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In Rwanda, farmers’ traditional farming systems based on intercropping and varietal mixtures are designed to meet a variety of livelihood objectives and withstand risks associated with fluctuation in market and agro-climatic conditions. However, these mixed systems have been disappearing since 2008 when government mandated intensification strategies. In(More)
Applying manure to row-crop systems can reduce inorganic fertilizer dependence and enhance soil biology and crop yields. However, it remains unclear whether low manure application rates or semi-annual application rates can provide these benefits. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of variable rates and timing of manure application on soil microbial(More)
Farm typologies are a useful tool to assist in unpacking and understanding the wide diversity among smallholder farms to improve targeting of crop production intensification strategies. Sustainable crop production intensification will require the development of an array of nutrient management strategies tailored to farm-specific conditions, rather than(More)
Research on perennial staple crops has increased in the past ten years due to their potential to improve ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, multiple past breeding efforts as well as research on traditional ratoon systems mean there is already a broad body of literature on perennial crops. In this review, we compare the development of(More)
Food security and dietary quality are broadly supported development goals, yet few studies have addressed how agricultural subsidy policies and promotion of modern crop varieties impact smallholder farm production and household diet. Crop intensification through subsidies could have indirect impacts through gains/losses in income and purchasing power, as(More)
The management of staple crops as perennials is a historic legacy and a present-day strategy in some regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, yet perenniality is rarely an agronomic subject. Farmers in Malawi cut annual crops, such as pigeonpea and sorghum, to extend production for more than one growing season. Cassava, a perennial food crop, has a proven track(More)
There is increasing global demand for food, bioenergy feedstocks and a wide variety of bio-based products. In response, agriculture has advanced production, but is increasingly depleting soil regulating and supporting ecosystem services. New production systems have emerged, such as no-tillage, that can enhance soil services but may limit yields. Moving(More)
Effects of plant age on resource acquisition and stress tolerance processes is a largely unstudied subject in herbaceous perennials. In a field experiment, we compared rates of photosynthesis (A), ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylation capacity (V Cmax), maximum electron transport rate (J max), and triose phosphate utilization (TPU), as well as(More)
Yield stability is fundamental to global food security in the face of climate change, and better strategies are needed for buffering crop yields against increased weather variability. Regional- scale analyses of yield stability can support robust inferences about buffering strategies for widely-grown staple crops, but have not been accomplished. We present(More)
Plant genotypes are rarely developed for mixed cropping systems despite the potential of these systems to provide multiple ecosystem services. One of the most ubiquitously grown mixed cropping systems is a common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) intercrop, but there is little consensus among researchers, and few known studies document(More)