Suitability rating of some depressional soils of the lower Benue valley for rainfed rice production

  • S Idoga Department of Soil Science, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria

Abstract

Upland rainfed rice production in the Lower Benue Valley is increasingly being constrained by the declining rainfall in the area. For this reason, emphases are being shifted to lowland rice production. The characteristics of these lowland soils and indeed their suitability for rainfed rice production are however not well known leading to massive crop failures in certain areas in some years. The objective of this research was to conduct pedological investigations in three such depressional areas in the Lower Benue Valley. The results revealed that four major soil types, namely, Typic Plinthaqualfs, Mollic, Fluvaquents, Aeric Umbric Kandiaqualfs and Aquic Paleustalfs/ Haplustalfs dominate these depressions. The Typic Plinthaqualfs and Mollic Fluvaquents are considered highly suitable (S1) for rainfed rice production because of their ease of workability and availability of water to plants. The Aeric Umbric Kandiaqualfs and Aquic Haplustalfs/Paleustalf are marginally suitable (S3m) because they are difficult to work and dry up rather rapidly resulting into crop failures due to early cessation of rainfall.

Nigeria Journal of Soil Research Vol. 6 2005: 58-70
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