Abua et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (10), pp. 294-303, November 2016.
Manuscript Number: 101716169
Assessment of Soil Properties under Shifting Cultivation System of Farming in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Abua MA*, Iremoko CO and Igelle EI
Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.
An assessment of soil properties under shifting cultivation system of farming in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria was carried out. The soil varied from sand, silt and clay in texture. The bulk density of the topsoil and subsoil was 0.95 and 1.231 g/cm3, 0.1.78 and 1.2821 g/cm3, 1.2431 and 1.388 g/cm3, respectively for the forest, fallow and cropping plots. The soil PH in the topsoil and subsoil was slightly acidicand tending towards neutrality (PH 6.0-6.88)forthe forest, fallow and cropping plots.Organic Carbon contentin the topsoil and subsoil ranged from 1.15-4.87%, Total Nitrogen content 0.074-0.246%, Available Phosphorus 4.45-11.21 me/100g and Cation Exchange Capacity 3.95-10.69me/100g for the forest, fallow and cropping plots. Exchangeable Calcium, Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium ranged from 0.14-7.150 me/100g in the forest, fallow and cropping plots respectively. The soil properties are low in the fallow and cropping plots. Although, these soil properties are higher in the fallow plot than cropping plot. There is low inherent fertility in the cropping plot and would require improvement to support agricultural use. The study therefore recommends Organic matter input, mulching and crop residue management, as key to replenishing nutrient in the fallow and cropping plots.
Keywords: Soil properties, Fallow, Forest, Cropping, Plots, Topsoil, Subsoil.
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