Organic Manures

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Date
1984
Authors
BECKLEY,V. A.
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Abstract
Of the many soil constituents the one that most affects the agriculturalist in the tropics is, perhaps, that mixed collection of organic matter, spoken of as humus. It is usual to refer to tropical soils, especially those of volcanic origin, as having a very high inherent fertility. In reality the contrary is the case. What one sees under tropical forest is not the utilization of immense supplies of plant nutrients but the rapid turnover of a mediocre supply. When such virgin' oil is brought under cultivation, the accumulated supply of nutrients, present largely in the humus. Is exploited. During the first few years bumper crops are obtained but, sooner or later. the humus content drops to a low level and so do the crop yields. The physical nature of the soil too changes; it becomes less easily worked, its water absorbing capacity is decreased and its liability to erosion increased.
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East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, p. 1-45