Tanimu et al
Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 2 (6), pp. 246-250, October 2012
ISSN: 2276-7770 © 2011 Greener Journals
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
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 @ yahoo.com
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.