Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts for Maize Production in Forest-Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone of Nigeria

Adetayo, Adewale.O1*, Balogun Ahmed A2, Delia, Balogun, Ahmed2, Akinseye Folorunso M3

1Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ibadan, Nigeria.

2Department of Meteorology & Climate Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

3International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Kano, Nigeria.

*Corresponding Author:Adetayo, Adewale.O, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ibadan, Nigeria, Tel: 08058976504; Fax: 08058976504; E-mail:wale_agromet@yahoo.com

Citation: Adetayo, Adewale.O, Balogun Ahmed A, Delia, Balogun, Ahmed, Akinseye Folorunso M (2022) Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts for Maize Production in Forest-Savannah Agro-Ecological Zone of Nigeria. SciEnvironm 5: 150.

Received: September 20, 2022; Accepted: October 04, 2022; Published: October 07, 2022.

Copyright: © 2022 Adetayo, Adewale.O, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Climate change impacts such as delayed onset, early cessation and shortened length of growing season threatens food security in Nigeria. This study investigates the adaptation strategies to climate change impacts on maize production in forest-savannah agro-ecological zone of Nigeria. Determination of the optimum plating date(s) for maize production was used as an appropriate adaptation strategy to climate change impacts. This research was conducted during the growing season of 2021 at the Laboratory for Genecology and sustainable food systems (GeoLab), Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria (7ο15’N, 5 ο15’E) and Research Farm of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (I.A.R&T.), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria (7 ο22‘N; 3 ο.30‘E). Both stations are within the forest-Savannah eco-climatic zone of Nigeria. Three planting dates were selected at two weeks interval. The planting dates selected were 28th June (d1), 12th of July (d2) and 26th of July (d3) in both locations. The three maize genotypes used were Oba Super 4 (V1), ART98/SW1 (V2) and Ife Maize hyb-07 (V3). The planting spacing used was 25cm x 75cm. The experiment was laid out as split plot design with genotypes of maize as main plot and planting dates as subplot treatments. Variables measured are plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, cob length, cob diameter, 100 seed weight and yield per hectare. Generally, the plant growth and yield parameters decreased with delayed planting irrespective of variety of maize planted and location of planting. Cob weight and 100-grain weight were not affected by planting dates. Maize planted at the onset recorded the highest yield and the lowest yield found with maize planted late irrespective of the maize genotype and planting location. For Oba Super 4 planted in Akure, first planting had the highest yield of 2144.50 kg/ha, followed by the second planting with the yield of 2007.60 kg/ha and the third planting with the lowest yield of 1494.40 kg/ha. Oba Super 4 planted in Ibadan had the highest yield of 1091.9 kg/ha and the lowest yield of 826.20 kg/ha. ART98/SW1 planted in Akure had maximum yield of 2619.30kg/ha and the lowest yield of 2209.10kg/ha, while the same maize genotype planted in Ibadan had maximum yield of 1496.60kg/ha and the lowest yield of 714 kg/ha. The maximum yield of Ife Maize hyb-07 planted in Akure was found to be 1947.50 kg/ha while 1275.30 kg/ha was the lowest yield recorded. Ife Maize hyb-07 planted in Ibadan had the highest yield of 858.20 kg/ha and 800.30 kg/ha recorded as the lowest yield. Therefore, for optimum grain yield of maize, planting is better done at the onset of rains and should not be delayed beyond mid-July for late planting in forest-savannah agro-ecology of Nigeria. Through this adaptation strategy, sustainable maize crop production may be enhanced and fight against food insecurity in the face of climate change and variability in forest savannah eco-climatic region of Nigeria will be achieved.

Keywords

Keywords: Climate Change, Maize Production, Planting Dates, Adaptation, Sustainable Farming

Introduction

Climate change is defined as a difference over a period of time (with respect to a baseline or a reference period) and corresponds to a statistically significant trend of mean climate or its variability, persistent over a long period of time (e.g., decades or more). Climate change is often used to describe any kind of change in climate that may be natural or human-induced [1]. It involves changes in the variability or average state of the atmosphere over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. Climate change is now household words all over the world. Everyone knows that something has gone amiss with the world weather climate patterns. Climate variability and change have direct, often adverse influence on the quantity and quality of agricultural production. Climate change and its implications on human existence has remained a great challenge for agricultural production across the globe. Sub Saharan Africa have been reported to be one of the most susceptible and vulnerable regions to climate change [2].

