Effect of Hill Placement of Nutrients on Millet Productivity and Characteristics of Sahelian Soils of Niger: Analysis of Yield Trend After Three Years of Cropping

  • Dougbedji Fatondji
  • Ramadjita Tabo
  • Tom C. Hash
  • Andre Bationo


Reports from implementation of the low-input mineral fertilizer microdosing technology have shown up to 120% yield increase. However on the acidic Sahelian soils (pH 4–5 (H2O)) with low carbon content (0.2%), the question is whether applying such small dose would not lead to nutrient mining over years, which ICRISAT set three studies of 3 years each to address. Experiments 1 (2003) and 2 (2008) involved three planting densities, two pearl millet varieties and four fertility management options with removal of crop residue in experiment 1. Experiment 3 (2010) involved the combinations of 4 rates of organic and mineral fertilizers and 10 millet varieties. Both organic and mineral inputs were hill-applied.

In all experiments nutrient hill placement resulted in total biomass increase in the second and third years compared to the control. After 3 years of cropping, yield decrease of −2307 kg.ha−1 was observed with the control in experiment 1 between years 1 and 3, while −1238 kg.ha−1 was observed with 6 g NPK per hill which was statistically significant. In experiment 3 yield decrease was −1516 kg.ha−1 with the control and −648 kg.ha−1 with 300 g per hill of organic manure. Soil pH decreased by 0.17 in NPK amended plots whereas it decreased by 0.29 in the others as observed in experiment 1. In all case, biomass decreased but in lower amplitude with organic manure addition.


Microdosing technology Dryland Nutrient dynamic Yield decrease Organic manure Sahelian soils 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dougbedji Fatondji
    • 1
  • Ramadjita Tabo
    • 2
  • Tom C. Hash
    • 1
  • Andre Bationo
    • 3
  1. 1.ICRISAT Sahelian CenterNiameyNiger
  2. 2.ICRISATBamakoMali
  3. 3.IFDCAccraGhana

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