The Influence of Cattle Wastes on Degraded Savanna Soils of Kwara State Nigeria
This paper examines the effects of cattle wastes on degraded savanna soils of Kwara State, Nigeria. A total of 40 soil samples were systematically collected from five quadrats of 12m x 12m. In 4 identified cattle sheds and 1 in adjacent fallow land (control field) on the same soil, climatic type and ecological zone. Standard laboratory techniques were used to test soil fertility indices on each of the sites. Coefficient of variation was used to established variability or otherwise within the data set. Student’s ‘t’ test was used to determined the significant difference in the means of soil samples collected from cattle sheds and that of the control field. The result of the laboratory test revealed that animal wastes affect the soil properties. Generally, the physical properties of the soil in this area are homogenous but variations exist in the chemical properties which fundamentally determined soil fertility and crop yield. At the end, it was clear that the fertility status of the soils is higher in the abandoned cattle sheds than those of the adjacent control field. It is therefore important for the government to provide adequate awareness and educate people on adoption of mixed farming and land use and soil properties because they tend to affect each other. Fulani nomads and arable farmers should be encouraged to co-exist harmoniously with farming communities as this would encourage sustainable crop production in low to moderate fertile soils of the tropics. And in those areas that are adversely degraded the nomads should be made to colonize such environment so as to help in rejuvenating the soils of such area.
Keywords: Cattle wastes, Soil, fertility status, rejuvenation, nutrient, properties, mixed faming