Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Onweremadu and Okereke

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 2 (7), pp. 311-315, November 2012

 ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number:100812097

 

Soil Fertility Indictors in Low-Input Agriculture in Communities of Southeastern Nigeria

 

1*E.U Onweremadu and 2Okereke –Ejiogu E.N

 

1Department of Soil Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, PMB 1526 Owerri, Nigeria.

2Department Agricultural Extension, Federal University of Technology, PMB 1526 Owerri, Nigeria.

 

*Corresponding Author: uzomaonweremadu @ yahoo.com


Abstract:

The study investigated the fertility of soils under Caladium, Costus, Setaria and Imperata in 10 locations of southeastern Nigeria. Soil samples  were collected at random on soils formed over coastal plain  sands of southeastern Nigeria. Soil samples were bulked, quartered  and air-dried before laboratory analysis. Soil samples were sieved using a 2-mm sieve  and analyzed for some soil fertility indices. Variation in soil fertility indices were computed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) while means were separated with least significant  difference (LSD) at 5% level of probability. Calcium- magnesium ratios varied significantly (p=0.05) among plant species, and values ranged from 3.6 (Caladium). Setaria (1.9), Costus (1.7) and Imperata (0.8). Nitrate-nitrogen differed significantly (p=0.05) among plant  species and distributed as follows: 0.13 g/kg (Caladium), 0.12g/kg (Setaria), 0.11g/kg (Costus) and 0.08 g/kg (Imperata). Base saturation values decreased in the order of Caladium (56%), Setaria (49%), Costus (41%) and Imperata (21%). These soil parameters had significant  (P< 0.05) positive relationships with total carbon. It can be concluded that soils under Caladium can be used to infer greater soil fertility in farmland.

 

Keywords: Soil fertility, indicator plants, low-input agriculture, coastal plain sands

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