The Effects of Mulch Cover on Splash Erosion in Makurdi Town
Soil erosion has continued to be a serious environmental problem, particularly among the farming communities. In Benue State, the dominant economic activity is subsistence farming which is done under sub humid rainfall conditions. Splash erosion resulting from intense rainfall therefore poses severe problems that can be alienated through good soil management practices including mulching. This paper assessed the effects of mulch cover on splash erosion in Makurdi Town. Data was collected on splashed sediments in an experimental station in Benue State University, Makurdi for a period of one rainy season in 2007. Sediment collectors were attached to 5 soil trays placed at an angle of 5 degrees to collect the amount of splash yield at every rain event. One each of the 5 trays was covered with groundnut chafes, rice husk, grasses and soyabeans chafes with the last tray as control. The soils were oven dried and measured. The result of the splash yield shows that splash from bare surface is(46.48kg/m2/yr) more than that from the four mulch treatments combined (40.85 kg/m2/yr). The effect of the various mulch materials used in checking splash was also compared. The result indicates that the differences between the mulched materials used in this study are not statistically significant. Local crop farmers in parts of Benue State can plant cover crop and mulch heaps during sowing season in addition to good
tillage methods to check splash erosion.
KEYWORDS: Splash erosion, soil tray, mulch, sediments, urban centre