NATURE AND VARIATION OF SOIL PROPERTIES UNDER DIFFERENT LAND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN SOUTHERN PART OF KADUNA, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA
Understanding the nature and variation of soil properties under different land management practices (LMPs) is imperative in determining the types of soil management practices that could be implemented by farmers for improving the soil quality as well as soil productivity. It is also applicable in addressing the issues of agricultural sustainability. This study examined the nature and variability of soil properties under different LMPs. Soil samples were systematically taken at 0-20cm soil depth from three locations on each demarcated hectare cell of the different LMPs in Katugal, Madakiya, Kurmin Sara, Mailafiya and Zankam. This produced a total of 25 composite soil samples. Soil laboratory analysis and Global Positioning System were the instruments employed for data collection. Descriptive statistics and analysis of variance were adopted in the analyses of data. The result of the study showed that about 56% of the soils studied were sandy-loam and 44% loamy in nature. Soil particle sizes, organic matter, total nitrogen, Cation Exchangeable Capacity (CEC), phosphorus, micronutrients and micro biomass carbon were heterogeneous (CV>33%), while bulk density, available water holding capacity, soil pH, electrical conductivity, micro biomass nitrogen and basal respiration were homogenous (CV=15 to 32%). There were significance variations within the level of pH and soil basal respiration at 0.05% among the land management practices. The study recommended the use of animal dung, compost, inorganic fertilizers and crop residue as soil conditioners in addition to the adoption of eco-friendly LMPs to ameliorate soil properties in the low to moderate variability farmlands.