Fertility capability classification for agricultural land use planning in the beach sands area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Soil survey and fertility capability classification (FCC) were carried out in an area mostly underlain by the beach ridge sands (BRS) parent material in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The study applied the FCC in agricultural land use planning for efficient land management and optimal agricultural productivity of the beach soils. Field and laboratory data were obtained from 40 pedons located across eight Local Government Areas on the BRS parent material. From the results of field and laboratory studies, 11 FCC units were identified in the area. Based on similarities in certain soil profile characteristics, the 11 FCC units were grouped into four agro-ecological units (AEUs): (i) poorly drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over sandy subsoil, grouped to form AEU-A, covered 65.00% of study area; (ii) well drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over sandy subsoil, formed AEU-B and covered 22.50% of study area; (iii) poorly drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over loamy subsoil or loamy top- and sub- soils, formed AEU-C and covered 7.50% of study area; (iv) well drained FCC units with sandy topsoil over loamy subsoil, which formed AEU-D, occupied 5.00% of study area. The result of this study has shown that FCC can be employed as a simple but efficient tool in agricultural land use planning. Major soil profile characteristics used to differentiate land units within the beach sands area of Akwa Ibom State are drainage and texture.