Response of Acacia senegal to Post-rainy Season Irrigation and Grass Mulch in Sandy Soils of North Kordofan

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Omer, M.A.
El Tahir, B.A.
Ballal, M.M
Korak, Ali M.A.
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Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Shambat, Sudan
An experiment was conducted at the farm of El Obeid Research Station during 1994/95 and 1995/96 seasons to study the effects of mulched surface water harvesting and post-rainy season supplementary irrigation on the growth of Acacia senegal, in sandy soils of north Kordofan. The treatments involved measured amounts of irrigation water applied at 2, 4 and 8 weeks intervals and no irrigation (control) with mulched and non-mulched (bare) surface. Supplementary irrigation was beneficial for growth, especially when applied at intervals of 2 or 4 weeks. The mulched treatments produced about 32% more branches and 80% more tapped branches than the non-mulched treatments. The irrigation treatments produced about 136%, 112% and 70% more branches than the non-irrigated treatments for 2, 4 and 8 weeks intervals, respectively. The irrigation intervals of 2, 4 and 8 weeks increased the number of tapped branches by 226%, 132% and 126% more than the non-irrigated treatment, respectively. The percentages of ripe trees, after 27 months, were about the same (79% and 85%) for 2 and 4 weeks irrigation intervals, and were significantly higher than for 8 weeks and control treatments. Mulched scoop gave higher number (75%) of trees reaching maturity than bare scoop (48%). The results suggest that combining mulching with biweekly or monthly irrigation improved growth and hastened maturity of A. senegal under the conditions of North Kordofan. It is worth noting that small quantities of additional irrigation water amounting to 294 m3/ha, as a total of six irrigations (4.9 mm/irrigation/ ha/ month) resulted in remarkable improvement in growth of Acacia senegal trees.
Page(s):11 (3), 414-430, 6 Ref.