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    UDP Technology and Rice Yields Among Farmer Beneficiaries of Rainfed Lowland Project Areas in Myanmar
    (2018) D. Kyaw; Grahame Hunter
    Since its inception in 2014, the Fertilizer Sector Improvement (FSI) project in Myanmar has introduced urea deep placement (UDP) fertilizer technology, aimed at improving yields and fertilizer use efficiency among rice farmers in its project intervention areas. For this purpose, selected farmers from three major rice-growing regions of Myanmar, located in Yangon, Bago, and Ayeyarwady were given training through effective farm demonstrations and other extension services to promote the use of technology along with other improved inputs. Extensive data were collected among project beneficiaries to determine the effect of UDP technology on yields in comparison to the traditional use of fertilization methods. In this paper, we have made an attempt to use part of the data documented to estimate the factors responsible for variability in productivity levels of rice with the adoption of UDP technology under rainfed conditions during the 2016 wet season. A log linear regression model was employed for empirical estimation to determine the effect of UDP along with other external factors that jointly influence the rice yields in the intervention areas. Our analytical results indicate a significant and positive impact of UDP technology use on rice yields; improved crop intensification practices adopted by farmers also played a crucial role in improving the rice yields. In addition to these factors, male farmers were very successful in adopting the technology and in realizing higher yields in their plots compared to their female counterparts. Other variables, such as area allocated for rice, resulted in yield reduction, implying lack of purchasing power among farmers for additional input use. Along with low credit access, this results in underuse of external inputs. From a policy perspective, these results have wider implications. For instance, limited opportunities exist for crop land expansion in the intervention areas; thus, any increase in yields should come from the effective and efficient use of agro-input technologies, such as high-yielding varieties (HYVs), UDP, and other crop management techniques. The evidence from our empirical analysis further suggests increased and focused government efforts are needed toward promoting the use of efficient soil and fertilizer management technologies, such as UDP, and promoting crop intensification practices among farmers in the lowland rainfed rice cropping system in Myanmar to achieve higher yields and profits from limited expansion of cropping land. The gross margin results also indicate the likely and positive effect of increased access to technologies and participation by women farmers in extension programs for greater benefits to society as a whole.
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    Minimizing Nitrogen Losses From Cropping Systems: Effectiveness of Organically-Enhanced Nitrogen Fertilizer.
    (2012-10-24) Upendra Singh; Joaquin Sanabria; Rick Austin; Sampson Agyin-Birikorang; Wendie Bible
    A new nitrogen (N) fertilizer, organically-enhanced fertilizer, produced by utilizing sterilized and chemically converted organic additives extracted from municipal wastewater biosolids, were evaluated for N mineralization, ammonia volatilization, N leaching, and effects on soil acidification, relative to urea, a commonly used N fertilizer. Laboratory incubations at three temperature levels (20, 30, and 40°C), two sets of column leaching schemes (continuous and intermittent irrigation regimes), and ammonia volatilization experiments under aerobic (upland) and anaerobic (flooded) conditions were conducted in four appropriate soils (Greenville loam, Lakeland sand, Guthrie silty-clay, and Sumter clay). The organically-enhanced fertilizer had significantly lower nitrification than urea. At all three temperature levels, the lag phase during the nitrification process was 28.6 days for organically-enhanced fertilizers compared to 5.5 days for urea. The longer lag phase duration with organically-enhanced fertilizer could result in reduced nitrate losses. This was confirmed in leaching studies where nitrate leaching resulting from the two irrigation regimes was significantly lower for the organically-enhanced fertilizer than urea. Amending the soil with the organically-enhanced fertilizer had ammonia volatilization losses (5% and 22% of applied N) significantly lower than those of the urea-fertilized soil (33% and 58% of applied N) under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, respectively. We conclude that the organically-enhanced fertilizer could be an attractive N source under both upland and flooded cropping systems. Recycling of sterilized and converted organic wastes (carbon, amino acids, and micronutrients), and minimizing N losses from land to atmosphere and surface- and ground water bodies could have environmental and food security benefits.
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    Can Controlled-Release Phosphate Fertilizer Improve Phosphorus Efficiency?
