Evaluation of Properties of Some Selected Soils and their Effect on Yield of Plantain

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Essoka A.N.
Amalu U.C.
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Seventy-five surface (0-25 cm) soil samples from 15 representative plantain-growing areas of Cross River State, south-east Nigeria, were analyzed for soil pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, exchangeable cations, calcium, exchangeable acidity, total sulphur, effective cation exchange capacity and base saturation in relation to probable constraints to higher yields of plantain. Except for the high vulnerability of most locations to excessive soil erosion, virtually all physical properties were suitable for plantain production. Value~ of pH were low, nitrogen and phosphorus content~ ‘were adequate while potassium level was moderate. The levels of magnesium and sodium were high while those of calcium were very low. Both cation exchange and buffering capacities of the soils were moderate. For higher yields, the use of low-input leguminous hedgerow species on contours across slopes, a combination of liming and organic residues in reducing acidity and regular application of potassic and calcium fertilisers are recommended. Multi-locational fertiliser trials are also recommended to further validate current potassium and liming rates.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 61 (No. 2), p. 179-186