A Comparison of Performances of Conventional Tillage Implements Versus Namibia Specific Conservation Tillage Implements under Ogongo, Namibia Conditions
Studies were conducted over a period of three years (2011 to 2013) at the Ogongo Campus of the University of Namibia (UNAM), to compare the differences between two conventional tillage (CV) treatments (i.e. tractor-drawn disc harrow (TDH) and animal-drawn mouldboard plough (AMP) and two Namibia Specific Conservation Tillage (NSCT) treatments (tractor-drawn ripper furrower (TRF) and animal-drawn ripper furrower (ARF). The objective was to test and compare the field performances of two implements each for the NSCT and CV technologies on (i) depth of cut, (ii) width of cut, (iii) draught of the power source (iv) efficiency and (v) effective field capacity under Ogongo conditions. The research design was a randomised complete block design. Results showed that the NSCT technologies (TRF and ARF) performed better in terms of the depths of cut than CV technologies (TDH and AMP) in all the three years but the NSCT technologies also resulted in higher draught forces than the contemporary CV technologies. The specific draught of NSCT technologies were however less across the three seasons showing that they were more energy efficient than CV technologies. Tractor drawn tillage methods resulted in lower specific draught than animal-drawn tillage methods across the three years. None of the tractor-drawn implements in the study met the ASAE Standards of Efficiency (70-90%) with the TDH achieving field efficiencies of 44% (short by 16%) and TRF achieving 62% (short by 8%). Across the three years, the effective field capacities for tractor-drawn tillage methods were: TDH = 0.68 ha hr-1, TRF = 0.74 ha hr-1.
For animal-drawn tillage methods, the effective field capacities for AMP = 0.03 ha hr-1 and for ARF = 0.15 ha hr-1. Overall the field performances of NSCT implements were better than those of CV implements and farmers should be encouraged to choose NSCT methods.
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