Effect of organic manures application on soil physico-chemical properties of coarse-textured Ultisols and okra productivity in Nsukka, south eastern Nigeria

Dr Chukwuebuka Azuka1, Mr Chukwuemeka Idu1

1Department Of Soil Science, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nsukka, Nigeria

Ultisols of southeastern Nigeria are highly degraded, low in organic matter, acidic and with poor nutrient and moisture retention characteristics. This necessitates the need for sustainable management through continuous input of organic manure. Greenhouse and field studies were carried out to determine the effect of different rates of poultry manure (PM) and pig slurry (PS) on soil physico-chemical properties and okra yield in Nsukka, southeastern Nigeria. The treatments were PM and PS applied at 0, 10, 20 and 40 t/ha, and the recommended NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer (300 kg/ha). The soil and agronomic data collected were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Genstat 4.0. The results showed that both PM and PS significantly (p<0.05) improved soil pH, soil organic matter (SOM), available phosphorus (AP), total nitrogen, aggregate stability, mean weight diameter (MWD) and saturated hydraulic conductivity in both greenhouse and field studies. However, cation exchange capacity (CEC), coarse sand and fine sand were significantly (p<0.05) improved only in the field study. The greatest effect on soil properties were obtained at 40 t/ha application rate of PM and PS. However, PS produced highest CEC (13.6 cmol/kg) and MWD (0.962 mm) at 20 t/ha for the field and greenhouse studies respectively. The PM and PS significantly (p<0.05) improved plant height, number of leaves, fruit length, fruit girth and yield of okra relative to the control. NPK fertilizer had no significant (p<0.05) effect on soil physico-chemical properties and okra productivity when compared to the control. The best yields were obtained at 40 t/ha (4.97 t/ha) and 20 t/ha (3.93 t/ha) of PM and at 40 t/ha (4.26 t/ha) of PS. Generally, PM showed greater effect on both soil properties and okra productivity.


Biography:

Azuka, Chukwuebuka Vincent is a Lecturer in the Department of Soil Science and Land Resources Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has worked briefly (October, 2008- February, 2009) as chemistry/physics teacher at Arch Deacon Nwosu Memorial Secondary School, a secondary education setting in Ozubulu, Anambra State, and University of Calabar, Cross River state (March, 2009 – February, 2010) as a Corps member before joining University of Nigeria, Nsukka as a Graduate Assistant in March, 2010.  He hails from Uruokwe-Egbema Ozubulu in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra state. He graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2008 with First Class (4.63/5.00) Honours (B. Agric) Degree in Soil Science and emerged the best graduating student at both departmental and Faculty levels. He obtained M.Sc Degree in Soil Physics and Conservation in 2013 from the same university. He is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program (Climate change and water resources) of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) sponsored by German Ministry of Science and Education (BMBS) Bonn, and co-hosted by Université D’Abomey calavi, Benin Republic and University of Bonn, Germany. He is also a visiting researcher at the centre for development research (ZEF), university of Bonn, Germany. He teaches on the B. Agric Agricultural Physics, Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Physics practical programme. His research interests include soil physics and conservation, soil and water management, and hydrology, particularly in Nigeria and other West African regions. He has published papers in both local and international journals.

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