This study examines the implications of cropping systems on soil properties with a view to identify the soil parameters that are degraded for effective management and sustainable crop production in rural communities of Kwara state Nigeria. Two large farms operating on mono cropping and mixed cropping systems were identified and soil samples were collected from 25m x 25m quadrat demarcated on each of the farmland and adjacent fallow land (control) within the same geological settings and ecological zone. Sixty soil samples were collected from the three different sites in a typical rural community of Kwara State, Nigeria at 0-20cm depth. Essential soil elements that are relevant to soil fertility were analyzed using standard laboratory analytical procedures. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to summarize and draw inferences from the results. Analysis of Variance was used to establish significant differences within and between the means of the soil elements of the fallow land and those of the two cropping practices. The analysis of variance revealed that the means of soil parameters were significantly different within and among the three sampled sites. There is a general reduction in the nutrient contents of the soils under the two cropping systems, when compared with the contents on fallow land. Consequently, a significant variation in crop output is inevitable. This means that the cropping systems have effects on soil elements, fertility status and has implications for agricultural productivity. Therefore, it is expedient to generate appropriate environmentally friendly soil management techniques suitable for each cropping system in other to enhance soil fertility and sustain food production in the rural farming communities of Kwara State, Nigeria.
- cropping system,
- soil fertility,
- soil properties
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cjes_kogistateuniversity/14/