Chitedze Research Station Conservation Agriculture Long-term Trial

This experiment has been added by the GLTEN Curators using existing published sources.
Local identifier
CRS
Years operational
2007—2019
Objective
To evaluate the long-term conservation agriculture systems to understand its effects on climate adaptation, productivity and sustainability over time.
Description
Part of a comparison trial. The research stations that hosted the experiments were this one Chitedze Research Station (CRS) in Malawi; Domboshawa Training Centre (DTC) in Zimbabwe, Henderson Research Station (HRS) and ; Monze Farmer Training Centre (MFTC), Msekera Research Station (MRS) in Zambia; and Sussundenga Research Station (SRS) in Mozambique.
Data Access Statement
Freely available online
Data Access Notes
Datasets available on CIMMYT Dataverse repository
Data license
Don't know
Data URL
https://data.cimmyt.org/dataverse/cimmytdatadvn
Data policy
Don't know
Organizations
Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, Department of Agricultural Research & Technical Services, Malawi
experimental research station
MAIZE CGIAR Research Program
International Maize & Wheat Improvement Centre
research organisation
Person
Dr Christian Thierfelder
principal investigator

Site: Chitedze Research Station

Type
research station field
Local code
CRS
Location
Chitedze
Lilongwe Central Region
Malawi
Geographic location
-13.9732, 33.654
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Elevation
1145 Metres
Visits permitted?
No
History
Chitedze Agricultural Research Station (CARS) was established in the 1948/49 cropping season to expand the work which was hitherto being carried out at Likuni Experiment Station. It has a total of 486ha of land of which 230 ha are under arable cropping while 200 ha are covered by buildings and indigenous pastures and 56 ha are under natural and planted trees which provide fuel wood and wind-breaks.
Management
Commercial medium maturing maize varieties are planted at each experimental site with different target plant populations according to the agro-ecological recommendations. Maize varieties changed every 3–5 years to keep track with genetic yield gain provided by the seed companies. This strategy follows farmer’s practice who also change varieties periodically. Legumes and non-leguminous varieties in all experiments were planted using local seed recommendations and plant populations. Mineral fertilizer was applied as both basal and top-dressing to the maize while weed control was achieved either through manual weeding or herbicide application.
Soil description
soil type Ferruginous Latosol, a sandy loam
Soil properties
VariableDepthValue (range)UnitsRef yearEstimated?Baseline?
sand content 54.09 (51.8 – 55.7) Percent2012
silt content 7.3 (5.9 – 10.5) Percent2012
clay content 38.66 (36.8 – 41.8) Percent2012
exchangeable calcium 8.686 (6.25 – 15.95) kilogram per centimole2012
exchangeable magnesium 1.809 (1.18 – 3.25) kilogram per centimole2012
exchangeable potassium 0.294 (0.1 – 0.58) kilogram per centimole2012
mineralizable nitrogen 1.162 (0.25 – 2.09) gram per kilogram2012
plant available phosphorous 11.281 (2.83 – 33.01) microgram per kilogram2012
soil pH in water 5.155 (4.45 – 5.96) 2012
soil organic matter 25.23 (8.13 – 40.53) gram per kilogram2012
Climate properties
VariableTime periodValue (range)Units
air temperature20 (16 – 24) degree Celsius
precipitation892 millimeter

Design period: (2007—2019)

Design Type
Randomized complete block design
Description
The test crop maize (Zea mays L.) with different other leguminous and non-leguminous crops as rotations or intercropping under research.
Number of replicates
4
Crops
CropYears grown
maize
pigeon peas
cow peas
velvet beans
Factors
Factor name
Factor levels
row intercropping
maize only
maize with pigeon pea intercropping
maize with cowpea intercropping
maize with velvet bean intercropping
maize cowpea rotation
crop residue management exposure
residues retained
residues removed
planting process
direct seeding
Application method: hand dibbler
basin planting
ridge and furrow
Factor combinations
T1: Check plot
Traditional farmers practice using the hand hoe.
row intercropping: maize only
crop residue management exposure: residues removed
planting process: ridge and furrow
T2: Basin (BA)
row intercropping: maize only
crop residue management exposure: residues retained
planting process: basin planting
T3: Dibble stick (DiS)
row intercropping: maize only
crop residue management exposure: residues retained
planting process: direct seeding
T4: Crop rotation (DiS-MC)
row intercropping: maize cowpea rotation
crop residue management exposure: residues retained
planting process: direct seeding
T5: Maize intercropping (DiS-M+Pp)
row intercropping: maize with pigeon pea intercropping
crop residue management exposure: residues retained
planting process: direct seeding
T6: Maize intercropping (DiS-M+C)
row intercropping: maize with cowpea intercropping
crop residue management exposure: residues retained
planting process: direct seeding
T7: Maize intercropping (DiS-M+Mp)
row intercropping: maize with velvet bean intercropping
crop residue management exposure: residues retained
planting process: direct seeding
Measurement
VariableMaterialUnitsFrequencyScaleComment
yield traitNot specified

Related publications

  • Short-term yield gains or long-term sustainability? – a synthesis of Conservation Agriculture long-term experiments in Southern Africa (2022) Thierfelder & Mhlanga Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Vol 326
  • Peter R. Steward, Christian Thierfelder, Andrew J. Dougill, Ivy Ligowe, 2019. Conservation agriculture enhances resistance of maize to climate stress in a Malawian medium-term trial, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 277, 2019, Pages 95-104