Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 October 2008
Poor drainage of Vertisols in the Ethiopian mid-altitude highlands limits farming operations and cropping in the early rainy season (July–August). Traditional crops are grown on residual moisture late in the season (September–January) when waterlogging is less of a problem. Productivity is therefore below its potential. The recent introduction of a broadbed and furrow system for improved drainage on Vertisols allows full use of the growing period and provides scope for a wider variety of cropping systems and increased productivity. Trials using a sequential cropping system demonstrated that two crops a year can be grown when Vertisols are drained. The crops used in the trial were oats or an oat/vetch mixture forage in the early season followed by grasspea or chickpea food crops in the late season as the second crop. Further on-farm research on sequential cropping of forages and food crops in the mid-altitude highlands of Ethiopia is now needed.