Agricultural Science and Soil Sciences

Alley cropping is a promising agroforestry technology for the humid and sub humid tropics. In alley cropping, the addition of organic mulch has a favorable effect on soil properties and crop productivity. Therefore, this study was intended to evaluate the effect of Tree Lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis) alley cropping on soil fertility enhancements and wheat productivity in Bore District, Southern Ethiopia. The trial consisted of five treatments and it was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. Pre and post harvesting soil samples were collected and analyzed by using a standard procedure. Moreover, the yield of alley crop harvested was  measured for two consecutive cropping seasons. Based on the findings of this study, the soil properties in Tree lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis) alleys such as pH, OC, total N, available P, available K, CEC, Ca and Mg were significantly higher than sole cropping of wheat with the recommended fertilizer rate. However, in terms of soil texture significant differences were not observed among the experimental treatments. The highest grain yields were obtained from 75% NPS+Tree lucerne alleys (3650kg/ha), 100% NPS+Tree lucerne alleys (3645kg/ha) and 50% NPS+Tree lucerne alleys (3425kg/ha) respectively. Therefore, alley cropping agroforestry practices have a high contribution to soil fertility enhancements and grown wheat with 75% NPS fertilizer application in between alleys of Tree lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis) was recommended for the study area and similar agroecologies.

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