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Title: Productivity and profitability of upland crop rotations in Northwest Cambodia
Contributor(s): Montgomery, Steph (author); Guppy, Christopher  (author)orcid ; Martin, Robert  (author); Wright, Graeme (author); Flavel, Richard  (author)orcid ; Phan, Sophanara (author); Im, Sophoeun (author); Tighe, Matthew  (author)
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1016/j.fcr.2016.12.010
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Abstract: The upland cropping region of Northwest Cambodia exhibits limited crop diversity, with maize and cassava dominating rain-fed production systems. Farmers in the Districts of Sala Krau in Pailin Province, and Samlout in Battambang Province, report soil fertility decline in upland cropping systems with associated reduced yields and profitability compared with five years ago. Research was conducted at one site in each of these Districts over a two year period. The purpose of the study was to investigate crop rotations in this system with a focus on better use of soil water throughout the year to increase crop yields and profitability. This included an experiment to investigate increasing cropping intensity from the usual two crops per year to three and evaluate which crop sequences would be feasible. Out of a total 15 crop sequences evaluated, only four were successful in producing viable grain yields. These were the same sequences at both sites and included maize-maize-fallow, maize-maize-sunflower, maize-soybean-fallow and maizesoybean-sunflower. At Pailin, the sequence with the highest overall mean yield (4.3 t/ha) and profit was maize-maize-sunflower which returned a gross margin of $USD3700/ha over two years. The sequences with a fallow instead of a third crop produced the lowest financial returns at Pailin. However, in Samlout the maize-fallow was the most profitable sequence with an overall mean yield of 3.0 t/ha, returning $1680/ha over two years. The least profitable sequences at Samlout were the two soybean sequences. This study was successful in growing five crops in two years at Pailin, but could not reach the goal of six due to cultivar maturity length. At Samloutfour crops over two years were produced, as the pre-monsoon crop was not planted in either year due to lack of sowing rainfall. Seasonal climatic factors had the greatest effect at both field sites on gross margins, which emphasized the importance of matching sowing date to rainfall to make better use of stored soil moisture to optimise yield and profitability. At Pailin, mean seasonal surface soil moisture, hundred seed weight and harvest index also impacted gross margin returns. This research validated the stability of maize in the farming system while sunflower should be further investigated in cropping sequences.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Field Crops Research, v.203, p. 150-162
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ISSN: 1872-6852
Field of Research (FOR): 070302 Agronomy
050304 Soil Chemistry (excl. Carbon Sequestration Science)
050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management
960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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