Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences

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Tanimu et al

Greener Journal of  Agricultural Sciences Vol. 2 (6), pp. 246-250, October 2012

 ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number:09031256


Assessment of Some Handling Practices on Cow Dung: Calcium and Magnesium Content and Total Microbial Population in the Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria


J. Tanimu1*, E.O. Uyovbisere2, S.W.J. Lyocks1 and

Y. Tanimu3


1 Samaru College of Agriculture, Division of Agricultural Colleges, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

2 Soil Science Department, Institute for Agricultural Research/Faculty of Agriculture, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

3 Department of Biological Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.


*Corresponding Author’s Email: joseph.tanimu @


The handling practices of cow dung were examined in two (2003 and 2004) seasons to determine their effects on the Calcium and Magnesium content and the microbial population in Northern Nigeria. The experiment consisted of four treatments (surface heaped uncovered, surface heaped covered and pit covered) and a control (untreated). The results revealed that, subjecting the cow dung to different handling practices significantly (P < 0.05) increased values of Calcium and Magnesium and the total bacterial and fungal populations, compared to the control. At termination of composting of the cow dung, the heaped uncovered method gave significantly (P < 0.05) higher values of Calcium and Magnesium in the two years, while after field storage, it was the heaped covered method that gave significantly (P < 0.05) higher values of the Calcium and Magnesium for the two years. In each case where the nutrient content (Ca and Mg) was high, the microbial population of bacteria and fungi was also high. It is therefore concluded that, the high Calcium and Magnesium content of cow dung was directly related to the high population of bacteria and fungi. It is therefore recommended based on this work, that cow dung should be used immediately after composting using the heaped uncovered method, while the heaped covered method is recommended if it is to be used after field storage.
Keywords: cow dung, handling practices, calcium, magnesium, microbial population, Northern Guinea Savanna, Nigeria.

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