Onset of rainy season (ROD) as the beginning of the first 10- day period with cumulative rainfall of greater than or equal to 30mm one of which is at least 10mm and followed by another two 10 – day period each with at least 8-10mm rain [3]. Cessation date of rainfall is the postulated period when the condition such as soil moisture availability is below 50% requirements of the plants need. It is determined when the available water content at the root zone has dropped to 50%. Length of growing period also called Frost- Free Season can be seen in two ways. One is to enumerate the days of the years when average temperature is above the threshold at which crop will germinate and continue to grow and the other can be stated in terms of frost-free days, that is, the average numbers of days between the frost of spring and the frost of fall or winter [4].

Maize has been in the diet of Nigerians for centuries and it is a versatile crop on which many agro-based industries depend as raw materials. For many people and civilizations, maize has since ancient times been a food, feed, commodity, construction materials, fuel, medicine or decorative plant. Its grain, stalk, leaves, cobs, tassels and silks have commercial values in most settings, though that of the grain is the greatest. With the industrial development, it is increasingly becoming an industrial raw material for the production of starch, gluten, oil, flavor, grits, alcohol and lingo-cellulose for further processing into a whole range of products and by-products.

Planting dates plays important roles in the growth and yield of maize. Optimum planting dates has become a prime importance strategy in adapting to the negative impacts of climate change. Therefore, this study is aimed at investigating the optimum planting date as a form of adaptation strategies to climate change impacts on maize production in forest-savannah agro-ecological zone of Nigeria.

Study Area

This research was conducted during the growing season of 2021 at Agro-meteorology research farm of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria (7015’N, 5015’E) and project farm of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (I.A.R&T.) Ibadan, Nigeria (7022‘N; 3030‘E). Both stations are within the forest-Savannah eco-climatic zone of Nigeria. The forest-Savannah eco-climatic zone of Nigeria covers a total land area of about 115,000 sq. km. Rainfall in the zone can be described as humid to sub-humid tropical with distinct dry and wet season. There are two rainfall peaks in June and September with dry spell in August (August break) which produces the bimodal rainfall pattern. It is characterized by minimal fluctuations, usually less than 5oC throughout the year. The mean monthly temperature ranges between 28oCand 35oC for the period of 10 years, while the mean monthly minimum temperature ranged between 22.6oC and 26.7oC. February and March have the highest evaporation rate, and it is as high as 6.9 mm. The least evaporation rate (1.6 mm) is recorded in June/July. The relative humidity ranges from 64.5% in February to 91% in June.

Soil sampling was carried out before land preparation to quantify the baseline nutrient status of the soil before the trial.

The result of the pre-planting soil analysis indicates soil pH of 4.76 and 5.12 for Akure and Ibadan respectively. The percentage organic matter and organic carbon of the soils in Akure and Ibadan are 13.2%, 1.28% and 8.9%, 1.04% respectively. The exchangeable bases Ca (1.50 cmol kg-1) and cation exchange capacity (3.26 cmol kg-1) was found in Akure soil, while Ca (1.52 cmol kg-1) and cation exchange capacity (4.02 cmol kg-1). The textural class of the soil in both sites is sandy-loam (Table1).

Treatment, Experimental Design and Data Analysis

The treatments will consist of 3 varieties of maize. The experiment was laid out in split plot design with varieties of crops as the main plot and dates of planting as subplot treatment. The treatment combinations were replicated 3 times in each location.

