IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jagris/v3y2013i3p556-566d28896.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Uncovering the Footprints of Erosion by On-Farm Maize Cultivation in a Hilly Tropical Landscape

Author

Listed:
  • Chaminda Egodawatta

    () (Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura 50000, Sri Lanka)

  • Peter Stamp

    () (Institute of Agricultural Sciences, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Ravi Sangakkara

    () (Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka)

Abstract

A hilly region in Sri Lanka was considered to be degraded by erosion driven by intensive tobacco production, but what are reliable indicators of erosion? In addition to determining soil chemical and physical traits, maize was cropped with Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK, PK) recommended mineral fertilization and without fertilizer (ZERO) in two major seasons(October–January in 2007/2008 and 2008/2009—Seasons 1 and 2 respectively) on 92 farms at inclinations ranging from 0% to 65%. In a subset of steep farms ( n = 21) an A horizon of 6 cm rather than of 26 cm was strong proof of erosion above 30% inclination. Below the A level, the thickness of the horizon was unaffected by inclination. Soil organic matter contents (SOM) were generally low, more so at higher inclinations, probably due to greater erosion than at lower inclination. Maize yields decreased gradually with increasing inclination; at ZERO, effects of climate and soil moisture on yield were easier determined and were probably due to long-term erosion. However, despite an initial set of 119 farms, an exact metric classification of erosion was impossible. NPK strongly boosted yield. This was a positive sign that the deficits in chemical soil fertility were overriding physical soil weaknesses. The study illustrated that chemical soil fertility in these soils is easily amenable to modifications by mineral and organic manures.

Suggested Citation

  • Chaminda Egodawatta & Peter Stamp & Ravi Sangakkara, 2013. "Uncovering the Footprints of Erosion by On-Farm Maize Cultivation in a Hilly Tropical Landscape," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-11, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:556-566:d:28896
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/3/3/556/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2077-0472/3/3/556/
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    degraded soils; soil nutrients; inclination positions; mineral fertilizers;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:556-566:d:28896. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.