Effects of rumen digesta on the physico-chemical properties of soils in Nsukka, Southeastern Nigeria Ifeoma
In tropical and subtropical areas, the importance of organic manure in improving soil physico-chemical properties and crop production for food security cannot be overemphasized. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of rumen digesta on the physical and chemical properties of soils in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. The soil samples collected from Opi, Nsukka were treated with four rates of rumen digesta (viz. 0, 50, 100 and 150 g/kg soils). Physical and chemical properties of the soil were determined pre- and post-experiment. The results obtained reveal that rumen digesta significantly (p = 0.05) increased the mean weight diameter (0.49 to 1.75 mm), aggregate stability (54.7 to 75.3%), soil pH (3.8 to 7.8), total nitrogen (0.01 to 0.02%), exchangeable sodium and potassium (0.22 to 4.39 cmol/kg for Na+ and 0.30 cmol/kg to 4.31 for K+), CEC (7.2 to 14.9 cmol/kg) and organic matter content (0.97 to 4.29%). It had no significant effect on the texture, micro-aggregate stability (measured as dispersion ratio), exchangeable calcium and magnesium content of the soils. The study found a significant reduction in the exchangeable aluminum (1.5 to 0.0 cmol/kg) and hydrogen content (3.7 to 2.2 cmol/kg) of the soils. It is recommended that farmers can improve the physical and chemical properties of soils by using rumen digesta as an alternative liming material.
Key words: Rumen digesta, soil properties, evaluation, rural land, Nsukka-Nigeria.