Salt Affected Soils Evaluation and Reclamative Approaches for Crop Cultivation in Keana, Northcentral Nigeria

In this study, a field experiment was conducted on salt (saline) affected soils during the cropping seasons of 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 to evaluate the soil properties, determine their effects on two test crop performances, and its reclaim ability under three different approaches. Reclamative approaches were employed not only to increase efficiency but also reduce the time of reclamation. Soil samples were collected from the surface (0-15) and subsurface (15-30cm) soils for laboratory determinations. The soils were treated to gypsum (CaS04) at 100% GR alone; gypsum plus farm yard manure (FYM) at 25t/ha and chiseling. Leaching with irrigation water over a period of 2-4 hours per week was done. Rice and millet crops were grown for the two crop years. Result of pre-cultivation soils showed that the physical properties of bulk density had a mean value of 2.37gcm-3 and a low total porosity value of 17.46. Chemically, the soils are high in acidity (>pH 7.5) and then large quantities of exchangeable bases and high base saturation. Post-cultivation results show that gypsum application proved to be the best treatment giving highest grain yield of rice and millet. However, this treatment followed statistically similar results with gypsum + FYM. No application (control) remained low. Chemically, the pHs was reduced after harvesting of second crop (millet 2005-06). Electrical conductivity (ECe) was reduced after growing of first millet crop except control. The reduction of sodium adsorption ration (SAR) was more after the 2nd crop. The soil parameters in control treatment did not improve. The study concluded that continuation of gypsum + FYM + Chiseling was more effective in improving the soil condition for sustainable land use.

 PI Ezeaku, JA Shehu