    (2012-10-23) Sampson Agyin-Birikorang; Upendra Singh; Joaquin Sanabria; Wendie Bible
    Many phosphorus (P) uptake kinetic studies show that the pattern of P uptake in the early growth stages of annual crops is generally similar to crop dry matter accumulation. Thus, we hypothesized that matching P delivery to crops’ P demand could increase P uptake and use efficiency of annual crops in the season of P application. In greenhouse studies, we simulated controlled-release P fertilizer by making small, periodic additions of fertilizer P directly into the root zone of two cereal crops through “feeding” tubes for quick and continual plant P uptake. The crops were grown on a P deficient highly weathered soil with P retention capacity of ~20%. Split application of P, where a portion of P is applied at planting and other portions applied at subsequent time intervals, was utilized as a simulation of controlled-release P fertilizer. Upland rice and winter wheat were used as test crops in the spring-summer and winter seasons, respectively. The crops’ growth phenology was monitored, and samples were harvested at heading and maturity stages to determine yield and P uptake. Preliminary data show that supplying P in small doses over time shortened the days to panicle initiation, heading and maturity, and improved P uptake efficiency relative to basally applying P at planting. Treatment effects on yield, so far, are not conclusive. However, based on P uptake efficiency and growth rate of the two cereal crops, we hypothesize that controlled-release P fertilizer could improve P efficiency in the season of P application. This could have major agronomic and environmental benefits.
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    Determination of Optimum Farmyard Manure and Np Fertilizers for Maize on Farmers’ Fields
    (2001-02) Wakene Negassa; Kefyalew Negisho; Dennis K. Friesen; Joel Ransom; Abebe Yadessa
    A study was initiated in 1997 to introduce the culture of supplementing low rates of NP fertilizers with farmyard manure (FYM) in the maize based farming systems of western Oromia. The treatments were 0/0, 20/20, 40/25 and 60/30 kg N/P ha-1 and 0, 4, 8, and 12 t FYM ha-1 in factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The experiment was conducted at Laga Kalla, Walda, Shoboka, Harato, and Bako Research Center using BH660 hybrid maize. The FYM used for the experiment was well decomposed under shade and spot applied together with the P fertilizer at planting; N was applied in split form. The residual effects of FYM were investigated for Laga Kalla, Walda and Shoboka during the 1998 cropping season. Statistical analysis revealed that the N/P fertilizers and FYM significantly (p<0.05) increased grain yield in all locations except for Walda in 1997. Interactions of FYM and NP fertilizer rates were significant (p≤0.05) at all locations except for Shoboka. The application of FYM alone at rates of 4, 8, and 12 t ha-1 produced average grain yields of 5.76, 5.61 and 5.93 t ha-1, respectively, compared to 3.53 t ha-1 for the control treatment. Laboratory analysis confirmed that considerable amounts of macronutrients and small amounts of micronutrients were supplied by the FYM. There were significant residual effects of FYM and NP fertilizers applied in 1997 on maize grain yields in 1998. Based on the results of this study, the integrated use of properly managed FYM and low rates NP fertilizers could be used for maize production in the areas under consideration. Moreover, sole applications of FYM on relatively fertile soils like Walda and Harato are useful in maintaining soil fertilty and are encouraging for resource poor farmers.
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    Drought and Low Nitrogen Tolerant Hybrids for the Moist Mid Altitude Ecology of Eastern Africa
    (2004-01) Alpha O. Diallo; J. Kikafunda; Legesse Wolde; Omari Odongo; Z. O. Mduruma; W. S. Chivatsi; Stephen N Mugo; Marianne Bänziger; Dennis K. Friesen
    Maize is the principal food staple of the rural and urban poor of eastern and central Africa, constituting > 50% of the caloric intake derived from cereals in the region. Drought and low soil fertility are among the most important constraints to maize production even in the high potential moist mid-altitude eco-zone. This zone, generally falling within the altitudinal range of 1000-1800 masl and characterized by rainfall of >500 mm and mean temperature of 21.5°C, comprises a total area of approximately 500,000 hectares in Kenya alone, and is among the most densely populated regions on the continent. Though of high potential productivity, fertilizer use is constrained by high costs and lack of credit for small holders. Maize productivity in maize-based cropping systems could be greatly improved using varieties that utilize nitrogen (N) from fertilizers and other sources more efficiently as well as tolerating the periodic moisture stress. Farmers in this region have shown a preference for hybrid maize varieties. The objective of the research described here was to develop hybrid maize varieties adapted this ecology that are tolerant of low soil fertility and drought. Drought and low N tolerant inbred lines developed by CIMMYT-Harare in collaboration with CIMMYT Mexico were crossed with two streak resistant testers (CML202 and CML206) during the 1997-98minor season. In 1999, the resulting crosses were evaluated across 7 sites and compared with local checks under both stressed (managed drought and low N) and unstressed conditions. The selected best single cross hybrids were crossed with 2 other testers (CML78 and CML384) in 2000 and the resulting 3 way-hybrids were evaluated as in 1999. Grain yield and secondary traits such as Anthesis-Silking Interval (ASI), leaf senescence, and number of ears per plant were used to select the most promising materials. Eight drought and low N tolerant 3-way hybrids were identified which yield 24, 15 and 64% more than the best commercial hybrid checks under optimum, low N and drought stress conditions, respectively. These hybrids have the potential to increase yields, reduce input requirements and improve yield stability for resource-poor farmers in densely populated high potential eco-zones of Eastern and Southern Africa.