Prior to planting, soil samples shall be obtained at each location from 0-100 cm depth at 20 cm interval to determine basic physical and chemical characteristics of the soils (Tables 1). Minimum tillage was employed as a means of soil-water conservation. The varieties of maize used are Oba Super 4 (V1), ART98/SW1 (V2) and Ife Maize hyb-07 (V3). The planting spacing of 25cm x 75cmcrop was followed. The three planting dates selected for are 28th June (D1), 12th of July (D2) and 26th of July (D3) in both locations. Three seeds per hole were planted which was later be thinned to two per stand at one week after planting. Weeding was carried out manually using hoe two weeks after planting and subsequently at two weeks interval. Spraying with insecticides at the rate of 4ml per liter of water was carried out at two weeks after planting and at two weeks intervals to prevent the attack of army worm on the crops. NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer was applied at the rate of 40kg/ha at basal and at 50 days after planting.

The growth and yield data include plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, cob length, cob diameter, 100 grain weight and grain yield per hectare. The data sets were subjected to descriptive statistics as well as analysis of variance irrespective of the year of planting. Means of the different treatment were separated using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMTR) [5].

Table 1: Result of Preliminary Soil Analysis.

s/n Parameters Quantity (Akure) Quantity (Ibadan)
1

pH

4.76 5.12
2

% Organic Carbon

13.2 8.90
3

% Organic matter

1.28 1.04
4

Ca (cmol/kg)

1.50 1.52
5

Mg (cmol/kg)

1.00 2.04
6

K (cmol/kg)

0.24 0.42
7 C.E.C (cmol/kg) 3.26 4.02
8

% Sand

0.72 0.77
9

% Silt

0.18 0.15
10

% Clay

 0.10  0.08
 11  Textural class  Sandy loam  Sandy loam

 

Results and Discussion

Table 1 shows the effects of planting dates on the growth characteristics of maize. No significant difference was noticed on the number of leaves and plant height first 10 days of planting. Generally, the growth parameters of maize decreased with delayed planting irrespective of the variety and location of planting. Maize planted at the onset of rain (D1) was discovered to have the highest growth parameters. Growth parameters of maize planted on July (D3) was shown to have the least characteristics. The results of the effects of planting dates on maize growth characteristics are in conformity with the findings of [6] who reported that the growth parameter of maize reduced with delayed planting.

Results from the table 3 revealed that planting dates had significantly affected cob length of maize. Length of cobs decreased as the planting was delayed. Plots sown on June 28, 2021 recorded maximum cob length followed by plots seeded July 12, 2021 while minimum cob length was observed in plots sown on July 26, 2021 irrespective of the variety and location of planting. These results are quite in conformity with the findings of [7] who reported that cob length decreased with delay in planting. It was shown in table 3 that planting dates had a significant effect on cob diameter. Decreasing trend was observed in cob diameter with delay in planting dates.

Table 2: Growth performance of three selected varieties of maize at different dates in Akure and Ibadan.

V1- Oba V1- Oba Super 4, V2- ART98/SW1, V3- Ife Maize hyb-07, D1- 28th June, D2- 12th of July, D3- 26th of July, L1-Akure, L2- Ibadan, DAP- Days After Planting

Table 3: Yield performance of three varieties selected of maize at different dates during in Akure and Ibadan.

Although decreasing trend was observed in 100 grain weight with delay in planting date, the difference is minimal. The heavier grains with earlier planting might be due to prolonged growing and grain filling period which enabled the plants to produce bold and plump grains. These results are in agreement with findings of [8,9]. Who reported reduction in 1000 grain weight with delay in planting dates. It was further shown in table 3 that grain yield was significantly affected by planting dates [11-20]. Crops planted on June 28, 2021 recorded maximum grain yield followed by crops planted on July 12, 2021 while minimum grain yield was observed in crops sown on July 26, 2021 [21-26]. These results are in line with results of [8-10] who reported that grain yield of maize decreased with delay in planting dates.

Conclusion

Late onset, early cessation of rains and consequent shortened length of growing season have impacted negatively production of maize in forest-savannah agro-ecological zone of Nigeria. Adequate synchronization of crop production with agricultural calendar of crops cannot be overemphasized especially at the face of climate change and variability. It is obvious from this study that plating dates have significant effects on growth and yield of Maize. It is hereby recommended that for optimum yield of maize, planting should be done at the onset of rains in forest savannah agro-ecological zone of Nigeria.

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