Fertility Status of Soils in Eastern Jigawa State of Nigeria
Imam, M. and Omar, G
Keywords: Fertility, Soils, Eastern, Jigawa State, Nigeria
The increasing demand for farmlands necessitated by growing population is becoming more intense in eastern Jigawa State in the face of declining soil quality and hence growing food insecurity. It is therefore pertinent to study soil fertility in the area so as to maximize utilization of available farmlands for enhanced agricultural production. Accordingly, composite surface (0 – 15 cm) soil samples were taken from locations/villages spread across the study area. Simple random (where there were no strata observed) and stratified (soil samples were taken where there were strata) soil sampling techniques were used to take the soil samples which were analyzed for routine soil fertility indicators using standard soil analytical procedures. Results indicated that the soils were generally sandy loam in texture showing strong alkalinity (10.10) to slight acidity (6.13) with low available P (4.0 – 0.56 mgkg-1), high total N (2.3 – 0.95 gkg-1) and exchangeable Na (10.15 – 4.92 Cmol (+) kg-1). The exchangeable Ca and organic C were low to medium and low to high with ranges of 3.32 – 1.28 Cmol (+) Kg-1 and 17.00 – 6.20 gkg-1 respectively. Exchangeable K (0.08 – 0.77 Cmol (+) Kg-1) and EC (2.12 – 6.18 dSm-1) ranged from low to high while medium to high exchangeable Mg and CEC showed ranges of 0.85 – 1.78 Cmol (+) Kg-1 and 8.0 – 12.10 Cmol (+) Kg-1 respectively. Generally, the soils were found to be moderately fertile but saline and or alkaline. Therefore, soil management practices aimed at reducing alkalinity/salinity such as drainage, leaching and incorporation of crop residues among others should be employed to reduce salt concentrations for improved and sustainable agricultural production in the study area.