Evaluation of the soil organic carbon, nitrogen and available phosphorus status of a newly established research farm in Kano State, Nigeria
The upland soils of the Nigerian savanna zones are low in fertility and their agricultural potentials for sustainable crops and livestock production is low. The surface soils of the area are sandy loam dominated by low activity clay and low content of organic matter. The soils are also shallow in nature and they have higher proportion of macrospores than microspores. Organic matter accumulation in the soils is low due to overgrazing bush burning or the use of crop residues for other purposes rather than mulching and incorporation into the soils. Concerning this, research work was conducted at Kano University of Science and Technology Research Farm to evaluate the status of organic carbon, total nitrogen and available phosphorus of the top soil horizons. Twelve soil samples each were taken from the Research Farm at 0-15 cm and 15-30 cm depths in all the locations, totaling one hundred and forty four samples for chemical analysis. For all the three properties, there was decrease in value of these properties with increase in depth. The value also decreases from north to southern part of the farm. The result obtained indicates that the level of these chemical properties were generally low as compared to standard measures and parameter for ratings soil fertility in the Nigerian Savanna.
Keywords: Status of organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, top horizons, research farm.
Bowen Journal of Agriculture Vol. 5 (1&2) 2008: pp. 50-54