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Soil tillage and windbreak efects on millet and cowpea: I. Wind speed, evaporation, and wind erosion

American Society of Agronomy
Publication Date
  • Millets
  • Soil Science


Deforestation, overgrazing, and declining soil regeneration periods have resulted in increased wind erosion problems in dry areas of th; West African Sahel, but little is known about the bio-physical factors involved. This research was conducted to determine the effects of ridging and four different windbreak spacings on wind erosion, potential evaporation, and soil water reserves. A field trial was conducted from 1985 to 1987 on 12 ha of a Psammentic Paleustalf in Southern Niger. Millet, Pennisetum glaucum (L.), and cowpea, Vigmi unguiculata (L.) Walp., were seeded in strips on flat and ridged soil. Windbreaks of savannah vegetation were spaced at 6, 20, 40, and 91) m. The effects of ridging on wind speed, evaporation, and wind erosion were small and mostly non-significant. However, average wind speed at 0.3 m above ground in the center of cowpea and millet strips was significantly reduced from 2.8 to 2.1 m s"1 as windbreak distances narrowed from 90 to 6 m.

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