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Effects of conservation tillage on water supply and rainfed maize production in semiarid zones of West-Central Mexico

Scopel E., Tardieu F., Edmeades G., Sébillotte M.. 2001. Mexico : CIMMYT, 18 p.. (Natural Resources Group Paper, 01-01).

This study analyzes the potential of conservation tillage (CT) for improving maize productivity under a range of soil and rainfall conditions in a semiarid zone of West-Central Mexico, evaluating the consequences of tillage practices on the crop's ability to take up and store water, on evapotranspiration, on crop physiology, and on grain yield, under cropping systems typical of small-scale farmers. Even with low use of crop residue mulching (0.2 kg/m2), CT has considerable potential for adoption in these areas, once technical issues such as supply of appropriate machinery, weed control, and the competing use of the maize residue for forage have been resolved. Even under wetter conditions, CT resulted in acceptable yields.

Mots-clés : zea mays; travail du sol de conservation; eau du sol; productivité des terres; rendement des cultures; eau disponible; approvisionnement en eau; pluie; teneur en eau du sol; floraison; composante de rendement; mexique

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