Mali - Koutiala

Site Description


Mali - Nanposela
Site Extent   Centroid: 12.329, -5.3225
Top left: 12.392, -5.387 Bottom Right: 12.266, -5.258

Mali - Kani-Sukumba
Site Extent   Centroid: 12.176142, -5.189662
Top left: 12.220957, -5.235968 Bottom Right: 12.13132, -5.143373

Typical field size range: 1.4±1.2 ha.

Dominant crop types are:

  • cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) – typically 40% of planted area
  • maize (Zea mays L.) – 15% of planted area
  • pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.) – 20% of planted area
  • sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) – 20% of planted area
  • peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) – 5% of planted area

Typical field rotations are:

  • cotton – millet/sorghum
  • cotton – maize – millet/sorghum
  • cotton continuous

However, although these are the most common rotations observed, deviation from these is the norm rather than the exception.

The typical cropping calendar is:

  • cotton: field preparation Mar-Apr, sowing May-Jun, harvest Oct-Nov
  • maize: field preparation Apr-May, sowing Jun-Jul, harvest Sep-Oct
  • millet-sorghum: field preparation Apr-May, sowing Jun, harvest Nov-Dec
  • peanut: field preparation Apr-May, sowing Jun-Jul, harvest Oct

Sowings vary significantly inter-annually depending on the onset date of rains. Continental West Africa is among the regions of the world where onset date of rains is most variable and unpredictable. Wild and domesticated plants have evolved traits to evade the associated risk, such as photoperiod sensitivity.

The climatic zone is ‘tropical wet and dry or savannah’ (Aw in Koppen’s classification). Climate (in nearby Koutiala, 1971-2000) is subhumid with annual rainfall ranging from 704 mm for a dry year (probability of exceedance =0.9) to 838 mm for a median year (=0.5) and to 1,058 mm for a wet year (=0.1).

Soil Texture

Soils include Haplustalfs (PIRT, 1983 local soil classification: PL9, PS3), Haplustults (PL11), Cuirorthents (TC5), and Cuirustalfs (TC4) with shallow slopes, locally significant rock outcrops, and few erosion gullies. Sandy loams dominate. More complete corresponding soil profile information is provided in annex 1 in DSSAT format.

Landscape Topology

Landforms, distribution of soils and cropping systems is analogous to that reported by van Staveren and Stoop (1985):

Figure 1a: schematic representation of soil conditions, water movement and cropping systems along a comparable toposequence in Kamboinse, Burkina Faso (van Staveren and Stoop, 1985)

Figure 1b: schematic representation of relationships between staple crops, sowing dates, and land types for a comparable toposequence in Burkina Faso (van Staveren and Stoop, 1985)

Soil Drainage Class

Most soils (PL11, PS3, TC4) are well drained. Some are imperfectly (PL9) or somewhat excessively (TC5) drained.

Other Site Specifications

Irrigation infrastructure is absent. Lowlands are used for high value crop (vegetables, orchards) and locally rice production. A map of the project site is provided in annex 2.


©2015 Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring