Characterization, Classification and Management of Some Soils in Ujam District of Makurdi, Benue State (Published)
An intensive soil survey was carried out in Ujam District, the two sites chosen were designated: (1) Tse-Tswam and (11) Tse-Ordam. The aims were to characterize, classify and proffer management practices for the soils. At each site, three profiles pits were sunk and morphologically described. Samples collected from identified genetic horizons were subjected to analyses using standard analytical procedures. The soil profiles ranged from deep (118cm) to very deep (200cm); well to imperfectly drained; epipedons’ colour varied from very dark brown (7.5YR 2/3)/brownish black (7.5 YR 3/1) due to melanisation; subsoils were dull reddish brown (5YR4/4) due to rediomophism and brownish gray (10 YR 5/1) as imprint of gleization; Mottles on the subsoils may be attributed to drainage impedance; sandy loam or loamy sand surfaces with clay to sandy clay loam subsoils to sandstone parent material and weak fine crumb to moderate/strong fine-coarse subangular blocky structures. The soils had medium to high sand (41.20-83.00%), very low to medium clay (06.02.58- 43.25%) and low silt (10.65-16.96%) fractions; medium bulk density (1.19-1.38gmcm-3) and porosity (48.68-56.60%). Soil reaction was slightly acid (5.67-6.50); low organic carbon (1.05-0.30%), nitrogen (0.03-0.18%), Available phosphorus (3.00-10.10%) and EC (0.10-0.13dms-1). CEC was very low (6.34-9.10cmolkg-1) likewise CaCO3 (0.00-2.00%); medium to high base saturation (48.80-91.90%). All soil units (1-V1) possessed argillic horizons with base saturations that were ≤50%(NH4OAc at pH 7) and were classified into Alfisols at soil order level; units 1 and 111 further qualified into Eutric Epiaqualfs (Vertic luvisols Clayiec,kandic), 11 into Dystric Haplustalf (Dystric Luvisol Kandic, Clayiec) and 1V into Arenic Haplustalfs (Vertic Luvisols arenic, Dystric). Units V was placed into (Haplic Eutrustalf (Glayeic Luvisol Eutric,kandic) at subgroup while soil unit V1 was keyed into Glayiec Haplustalf (Glayeic Luvisol Kandic, Clayeic). Organic/mineral fertilizers incooporation into these soils will improve soil fertility, structure and water retention.
The assessment of the impact of tillage and wood ash on soil chemical properties are needed to identify those with the potential to improve soil nutrients. A field trial was conducted in three different cropping years to evaluate the effect of three tillage methods (mound, ridge, flat) and four rates of wood ash (0t/ha, 2t/ha, 4t/ha, 6t/ha) on the soil exchangeable bases, base saturation (BS) and exchangeable acidity (EA). Results from the study showed that the effect of tillage methods (TM) in all the parameters were significant (P < 0.05) in the 1st year planting season, virtually all were non-significant in the 3rd year planting season. The values obtained from the TM increased in the 2nd year but decreased in the 3rd year cropping season. The values recorded from ridge method was higher compared to mound and flat for all the parameters tested. Wood ash application influenced the exchangeable bases of the soil but the values did not change much throughout the planting period. On the average, exchangeable (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+) nutrient output per year varies among the rates and highest was observed in 6t/ha rate of wood ash (WA). WA increased the values of effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC), base saturation (BS) and decreased the exchangeable acidity (EA) values in treated plots relative to control. The interaction result of TM and WA were very effective on the tested parameters, values increased as the rates of WA increased. Generally, higher nutrient values were observed more in amended plots than the control plots. From the findings of the present study, it is evident that tillage and wood ash when properly managed with appropriate rates improves the soil nutrient status, decrease soil acidity and optimise soil condition for good crop production.