Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Blair Orr


The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference in sorghum yield between the Mossi zai hole and the Gourounsi zai hole, specifically examining the effects of manure and soil water conservation. A study field was created with six different treatments: (1) control with traditional management (no zai holes), (2) traditional management with manure, (3) Mossi zai holes with no manure, (4) Mossi zai holes with manure, (5) Gourounsi zai holes with no manure, and (6) Gourounsi zai holes with manure. Soil moisture readings were taken after each rainstorm (about weekly), soil properties were analyzed before planting and after harvest and above ground biomass was weighed at harvest.

Manure was the only variable that significantly increased crop yield. This is different from the original hypothesis; zai holes were thought to be the main driver of increased crop yield in Sahelian West Africa. Zai holes did not have a significant effect on soil moisture.