Evaluation of nutrient composition of some cereals and legumes crops residues as compost materials
The use of compost for horticultural crops production in Nigeria is beginning to gain some attention, since it has been reported to improve plant growth and yield. Some cereals and legumes crops residues with potentials of being used as compost materials such as Sorghum Stovers, Rice Straws, Maize Stovers, Millet Stovers, Groundnut Haulms, Cowpea Stems and Cotton Stalks grown at the Kano University of Science and Technology Research farm were selected and analyzed for nutrient content. Data obtained were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using F-test. Results obtained indicated that Nitrogen (0.98gkg-1) and Phosphorous (0.31kg-1) were highly significant (p<0.05) in rice straws compared to other residues of cereals. Also Groundnut haulms was found to be highest in N(1.10kg-1) and P(0.0597) than other legumes residues. Other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium and potassium were also determined. Generally, crop residues and their ashes are valuable materials that can be used in making compost fertilizer as they contain high amount of nutrients. However, intensive cultivation and crop residues removal tend to break the natural cycle and prevent the return of nutrient taken up by the crop to the soil.
Keywords: Ashes, crop residues, compost and nutrients.