Study on Sprinkler Irrigation and Soil Tillage Practices in Sugarcane Plantations as Influenced by Soil Texture and Water Storage in Northern Ivory Coast
Current Topics in Agricultural Sciences Vol. 1,
8 September 2021,
Soil survey investigations were carried out in Ferké 1 as well as Ferké 2 sugar mill plantations of northern Ivory Coast to determine soil texture and water storage capacity for sprinkler irrigation and tillage management. A 5-year term observation experiment on reduced tillage compared to conventional tillage was also conducted in Ferké 1 over an irrigated cane crop of 28 ha for yield optimization purpose. Soil sampling was achieved after harvest or prior to re-plantation at five different spots along two transects over 30 cm depth in each sugarcane field which covers about 30-40 ha, with 432 m long cane rows for obtaining an average soil sample of 1.5-2 kg. Soil physical properties like texture and water retention curves were determined in the sugar company’s soil laboratory. It came out that the majority of soils investigated were coarse-textured for about 64% in Ferké 1 and 85% in Ferké 2, with a lower to medium water storage capacity (70-89 mm) over 60 cm depth which corresponds to a readily available moisture less than 60 mm. Except for the sugarcane plant crop, no significant difference in cane yields resulting from tillage practices was observed over four consecutive cropping seasons. The yield decline from plant cane to first ratoon was very high under conventional tillage (-16 t/ha) compared to the reduced tillage (+3 t/ha). Even higher cane yield was obtained on the second ratoon (89 t/ha) compared with the conventional tillage (83 t/ha).