Title page for ETD etd-07202012-181222

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Maculuve, Tomas Valente
Email tmaculuve@gmail.com
URN etd-07202012-181222
Document Title Improving dryland water productivity of maize through cultivar selection and planting date optimization in Mozambique
Degree MSc(Agric)
Department Plant Production and Soil Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof J G Annandale Co-Supervisor
Prof J M Steyn Supervisor
  • maize
  • Mozambique
  • Chkw Agricultural Research Station
Date 2012-04-24
Availability unrestricted
Mozambique is a semi-arid area with unreliable rainfall distribution; therefore optimal planting dates are critical to ensure that maize is not stressed during critical stages. The objective of this research was to study the effect of sowing date and cultivar on maize (Zea mays L.) yields in Mozambique. A further objective was to establish whether the SWB model could be utilized to help select the optimum planting window for different maize cultivars and localities.

An experiment was conducted during the 2007/08 season at the Chkw Agricultural Research Station, Mozambique, in which a short (or early cultivar, Changalane) and long (or late) season maize cultivar (Tsangano) were sown on three different dates: 5 December 2007 (PD1), 25 December 2007 (PD2) and 15 January 2008 (PD3).

Sowing date had a significant effect (p<0.05) on yield and yield components. The 25 December planting (PD2) out yielded (4.3 t ha-1) the 5 December (PD1) (2.5 t ha-1,) and 15 January (PD3) (1.5 t ha-1) plantings for cv. Changalane. However, for cv. Tsangano, PD1 (3.2 t ha-1) out yielded PD2 (2.3 t ha-1) and PD3 (0.7 t ha-1). Cultivars varied significantly in yield potential.

The most responsive cultivar to water supply was Changalane, which when planted late in December (PD2), gave a water productivity (WP) of 17 kg ha-1 mm-1, while Tsangano, the late cultivar, performed better when planted early in December (PD1), with a WP of 8.5 kg ha-1 mm-1

The Soil Water Balance (SWB) model was calibrated on the data from one planting date per cultivar and successfully validated on independent data sets from the other two planting dates. Long-term historical weather data sets were obtained for Chkw and Umbeluzi, two important dry land maize production areas in Mozambique. The calibrated SWB model was used to simulate maize yields for different planting dates to establish the best planting date for different cultivar x plant date x soil combinations. Simulation results for the two cultivars across three planting dates showed that the simulated grain yields per planting date varied substantially from year to year and between the two sites.

The SWB scenario simulation results showed that for both Umbeluzii and Chkw sites, in four out of five years, best yields can be achieved by planting Changalane late in December and Tsangano early in December.

It can be concluded that the SWB model can be a very useful tool to help select the most suitable maize cultivars and planting dates for different localities, based on differences in plant water availability during the growing season.

Copyright 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Maculuve, TV 2011, Improving dryland water productivity of maize through cultivar selection and planting date optimization in Mozambique , MSc(Agric) dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07202012-181222 / >


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