African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6140

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of conservation tillage on maize (Zea mays L.) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) chlorophyll, sugars and yields in humic nitisols soils of Embu County, Kenya

Joseph Kyalo Munyao
  • Joseph Kyalo Munyao
  • Department of Plant Sciences, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kenyatta University, P. O. Box 529-00232, Ruiru, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Moses Hungu Gathaara
  • Moses Hungu Gathaara
  • Department of Plant Sciences, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kenyatta University, P. O. Box 529-00232, Ruiru, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Alfred Ngera Micheni
  • Alfred Ngera Micheni
  • Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), P. O. Box 27-60100, Embu, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 06 April 2019
  •  Accepted: 16 May 2019
  •  Published: 18 July 2019

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of conservation tillage (CT) practices on leaf chlorophyll content, sugars and yields of Zea mays L. and Phaseolus vulgaris L. for two consecutive cropping seasons at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization farm in Embu County, Kenya. The experimental design was a Randomized Complete Block Design with 9 treatments replicated 3 times. The treatments were, conventional tillage sole maize, zero tillage sole maize, Furrows/Ridges sole maize, conventional tillage sole bean, zero tillage sole bean, furrows and ridges sole bean, conventional tillage maize-bean intercrop, zero tillage maize-bean intercrop, furrows/ridges maize-bean intercrop. Zea mays L. and Phaseolus vulgaris L. plants grown under the CT plots had significantly more chlorophyll content, more sugar content and more grain weight than those under conventional tillage practices (CVT). The results provided a physiological basis for the observed increase in yields. They led to a conclusion that the CT method is suitable for improving crop productivity through enhancing physiological functions in the leaf.

Key words: Conservation tillage, chlorophyll, grain weigh.