Soil Microarthropod- Indicators of Effects of Living Mulches in Sole and Mixed Cropping Systems at University Park Farm, Port Harcourt, Nigeria (Published)
This study was undertaken (May – August, 2013) to ascertain the impact of living mulch cover crops on soil microarthropods in sole and mixed cropping systems. Maize (Zea mays), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) and Egusi-melon (Citrullus cococynthis) were cultivated in sole while Maize- watermelon, Maize – Egusi-melon and Maize – pumpkin were cultivated in mixed plots, in a Completely Radomized Design. Soil samples were collected at 21 days interval with an 8.5cm bucket- type soil auger for extraction in modified Berlese-Tullgren funnel. The result showed 12species and 84 individuals (control), 15 and 317 (sole), 18 and 455 (mixed) cropping plots. Living mulch cover crops increases soil microarthropods in the mixed cropping system as there was significant difference (F=0.22, df =1 P>0.05 ) between the sole and mixed cropping. The average soil moisture within 42days was 30.9 %( mixed), 20.9 %( sole) and 24.4(control). Three species; Parallonothrus nigerensis, Gamisinia and Parasitid were absent in the control and sole but occurred at mixed cropping plots, indicaing that intercropping water- melon or egusi- melon with maize increases the moisture, health of the soil, species richness and abundance of soil microarthropods.
Utilisation of Sustainable Agricultural Practices among Crop Farmers in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State (Published)
The study examined utilisation of sustainable agricultural practices among crop farmers in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. A total of 120 respondents were selected for the study using multi-stage sampling technique. Structured questionnaires were used for data collection. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools. Results showed that the mean age of the respondents was 44.77 years. Also, 60.00% were married, while 65.00% were females. Mixed cropping and organic manure application ranked 1st and 2nd most used sustainable agricultural practices. Utilisation of sustainable agricultural practices was low. Significant relationships existed between household size (r2 = 0.342, p < 0.05), educational status (c2 = 4.325, p < 0.05), knowledge level (r2 = 0.154, p < 0.05) and use of sustainable agricultural practices. It is recommended that policies and programmes of the government be directed at increasing utilisation of sustainable agricultural practices. Moreover, extension and farmers’ organisations should work towards increasing farmers’ knowledge on the importance and use of sustainable agricultural practices.