IN-FIELD SOIL FERTILITY ASSESSMENT OF RAMAT POLYTECHNIC FARM MAIDUGURI IN NORTH-EASTERN NIGERIA
In-field soil fertility valuation is an important diagnostic tool for determining the nutrient needs of plants. The main objective was to determine soil chemical characteristics. Twenty samples covering 2.5 hectares of the farm from 0-30 cm depth (< 2mm fraction) processed and analysed in the laboratory. The soils are in a state of equilibrium from the C: N ratio (14.50 to 35.00), influencing the biogeochemistry of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in pedogenetic development. There was high exchangeable calcium (6.20 Cmolkg-1 to 12.40 Cmolkg-1) and magnesium (1.00Cmolkg-1 to 4.80Cmolkg-1). Potassium contents were found to be medium to high (0.27 Cmolkg-1 to 1.54 Cmolkg-1). Available phosphorus ranged from low to medium contents (1.40 mkg-1 to 22.05 mkg-1) in all the samples. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) ranged from 10.01 Cmolkg-1 to 0.41 Cmolkg-1 and percent base saturation was high having >80%. Parent materials (sedimentary deposits) had influenced the availability of phosphorus and the exchangeable bases on the farm. These findings conclude that the soils have a high fertility status. However, there are slight hazards of salinity.