International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research Vol.1 (4), pp. 116-123, June 2013
© 2013 Journal Issues
Article ID JPR25, 08 pages
Original Research Paper
Effect of application of organic and mineral soil amendments in a continuous cropping system for 10 years on chemical and physical properties of an Alfisol in Northern Guinea Savanna zone
Accepted 8 May,2013
Nkechi Mary *Eche1,Emmanuel Nathan Oyema Iwuafor1,Ishaku Yo’ila Amapui1, MaryAnn Victoria Bruns2
1Department of Soil Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
2Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State University, U.S.A.
*Corresponding Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Demography and heavy dependence on maize as major staple have contributed to intensive maize production in the northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria.This study assessed 10 years of management practices and inputs on soil quality under maize. Sampled soils were assessed by measuring appropriate physical and chemical quality indicators in the 2006 and 2007 rain-fed cropping season. The treatments were made of urea fertilizer, cow dung, Centrosema pascuorum, Vigna unguiculata and applied to make 45 and 90 kg N ha-1. Results showed that cow dung alone or in combination with sole urea fertilizer at the rate of 90 kg N ha-1 increased soil pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen by 2%, 55%, 17% respectively compared to sole urea. Cation exchange capacity significantly increased by 26% with application of cow dung while bulk density was reduced by 18% and total porosity increased by 15%. Further, moisture contents at field capacity and permanent wilting point increased by 50 and 25% respectively over sole urea treatment. To restore or maintain soil fertility for optimal crop yields under comparative long-term soil productivity, adoption of a balanced fertilization that combines urea fertilizer with animal manure is recommended.
Key words: Continuous cropping, organic amendments, urea fertilizer, soil fertility, maize, intercrop, Alfisol