SOIL PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES AND COCOYAM YIELD UNDER DIFFERENT TILLAGE SYSTEMS IN A TROPICAL ALFISOL

Adekiya, A.O and Ojeniyi, S.O and Agbede, T.M (2011) SOIL PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES AND COCOYAM YIELD UNDER DIFFERENT TILLAGE SYSTEMS IN A TROPICAL ALFISOL. Expl Agric, 47 (3). pp. 477-488.

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Abstract

Experimental data on tillage requirement of cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) are needed to identify the most suitable tillage methods for managing the fragile Alfisols of the humid tropics to ensure sustained productivity. Hence, five tillage methods were compared as to their effects on soil physical and chemical properties, and growth and yield of cocoyam on an Alfisol at Owo in the forest-savanna transition zone of southwest Nigeria. The experiment consisted of five tillage methods: manual clearing (MC), manual ridging (MR), manual mounding (MM), ploughing + harrowing (P + H) and ploughing + harrowing twice (P + 2 H) were used for three years at two sites in a randomized complete block design with three replications. In the first two years (2007 and 2008), P + H produced the least soil bulk density and highest growth and yield, whereas in the third year (2009), MC produced the lowest soil bulk density and best performance of cocoyam. Manual clearing produced the best values of soil chemical properties in 2008 and 2009. Averaged over the three years, P + H, MR and MM had lower soil bulk density hence better growth and yield compared with P + 2 H and MC. Over the three years MC, MM, MR and P + H increased cocoyam cormel yield by 10, 21, 23 and 32%, respectively, over P + 2 H.The corresponding increases in corm yield were 7, 15, 13 and 21%, respectively. The multiple regressions revealed that bulk density and moisture content significantly influenced the yield of cocoyam. Soil chemical properties were not significant. Bulk density rather than soil chemical properties dictated the performance of cocoyam in an Alfisol of southwest Nigeria. Soil quality was degraded by P + 2H. For small farms, either MR or MM is recommended while P + H is recommended for large-scale farming of cocoyam. INTRODUCTION The majority of Alfisols available for crop production in the tropics are strongly weathered and of inherently low organic matter and nutrient status (Lal, 1987). In addition, Alfisols have a weak structure and are highly susceptible to crusting, compaction and accelerated erosion (Lal, 1987) leading to low crop yields. Cocoyam like any other root and tuber crops is a heavy feeder, exploiting a large volume of soil for nutrient and water (Osundare, 2004). Tillage is an important cultural practice that can be used to increase the yield of cocoyam. In the humid tropics where most farmers are poor and fertilizer is expensive, soil working and tillage methods can temporarily serve as an alternative to fertilizer application (Adekiya and Ojeniyi, 2002). §Corresponding

Item Type: Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Depositing User: Dr Aruna Adekiya
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 13:10
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2017 13:10
URI: http://eprints.lmu.edu.ng/id/eprint/839

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