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Evaluation of the Fertility Status and Suitability of some Soils for Arable Cropping In the Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria

M Adeboye
A Osunde
M Ezenwa
A Odofin
A Bala


The study evaluated the fertility status and suitability of some soils for arable cropping in the newly established Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Technology, Minna. Nigeria. Four soil units designated as 1, 2, 3, and 4 were identified through a rapid reconnaissance soil survey. A profile pit was dug to represent each of the soil units. Soil samples were collected from delineated horizons and taken to the laboratory for physical and chemical analysis. The Fertility Capability Classification (FCC) system was used to evaluate the soils for arable cropping. Results showed that argillic horizon was common to all the soils. The silt/clay ratio in the soils was greater than 0.20. Soils unit 1, 2, and 4 had inherent medium fertility status while Soil unit-3 had inherently poor fertility status. The FCC rated Soil unit - 1 as excellent for flooded rice cultivation. Ploughing, harrowing, ridging and field drainage to conduct standing water on the soil surface and in the subsoil will be required for successful cultivation of most arable crops in the soils due to their clay-textured subsoil. Soils unit -2 and 3 had low K level and will therefore need K fertilization especially for K- sensitive crops. Judicious use of inorganic fertilizer combined with organic manures is recommended for soil fertility maintenance for optimum and sustainable productivity of the soils.

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