Agricultural Science

EFFECTS OF COVER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON PHYSICAL PROPERTIES RUNOFF AND EROSION IN NSUKKA AANDY LOAM SOIL

EFFECTS OF COVER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON PHYSICAL PROPERTIES RUNOFF AND EROSION IN NSUKKA AANDY LOAM SOIL
ABSTRACT

A two –year (2004/2005) field investigation was carried out on the runoff plots at the University of Nigeria Nsukka farm, to monitor the effects of cover management practices on physical properties, runoff and soil loss in Nkpologu sandy loam soil. The management practices werebarefallow (BF), cocoyam (CY) sorghum (SG), legume (CP) and grass (PM), under no-tillpractice. There was no change in soil texture due to treatments. The treatments generally increased soil organic matter content compared with the control. Bulk density was significantly increased in all treatments with highest value (1.65Mg/m3) in barefallow and lowest value (1.49Mg/m3) in grass. There was no significant decrease in porosity and pore size distribution. Meanweight diameter (MWD) of aggregates and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) were

significantly increased (p = 0.05).

The least values for MWD (1.06mm) and for Ksat(25.80cm/hr) and highest for MWD (2.09mm) and for Ksat (49.20cm/hr) were obtained underbarefallow and grass treatments respectively. The percentage aggregate size above 2.0mm washighest in grass and lowest in barefallow. Calculations showed significant positive correlation (r= 0.50 at P = 0.05) between organic matter and MWD. There was significant negative correlation(r = -0.60 at P = 0.05) between organic matter and bulk density and significant positivecorrelation (r = 0.80 at P = 0.05) between organic matter and saturated hydraulic conductivity.The pentades were generally wet during the study periods in the two seasons. Cumulative runoffwas highest in barefallow and lowest in sorghum (87mm and 41mm respectively). The highestsoil loss of 1.13kg/m2 and relatively low loss of 0.55kg/m2 were obtained in cocoyam and

sorghum respectively in 2005.

Runoff and soil loss were reduced by 100% under grass andlegume. Cocoyam and sorghum reduced runoff by 20% and 53% respectively. Sorghum reducedsoil loss by 35%, while there were no differences in the percentage reductions due to barefallowand cocoyam treatments. Runoff as percentage of rainfall was highest in barefallow and lowestin sorghum (60.6% and 19.9% respectively). Erosion rate was lowest in sorghum(0.2kg/m2/month) and highest (0.4kg/m2 month) in cocoyam. Under BF the rate was

0.3kg/m2/month. The mean yield of cocoyam was 1.35t/ha and that of sorghum was 0.88t/ha

ABSTRACTA two –year (2004/2005) field investigation was carried out on the runoff plots at the Universityof Nigeria Nsukka farm, to monitor the effects of cover management practices on physicalproperties, runoff and soil loss in Nkpologu sandy loam soil. The management practices werebarefallow (BF), cocoyam (CY) sorghum (SG), legume (CP) and grass (PM), under no-tillpractice. There was no change in soil texture due to treatments. The treatments generallyincreased soil organic matter content compared with the control. Bulk density was significantlyincreased in all treatments with highest value (1.65Mg/m3) in barefallow and lowest value (1.49Mg/m3) in grass. There was no significant decrease in porosity and pore size distribution. Meanweight diameter (MWD) of aggregates and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) were

significantly increased (p = 0.05).

The least values for MWD (1.06mm) and for Ksat(25.80cm/hr) and highest for MWD (2.09mm) and for Ksat (49.20cm/hr) were obtained underbarefallow and grass treatments respectively. The percentage aggregate size above 2.0mm washighest in grass and lowest in barefallow. Calculations showed significant positive correlation (r= 0.50 at P = 0.05) between organic matter and MWD. There was significant negative correlation(r = -0.60 at P = 0.05) between organic matter and bulk density and significant positivecorrelation (r = 0.80 at P = 0.05) between organic matter and saturated hydraulic conductivity.The pentades were generally wet during the study periods in the two seasons. Cumulative runoffwas highest in barefallow and lowest in sorghum (87mm and 41mm respectively). The highestsoil loss of 1.13kg/m2 and relatively low loss of 0.55kg/m2 were obtained in cocoyam and

sorghum respectively in 2005.

Runoff and soil loss were reduced by 100% under grass andlegume. Cocoyam and sorghum reduced runoff by 20% and 53% respectively. Sorghum reducedsoil loss by 35%, while there were no differences in the percentage reductions due to barefallowand cocoyam treatments. Runoff as percentage of rainfall was highest in barefallow and lowestin sorghum (60.6% and 19.9% respectively). Erosion rate was lowest in sorghum(0.2kg/m2/month) and highest (0.4kg/m2 month) in cocoyam. Under BF the rate was

0.3kg/m2/month. The mean yield of cocoyam was 1.35t/ha and that of sorghum was 0.88t/ha



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