Effects of Tillage Practices on Water Use Efficiency and Yield of Different Drought Tolerant Common Bean Varieties in Machakos County, Eastern Kenya

Yarkpawolo K. Johnson, Fredrick O. Ayuke, Josiah M. Kinama, Isaya V. Sijali


As world population increases, the need to feed this increasing population by the year 2050 is rising with marginal areas been cultivated to address these needs. This study seeks to compare effects of tillage on water use efficiencies (WUEs) and yields of drought tolerant bean varieties in Machakos County using three tillage systems: conventional tillage (CT) done with chisel mounted on oxen for ploughing while minimum tillage (MT) and no-till (NT) were done using hoes to dig directly  where seeds of four varieties were planted in 4 × 3 Split-plot randomized completely block design replicated four times. Erosion was negligible due to land slope flatness while actual ET crop was derived using meteorological data from 2016 and 2017 cropping seasons. Aboveground biomass and grain yield were harvested from the inner rows after discarding the outer two rows from all size of each experimental plot and weighed for total biomass and grain yield. Data were subjected to two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Genstat 14th edition software statistical package at alpha 0.05. Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT) was used to separate means.

Results indicate that interaction between tillage and seasons significantly influenced biomass and grain yield WUEs with GLPX92 yielding the highest in CT, MT and ZT though insignificant under the SR drought event, but under the LR favorable season GLPX92 yield decline with NT, CT and MT. These results, suggest interactions of conservation tillage and seasons the best option for production during favorable seasons and conventional tillage during drought events.


water use efficiency (WUE); erodibility; Conventional tillage; Minimum tillage; No-till; short and long rains; climate change and drought.

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