Soil Fertility and Management for Soil Sustaining Farms – Abstract

Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences (JEAS). Oku et al., 2020. Volume 22(1): 57-63

Open Access – Research Article

Soil Physical Fertility Status and Management Prescription for Soil Sustaining Farms and Ranches in Abuja, Nigeria

Effiom E. Oku *, Sarafina A. Emmanuel, Nkiruka C. Odoh, Barnabas I. Musa
Department of Soil Science, University of Abuja, Nigeria

Abstract: Physical soil fertility is seldom emphasized beyond particle size distribution in soil fertility studies. A study assessed the soil physical fertility status of a Typic Plinthustalfs sustaining farms and ranches in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. The main objective of the study was to measure the soil physical properties and prescribe soil husbandry practice for sustainable management of the soils. Soil samples were collected from eleven fields cultivated to pasture crops. The samples were processed and analyzed for particle size distribution (PSD), bulk density, soil organic carbon (SOC), saturated hydraulic conductivity (SHC), soil pH, clay flocculation index (CFI), field capacity (FC) and permanent wilting point (PWP). Total porosity and soil organic matter (SOM) was inferred from bulk density and SOC, respectively. All the cultivated fields were sandy loam in texture with predominantly sand fractions (sand > 700 g kg-1 ). The porosity values were 45 % fitting the field into “satisfactory soil” class for crop production. The pH ranged from 5.9 to 6.2. The CFI revealed the soils micro-stability are low ≤ 43 %. The FC was low and ranged from 13 to 15 %, this is against standard values of 15 to 25 % for sandy soils. This implies crop in the field will readily suffer from incipient wilting. The SHC ranged from 6.5 to 8 cm hr-1 putting the soil in the “moderately rapid” conductivity class. The SOC and SOM were rated as low for tropical soils. With predominantly sand in the soil, low SOM and moderately rapid SHC, the retention of water and applied plant nutrients will be a challenge. Mulching and recycling of processed farmyard manure and other ruminant waste that abound on the farm should be a practice. The organic inputs will help rebuild the soil structure, improve soil water and plant nutrient retention.

Keywords: Soil physical fertility, soil physical property, cultivated Typic Plinthustalfs, soil management, soil porosity.

*Corresponding author: Effiom E. Oku:

Cite this article as: Oku, E.E., S.A. Emmanuel, N.C. Odoh and B.I. Musa. 2020. Soil physical fertility status and management prescription for soil sustaining farms and ranches in Abuja, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental and Agricultural Sciences. 22(1):57-63.

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Copyright © Oku et al., 2020. 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 appropriately cited and credited.

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