Nweke et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (11), pp. 331-341, December 2016.
Manuscript Number: 120516209
Tillage Methods and Wood Ash Effect on Soil Properties and Yield of Castor
Nweke IA1*, Mbah CN2, Okoli PSO3
1Department of Soil Science, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Nigeria.
2Department of Soil Science and Environmental Management, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
3Department of Crop Science and Horticulture, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Nigeria.
The effect of tillage methods and rates of wood ash on soil properties and yield of castor bean plant was studied in field trial at Abakaliki in three different planting seasons. The experiment was a split plot in randomized complete block design with three tillage methods (mound, ridge, flat) and four rates of wood ash (0tha-1, 2tha-1, 4tha-1 and 6tha-1) replicated three times. Crop start version 7.2 was used to analyse data collected and mean separation was done using least significant difference (LSD) at 5% alpha level. The results obtained showed that tillage methods had no effect on seed yield in first and second years planting season, but had significant effect on the parameter in third year planting season. The values decrease as the year of planting increased. Mound was found to give the highest seed yield among the other tillage methods (TM). The value of this parameter obtained from 4tha-1 (Md4, Rd4, and Ft4) rate of wood ash (WA) was higher in value than the other rates in first and second year planting. While 6tha-1 (Md6, Rd6, Ft6) rate of WA gave the highest value in third year planting. The TM and wood ash (WA) interaction result show significant differences among the tillage methods and rates of WA, the values increased as the rates of WA applied increased. The result of soil properties showed that TM increased the value of the nutrients assessed in second year, but decreased in the third year planting. The value of these parameters observed in ridge method was found to be higher when compared to the values of mound and flat. The WA amendment was found to change the soil from slightly acidic to alkaline in second year to slightly acidic in third year. There were significant differences (P<0.05) among the rates in all the soil parameters tested. The control soil remained acidic throughout the three years of study. The TN and OC were greatly influenced by the addition of WA. Their values decreased as year of planting increased with exception of OC contents that increased in the third year. TM and WA interaction show significant differences (P<0.05) on the soil properties tested. Their values increased as the rates of WA increased and higher nutrient values were obtained more on WA treated soil than on non-treated soil. Based on the results of the study, it is evident that the tillage and wood ash can optimise soil productivity, increase the nutrient status of soil and yield of castor and that 6tha-1 rate of WA will be ideal, if the cropping season is to be observed beyond two years as it had strong residual effect on the tested parameters.
Keywords: Tillage, wood ash, castor, soil properties
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