Infiltration Rate Assessment of Coastal Plain (Ultisols) Soils for Sustainable Crop Production in the Frontiers of Calabar-Nigeria

EGBAI ORUK O., Uquatan, Ibor U., EWA, EWA E., NDIK, ERIC J., OKEKE, O. FRANCIS.

Abstract


The study on infiltration rate assessment of coastal plain soils for sustainable crop production in the frontiers of Calabar, Nigeria, was carried out in order to examine the infiltration rate of soils in the area and its implication in the overall crop production process. Double ring infiltrometer were driven at 5cm into the soil with the aid of a sledge hammer before water was poured simultaneously into the rings. Infiltration rates were taken at 5,10,15, and 30 minutes intervals. The assessment or determination of infiltration rate was preceded by laboratory analysis of soil samples for the particle size distribution. The mean values of 74.0, 12.0: and 12.6 for sand, silt and clay were obtained respectively. While infiltration rates were well above the recommended values for crop production. Result from different locations proved that the area has monolithic soil characteristics. The result equally showed that the least range of infiltration rate of 14.4-60.0 was well above the optimal range of 0.7-3.5 or the suitable infiltration range of 3.5 - 7.5. It would be said, that, given the increasing need for food production to cope with the demand in Calabar Metropolis, the effect of excessive water infiltration as evidence in this study, will continue to impede sustainable crop production except appropriate measures are contemplated. These measures may include adequate cover cropping, temporary abandonment of farm land or skeletal crop farming with compost, green or farmyard manures. This will help improve the structure and restore soil potentials. Apart from these, suitability evaluation of land in order to effectively categorize soils on the basis of their potential for optimal use could as well be imperative.


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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online)

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