Assessment of fertility status of soils used for cassava production in Owerri, Area of Imo State, Nigeria
The fertility status of soils used for cassava production in Owerri area of Imo State Nigeria was assessed. Composite samples were collected from ten different sites at 0-15 cm and 15 -30 cm depth. Soil samples were prepared and analyzed in the laboratory using standard methods. Data generated were statistically analyzed using the co-efficient of variation and standard deviation. Results showed that the soils varied from sandy loam to sandy clay loam and strongly acidic (mean pH. 5.68). Apart from base saturation which is high. 77.93 g/kg (0-15cm) 79.18 g/kg (15- 30 cm) other parameters were low in organic matter (OM) 1.05% (0-15 cm), 1.21% (15.30 cm), total nitrogen (N) 0.09 % (0.15 cm), 0.11 % (15-30 cm), exchangeable potassium (k), 0.19 cmoI/kg (0-15cm), 0-23 cmol/kg (15-30 cm), available phosphorus (p) 12.95 mg/kg (0-15 cm), 17.46 mg/kg (15-30 cm) Calcium (ca) 2.49 cmol/kg (0-15cm), 3.31 cmol.kg (15-30 cm), Magnesium (mg) 1.39 cmol/kg (0-15 cm), 2.10 cmol/kg), Sodium (Na) 0.13 cmol/kg (0-15 cm), 0.16 cmol/kg (15-30 cm). The result indicates that the fertility status of the study area is low and requires intensive fertility restoration programme for soil health improvement. To boast high crop yields, and productivity of cassava in the study area, a combination of organic and inorganic fertilizers are recommended.
Keywords: soils, fertility status, soil productivity, cassava yields, Owerri