agriculture Republic of South Africa (ARSA) (2003). Maize production. Department of Agriculture South Africa.
Alene, A., and Mwalughali.J. (2012). The Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output and Adoption: The Case of Cassava, Cowpea, Maize, and Soybean. Draft Technical Report for Measuring and Assessing the Impacts of the Diffusion of Improved Crop Varieties in Africa (DIVA) Project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.
Asare, D.K., Ayeh, E.O., Amoatey, H.M. and Frimpong, J.O. (2012). Biomass Production by Rainfed Maize Cultivars in a Coastal Savannah Agro-Ecological Environment. World Journal of Agricultural Sciences 8 (3): 286-292.
Badu-Apraku, B., Fakorede, M.A.B., Ajala, S.O. and Fontem, L. (2004). Strategies of WECAMAN to promote the adoption of sustainable maize production technologies in West and Central Africa. J. Food. Agric. Environ. 2(3&4):106–113.
Benneh, G., Agyepong, G.T. and Allotey, J.A. (1990). Land degradation in Ghana. Commonwealth Secretariat, London and University of Ghana. Legon.
Conrad-J, W.K., Ernest B., Vida M.P., Abu. M., Raymond, A. and Esther, E. A. (2013). Energy, Water and Waste Management in the Accommodation Sector of Tamale Metropolis, Ghana. American Journal of Tourism Management. 2(1A): 1-9.
Echarte, L., Andrade, F.H. (2003). Harvest index stability of Argentinean maize hybrids released between 1965 and 1993. Field Crops Research; 82 1-12.
FAO, (2005). Fertilizer use by crop in Ghana. Rome. Pp.39.
Garcia, M., O. Raes, R.G. Allen, and C. Herbas. (2004).Dynamics of Reference Evapotranspiration in the Bolivian Highlands. Agricultural Forest Meteorology. 125:67 - 82.
IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). (2008). Field Estimation of Soil Water Content: a Practical Guide to Methods, Instrumentation and Sensor Technology. Training Course Series No. 30. IAEA, VIENNA.
Igbadun, H.E. (2012). Estimation of Crop Water Use of Rain-Fed Maize and Groundnut Using Mini-Lysimeters. The Pacific Journal of Science and Technology, 13(1): 527-535.
Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G., Abdul-Ghanyu, S. Bizoola, Z. G., and Abagale, F.K (2014). Dryspell occurrence in Tamale, Northern Ghana-Review of available information. Journal of Disaster Research, 9 (4):468-474.
Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G. (1999). Recent climatic trends in northern interior savannah zone of Ghana; implication for agricultural production. A paper presented at the International Conference on Integrated Drought Management, 20-22 September 1999, Pretoria South Africa.
Malone, R.W., J.V. Bonta, D.J. Stewardson, and T. Nelsen. (2000). Error Analysis and Quality Improvement of the Cosheton Weighing Lysimeters. Trans ASAE. 31:477-484.
MOFA (Ministry of Food and Agriculture). (2011). Agriculture in Ghana: Facts and Figures (2010). Statistics, Research, and Information Directorate. Accra, Ghana.
Sajid, A. H. (1993). Com crop curve development by non-weighing lysimeter water balance at Oakes, North Dakota. Unpub. M.S. thesis. North Dakota State Univ., Fargo.
USDA (2011). Ghana climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessment. United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Wilhelm, W., Ruwe, K. and Schlemmer, M.R., (2000). Comparison of three leaf area index meters in a corncanopy. USDA-ARS / UNL Faculty.Paper 71.
Call for Articles/Books
Call for Scholarly Articles
Authors from around the world are invited to send scholary articles that suits the scope of this journal. The journal is currently open to submissions and will process and publish articles daily, immediately they are ready.
The journal is centered on quality and goes about its processes in a very timely fashion. Seasoned editors/reviewers will be consulted to review each article(s), profer quality evaluations and polish the articles with expertise before publication.
Use our quick submit button to submit or simply send your article(s) as an e-mail attachment to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Books
You are also invited to submit your books for online or print publication. We publish books related to all academic subject areas. Submit as an e-mail attachment to email@example.com.