Soil suitability assessment of a humid tropical soil for pineapple (Ananas comosus) and plantain (musa spp) cultivation in Port Harcourt, NigeriaPantnagar Journal of Research, Volume - 20, Issue - 1 ( January-April. 2022)
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This study was carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria to evaluate the soils for their suitability for the cultivation of two arable crops (pineapple and plantain). The area was gridded using the rigid grid method of detailed soil survey, measuring 100 m x 100 m (1 ha) per auger boring point. Two mapping units were identified and delineated based on textural class, drainage, topography and land use types. A soil profile was dug in each of the mapping unit and described appropriate. Soil samples were collected from identified genetic horizons and analyzed for morphological, physical and chemical properties of the soil. The results indicated that, under moist condition, soil in mapping unit 1 (pedon1) had very dark grayish brown (10YR3/2) colour at surface level and strong brown (7.5Y4/5) at subsurface level; while in mapping unit 2 (pedon 2), soil colour was strong brown (7.5YR5/6) at both surface and subsurface level. Textural class in pedon 1 was sandy loam at the Ap1- horizon, sandy clay loam at the Bt2 – horizon; while in pedon 2, soil textural class was loamy sand at the Ap – horizon and sandy clay loam at the Bt2 – horizon with sub-angular blocky to blocky structures in both pedons. Sand particles was dominant mineral size fraction in the soil in both pedons (832 g/kg and 852 g/kg).Silt particles had the least particle size distribution (26 and 26 – 46 g/kg) respectively. CEC ranged from 19.16 cmol/kg to 53.60 cmol/kg in pedon 1 and 12.33 cmol/kg to 18.33 cmol/kg in pedon 2. The pH of the soils were acidic to moderately acidic (4.59 to 5.53), organic carbon and total nitrogen were low, ranging from 0.27g/kg to 0.98 g/kg and 0.01 g/kg to 0.14 g/kg. Available phosphorus ranged from 1.75 mg/kg to 48.59 mg/kg and exchangeable bases (Ca, Mg and K) ranged from low to moderate, while the base saturation of the soil were generally high ranging from 75% to 94.69 %. The result on the suitability scores using the Non-parametric methods showed that the soil of the study area were currently not suitable (N) for pineapple and plantain cultivation on the basis of fertility; that is, low CEC and N for pineapple and low CEC and alkalinity for plantain cultivation. It is therefore, imperative to embark on good fertility management practice to boost the fertility status of the soil for sustainable arable crop production.
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