Abdul Ganiyu Et Al


Abdul-Ganiyu et al

Journal of Agricultural Sciences,
 Vol. 5 (7),
265-277, December

ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 100415139


(DOI http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2015.7.100415139)


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


Keywords: Maize, Planting
distance, Soil moisture content, Rain-fed, Water balance.

Post-review Rundown

    View/get involved, click [Post-Review Page]



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


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.


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.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *