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Soil Science & Environment

Assessment Of The Fertility Status Of Farmers Fields In Ekwe, Isu Local Government Area Of Imo State, Nigeria




A reconnaissance survey method used to assess the fertility status of rural farmers fields in Ekwe, Isu L.G.A Imo State, South Eastern Nigeria. Crops like egg plant, cassava, pepper, maize, yam, three -leaved yam, melon and okra were dominated in these fields. Composites soil samples were collected from 8 different fields at 0.15cm and 15-30cm depth using random sampling technique. Samples were subjected to routine laboratory analysis and the data from the laboratory analysis were statistically analyzed using mean co-efficient of variation and standard deviation. Data were also compared using critical values and fertility rating standards (Table 1). Results showed that the texture of the top and subsoil were predominantly sandy to sand clay loam (Table 2). The soils have sand fractions ranging from 666.00-866.00gkg-1 with mean of 721.00-816.00 in both surface and sub surface soils. Silt fractions on the whole ranged between 40.00-100.00gkg-1 with a mean of 75.00-73.38 in both depths. Both depths have clay fraction ranging from 154.00-74.00gkg-1 with mean of 204.00-111.50 and high clay content was observed in the subsoil which ranged from 234.00gkg-1 and lowest clay fraction in the top soil that ranged from 74.00gkg-1 was observed. Soil reaction varied. Some soils were strongly acidic, moderately acidic while some were neutral (Table 3). Organic carbon was high and ranged from 5.20-13.3gkg-1 in both depths. Organic matter (O.M) ranged from 0.90-2.30g/kg. In both depth organic matter in Ebenator, Umuduru, Umuoka, Obara oma and Obara ibe oma was observed to be very high while others were moderately high (Table 3). Generally CEC, K+, Available P and Na+ were low. To obtain high yield of harvest from the rural farmers in the study area ,it is recommended that liming the soil will help to make exchangeable ca, mg and other essential nutrients available in the fields.

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1.1     Background of the Study

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thickness, which differ in the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical and mineralogical characteristics (Brady and Weil, 2007).

Physical properties of the soil includes soil texture, structure, density, porosity, consistency, colour, aggregate stability and hydraulic conductivity. The physical properties of the soil are related to many aspects of management and the use of soil for instance, the supporting ability of soils as foundation, soil drainage properties, soil moisture storage capacity, and penetrability by roots, permeability or percolation of water, aeration to the soil physical properties.

On the other hand, the chemical properties includes mineral elements (essential elements) Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) percentage base saturation (%BS), soil acidity and alkalinity (soil reaction). The study of soil chemical properties is important so that we can understand the chemical activities going on in the soil. Thus will help to ensure that soil continues to perform their important functions and are not exploited to the extent that they become infertile nor used in a way that the fertile soil is lost through erosion.  The chemical processes going on in the soil are colloids, their electrical characteristics and the ways in which ions and water molecules are held and arrange at the surfaces.

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Both physical and chemical properties of soil are related to soil fertility which is the ability of soil to provide all necessary plant nutrients in available forms and in a suitable balance whereas soil productivity is the resultant of several  factors such as soil fertility, good soil management practices availability of water supply and suitable climate. A fertile soil may be highly saline or alkaline which may not be good for agriculture Sandy soil may be poor in fertility but with the use of fertilizers and water. It may be made productive. Soil fertility thus, denotes the status of plant nutrients in the soil whereas the productivity is the resultant of various factors influencing crop production. It is therefore necessary to have sound knowledge of these properties for those concerned in the use of soil and also be acquainted with the factors which would alter the properties and the means by which they could be managed to man’s advantage.

People of Ekwe in Isu L.G.A are  not predominantly farmers but instead they take up trading as a business of their choice because the fewthat go into farming do not come out with good yields because of suspected poor soil fertility of the area. Because of this it became very necessary to look into the fields, so as to find a way of improving them thereby helping inhabitants to take up farming.

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1.2     Objectives of the Study

The major objectives of the study is to assess the fertility status of soils of Ekwe in Isu L.G.A. Imo State.

1.3     Specific Objectives

The specific objectives includes;

  1. To assess the level of plant nutrients in the soil.

2. To assess the level of plant nutrients in the soil.

Pages:  49

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Source: Imsuinfo                            

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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