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Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 175–186 | Cite as

Maize-nutrient response information applied across Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Charles S. Wortmann
  • Maribeth Milner
  • Kayuki C. Kaizzi
  • Maman Nouri
  • Athanase R. Cyamweshi
  • Mohammed K. Dicko
  • Catherine N. Kibunja
  • Martin Macharia
  • Ricardo Maria
  • Patson C. Nalivata
  • Negash Demissie
  • Davy Nkonde
  • Korodjouma Ouattara
  • Catherine J. Senkoro
  • Bitrus Dawi Tarfa
  • Francis M. Tetteh
Original Article

Abstract

The profit potential for a given investment in fertilizer use can be estimated using representative crop nutrient response functions. Where response data is scarce, determination of representative response functions can be strengthened by using results from homologous crop growing conditions. Maize (Zea mays L.) nutrient response functions were selected from the Optimization of Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA) database of 5500 georeferenced response functions determined from field research conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa. Three methods for defining inference domains for selection of response functions were compared. Use of the OFRA Inference Tool (OFRA-IT; http://agronomy.unl.edu/OFRA) resulted in greater specificity of maize N, P, and K response functions with higher R2 values indicating superiority compared with using the Harvest Choice Agroecological Zones (HC-AEZ) and the recommendation domains of the Global Yield Gap Atlas project (GYGA-RD). The OFRA-IT queries three soil properties in addition to climate-related properties while the latter two options use climate properties only. The OFRA-IT was generally insensitive to changes in criteria ranges of 20–25% used in queries suggesting value in using wider criteria ranges compared with the default for information scarce crop nutrient response functions.

Keywords

Agroecological zones Data queries Extrapolation Harvest Choice Fertilizer use Optimization Recommendation domains Smallholder 

Abbreviations

AfSIS

Africa soil information service

AI

Aridity index

CV

Coefficient of variability

GYGA-RD

Recommendation (or climate) domains of the Global Yield Gap Atlas project

HC-AEZ

Harvest Choice agroecological zone

OFRA

Optimizing fertilizer recommendations in africa project

OFRA-IT

OFRA Inference Tool

SOC

Soil organic C

SSA

Sub-Saharan Africa

TS

Temperature seasonality

Notes

Acknowledgements

OFRA is a partnership of 13 African countries, funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), managed by CAB International and implemented with technical and scientific advisory support from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to enable great farmer profitability from fertilizer use. Co-authors led in-country activities with, on average, three to four research teams per country participating. We acknowledge the contributions of these teams, of the many researchers of recent decades whose research findings were integrated into the OFRA database of response functions, and the farmers who cooperated in conducting field trials.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles S. Wortmann
    • 1
  • Maribeth Milner
    • 1
  • Kayuki C. Kaizzi
    • 2
  • Maman Nouri
    • 3
  • Athanase R. Cyamweshi
    • 4
  • Mohammed K. Dicko
    • 5
  • Catherine N. Kibunja
    • 7
  • Martin Macharia
    • 8
  • Ricardo Maria
    • 9
  • Patson C. Nalivata
    • 10
  • Negash Demissie
    • 11
  • Davy Nkonde
    • 6
  • Korodjouma Ouattara
    • 12
  • Catherine J. Senkoro
    • 13
  • Bitrus Dawi Tarfa
    • 14
  • Francis M. Tetteh
    • 15
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy and HorticultureUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA
  2. 2.National Agricultural Research LaboratoriesKampalaUganda
  3. 3.Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)MaradiNiger
  4. 4.Rwanda Agriculture BoardKigaliRwanda
  5. 5.Institut d’Economie RuraleBamakoMali
  6. 6.Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)LusakaZambia
  7. 7.KALRO-KabeteNairobiKenya
  8. 8.CAB InternationalNairobiKenya
  9. 9.Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM)MaputoMozambique
  10. 10.Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural ResourcesLilongweMalawi
  11. 11.Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural ResearchAddis AbabaEthiopia
  12. 12.Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA)OuagadougouBurkina Faso
  13. 13.Mlingano Agricultural Research InstituteTangaTanzania
  14. 14.Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture/Institute for Agricultural ResearchAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria
  15. 15.CSIR-Soil Research InstituteKwadaso-KumasiGhana

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