FIELD PROTOCOL

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FIELD PROTOCOL

FIELD PROTOCOL

SURINAME

Presentation: ti Jacintha Vigelandzoon


Main objective:

to evaluate the combined effect of mulching of

weeds and the inclusion and mulching of

Tephrosia candida and Gliricidia i idi sepium on

physical, chemical and biological soil quality,

labour input and income in indigenous

agroforestry systems in Suriname


Field trial objectives:

1. To evaluate the effect of mulching with weeds on yield

and income of bitter cassava, cush cush and ginger

2. To evaluate the effect of Tephrosia candida and

Gliricidia sepium on the physical, chemical and

biological soil quality

3. To evaluate the combined effect of both treatments on

labour input for weeding


Weeds

infestation

Weeds contain

nutrients that can

be returned to the

soil and benefit

crop growth

through mulching

around

plant stems


Tephrosia candida

Adding more

biomass by

pruning of

Tephrosia

branches


Gliricidia sepium

Adding more

biomass by

pruning of

Gliricidia

branches


Selected crops

• Selection of 3 economically viable crops for

which the effect of mulching with weeds will be

evaluated:

1. Bitter cassava (Manihot esculenta) (Bita ksaba Sur.)

2. Cush cush (Dioscorea trifida) (Napi Sur.)

3. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) (Ginga Sur.)


Selected parameters 1

• Soil physical: Soil texture, plant available water (water

retention curve) at 0 – 40 cm depth in the whole field 8x

and in both plots 5x, in situ soil moisture distribution,

ground water level

• Soil chemical: Organic matter content, pH, CEC, N, P, K,

Ca and Mg levels in the whole field 8x and in both plots 5x

• Soil biological: Earthworm occurrence (qualitatively) Leaf

cutting ants occurrence (qualitatively) ti l in both plots for 3

selected crops, Tephrosia and Glyricidia

• Vegetation: N P K Ca and Mg in weeds Tephrosia and

• Vegetation: N,P,K, Ca and Mg in weeds, Tephrosia and

Glyricidia prunings and in 3 selected crops; weeds

abundance and diversity in plots


Selected parameters 2

• Soil physical and chemical parameters should be

monitored in both units at 3 points in time:

‣ Just after burning of the fields

‣ After 1 year of cultivation

‣ After 2 years of cultivation

• Soil biological parameters should be monitored:

‣ Just after burning of the fields

‣ During the rainy season

‣ After 2 years of cultivation

• Vegetation: N P K Ca and Mg in weeds and 3 selected

Vegetation: N,P,K, Ca and Mg in weeds and 3 selected

crops, weeds abundance and diversity in plots


Zero reference measurements

• Assessment of the soil physical, chemical and biological

parameters under primary and secondary rainforest for

representative soils

• This allows comparison of soil quality status under

forested area compared to cultivated area


General measurements

• Monitoring of rainfall and other data with the meteo

station and rain gauge

• Automatic monitoring of soil moisture for a sandy soil at

1 farmer in year 1 and for a loamy soil at 1 farmer in year

2


Basic condition:

• The current traditional agroforestry system is left

intact to make proper use of it strenghts:

‣ Slashing and burning to provide fertile ash to the young

crops

‣ Mixed cropping of different crops and different varieties

of crops

‣ Spatial distribution of crops in the field relating to soil

heterogeneity (moisture conditions, depressions, ash

distribution)


Improved strategies:

• new strategies are introduced to add more

biomass to the soil:

‣ Mulching of weeds

‣ Mulching Tephrosia prunings

‣ Mulching Gliricidia prunings


Selection of farmers

• Selection of 3-4 f/m indigenous and maroon

farmers for 1 soil type based on:

‣ their willingness to join the field trial

‣ the slashing and burning of a new field

‣ Their objective to grow the 3 selected crops

‣ their habit to practice weeding by hand

‣ their habit not to apply chemical fertilizers or pesticides

‣ Remark: only chemical treatment of pests is

allowed e.g. leaf cutting ants, but not of weeds


Experi

Treatments:

•New level of mulching with

weeds

•Mulching with Tephrosia

/gliricidia prunings

mental

lay-out

Control:

•Current level of mulching

with weeds


Selection of the experimental units within each

farmer field

1. Take the center of the farmer field and than move northwards

halfway the edge of the field.

2. This will be the center of your experimental plot of 25x25m including

a border area of 5 m.

3. If by any chance there is a disturbance in this area you can move

90° to the right till you find an acceptable location.

4. Make sure that both units show the same level of soil

homogeneity/heterogeneity

5 If possible the size of the experimental site should be ¼ of the

5. If possible the size of the experimental site should be ¼ of the

farmer field. It is not necessary that all experimental fields have the

same size since the farmer fields may have a different size from

place to place.


Time schedule year 1

SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MRT APR MAY JUN JUL AUG

slashing and burning

planting

1 weeding

Initial soil sampling

Installation piezometers

Installation manual soil moisture

devices

Installation rain gauge

Installation ti wheather station

ti

Earthworm and leaf cutting ants

occurrence

Zero reference measurements

2

3

4

5

6

2 nd soil

sampling

NPK in 3

crops –

leaves,

tubers/root


Time schedule year 2

SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MRT APR MAY JUN JUL AUG

1 weeding

monitoring piezometers

monitoring manual soil moisture

devices

monitoring rain gauge

monitoring wheather station

Monitoring i earthworm and leaf

cutting ants occurrence

2 3 4

5

6

final soil

sampling

NPK in 3

crops –

leaves,

tubers/root


Participatory Learning and Action

• How do we continue to exchange

knowledge between farmers and

researchers during the experimental

phase and in-depth market chain

exploration?

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