Comparison of Soil Quality Improvement under Different Fallow Types on Dystric Nitosols Derived from Sand Stone in South Western Nigeria


The project was carried out to determine the effects of different fallow types on soil derived from sand stone of low nutrient status in south western Nigeria. The different fallow types include Leu-caena, elephant grass, guinea grass and secondary forest. Cultivated farm land was used to serve as control for comparison of soil quality improvement. Soil samples were collected in four replicates on each land cover type and analyzed for major physical and chemical parameters. The results show little fertility improvement for base saturation with 1.42 cmol/kg in Leucaena, 1.99 cmol/kg in secondary forest, 1.60 cmol/kg in guinea grass and in Elephant grass. Leucaena resulted to better soil quality than secondary forest especially in surface properties though not significantly different. Elephant grass and guinea grass also resulted to better Nitrogen content. Nitrogen content recorded in Leucaena was high with 0.20% - 0.25%. Guinea grass and elephant grass resulted to better soil quality in terms of nitrogen content [0.20% - 0.25%] than cultivated and secondary forest [0.07% - 0.11%] due to their yearly incorporation in to the soil by ploughing. The values of phosphorus were higher in Leucaena though not significant [6.46 mg/kg]. Low soil properties improvement is attributed to nutrient exploitation in Leucaena and secondary forest after a long period of fallow [20 years] while, nitrogen enrichment in the grasses is attributed to yearly tillage. Over all low to medium soil variability indicates that the soils could be managed as a unit for crop production.

Share and Cite:

T. Ande, O. and Senjobi, B. (2014) Comparison of Soil Quality Improvement under Different Fallow Types on Dystric Nitosols Derived from Sand Stone in South Western Nigeria. Agricultural Sciences, 5, 1061-1068. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.511115.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Ernst, D.T. (1995) The Farmer’s Earthworm Handbook: Managing Your Underground Money Makers. Lessiter Publications, Brookfield, 112 p.
[2] Arowolo, A.D. (2007) Alley Farming and Sustainable Agriculture. Proceedings of Annual Conference of IRDI Research and Development Network, 2, 44-48.
[3] Kang, B.T. and Mulongoy, K. (1992) Nitrogen Contribution of Woody Legumes in Alley Cropping Systems. In: Mulonogy, K., Gueye, M. and Spencer, D.S.C., Eds., Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Sustainability of Tropical Agriculture, Wiley, Hoboken, 367-375.
[4] Agboola, D.A. (1991) The Effects of Soil Types and pH on the Germination of Seeds of Some Tropical Forest Tree Species. 5th Annual Conference of the Botanical Society of Nigeria, Ile-Ife, 24-28 March 1991, 20-37.
[5] Agboola, A.A. and Unamma, P.A. (1991) Maintenance of Soil Fertility under Traditional Farming System. Proceedings of the National Organic Fertilizer Seminar held in Kaduna, Abuja, 12-16 September 1991, 7-20.
[6] Aweto, A.O. (1981) Secondary Succession and Soil Fertility Restoration in South-Western Nigeria. I. Succession. Journal of Ecology, 69, 601-607.
[7] Aweto, A.O (1981) Secondary Succession and Soil Fertility Restoration in South-Western Nigeria. II. Soil Fertility Restoration. Journal of Ecology, 69, 609-614.
[8] Agboola, D.A. (1998) The Effect of Saline Solution and Salt Stress on the Germination of Seeds of Some Tropical Forest Tree Species. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 46, 1107-1113.
[9] Attah-Krah, A.N. (1990) Alley farming with Leucaena: Effect of Short Grazed Fallows on Soil Fertility and Crop Yields. Experimental Agriculture, 26, 1-10.
[10] Ande, O.T. and Onajobi, J. (2008) Assessment of Effects of Controlled Land Use Types on Soil Quality Using Inferential Method. African Journal of Biotechnology, 8, 6267-6271.
[11] Magdoff, F. and Harold, E. (2000) Building Soils for Better Crops. Sustainable Agriculture Network, 2005.
[12] Ande, O.T., Adediran, J.A., Ayoola, O.T. and Akinlosolu, T.A. (2008) Effects of Land Quality, Management and Cropping Systems on Cassava Production in South-Western Nigeria. African Journal of Biotechnology, 17, 2368-2374.
[13] Murdoch, G., Atere, J.O., Colborne, G., Olomu, E.I. and Odugbesan E.M. (1976) Soils of the Western State Savanna in Nigeria. Land Resources Div., Ministry of Overseas Development, Tolworth, Surbitton, Surrey, 3-11
[14] Nwanchokor, M.A. and Nzu, F.O. (2008) Updated Classification of Some Soils Series in South Western Nigeria. Journal of Agronomy, 7, 76-81.
[15] International Institute of Tropical Agriculture: IITA (1979) Selected Methods for Soil and Plant Analysis. Manual Series No. 1, 3rd Edition, IITA, Ibadan, 34.
[16] Bouyoucous, G.J. (1951) A Recalibration of the Hydrometer for Making Mechanical Analysis of Soils. Agronomy Journal, 43, 434-438.
[17] Walkey, A. and Black, I.A. (1934) An Examination of the Degtajareff Method for Derterming Organic Matter and a Proposed Modification of the Chromic and Acid Titration.
[18] Bray, R.N. and Kurtz, L.T. (1945) Determination of the Organic and Available Forms of Phosphorus in Soil. Soil Science, 59, 39-45.
[19] Attah-Krah, A.N. and Okali, D.U. (1986) Report of Advisory Group Meeting on Use of Nuclear Techniques in Studying Roles of Trees in Restoring and Maintaining Soil Fertility. IAEA, Vienna, 40.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.