The onset of the rainy season and farmers’ sowing strategy for pearl millet cultivation in Southwest Niger

Publication year: 2011
Source: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 14 June 2011

Romain, Marteau , Benjamin, Sultan , Vincent, Moron , Agali, Alhassane , Christian, Baron , …

A multi-year (2004–2009) field survey of on-farm sowing practices in 10 villages located in south-west Niger close to Niamey, is analysed to investigate the relationships (i) between rainfall and the sowing date of pearl millet and the risk of sowing failure, (ii) between sowing and meteorological/agro-climatic onset dates, (iii) between sowing/onset dates, and simulated and observed yield/biomass at the end of the season. Even if some villages sow without any synchronous or anterior rainfall, most parcels (73% out of the 1551 available cases) are sown during and just after a 2-day wet spell receiving at least 10mm. In fact, there…

 Highlights: ► We examine the smallholder pearl millet sowing strategy. ► We analyse the relationship between the onset of the rainy season and the sowing date. ► The grain yield/biomass are no very sensitive to the sowing/onset dates.