Abdul Ganiyu Et Al

Abdul-Ganiyu et al

Greener
Journal of Agricultural Sciences,
 Vol. 5 (7),
pp. 
265-277, December
2015.

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

Abstract

 

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.

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