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Assessment of inland valley soils for sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) production in some floodplains in central Nigeria

  • Orimoloye, Julius Romiluyi1
  • Nkwocha, Harrison Ugochukwu1
  • Adamu, Ibrahim1, 2
  • 1 University of Ibadan, Nigeria , (Nigeria)
  • 2 University of Maiduguri, Nigeria , (Nigeria)
Published Article
Agricultura Tropica et Subtropica
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2020
DOI: 10.2478/ats-2020-0009
De Gruyter


Sugarcane is an energy crop with great economic potentials. Information on soil evaluation for sugarcane in central Nigeria is very scanty. This study was carried out to evaluate the suitability of some soils of the floodplains in central Nigeria for sugarcane cultivation. A semi-detailed soil survey was carried out on 18,500 hectares of land straddling the floodplains of Rivers Niger and Benue in Korton-Karfe Local Government Area of Kogi State. Land resource survey was carried out using a 500 m×500 m grid pattern. Identified soil types were further examined with standard soil profiles. Samples were collected from the soil genetic horizons as well as surface (0–30 cm) soils at selected sampling points for fertility analysis. Parametric and non-parametric suitability evaluation methods were used to relate land qualities with land use requirements for commercial sugarcane cultivation. Relationships between evaluation methods were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients. Nine soil mapping units were identified in the study areas which were mainly Inceptisols (55.4%) and Alfisols (22.5%) which correlates with Fluvisols (40.4%), Cambisols (15.1%) and Lixisols (22.5%) in the World Reference Base (WRB) classification system. The evaluation methods used revealed that 0%, 4.95%, 49.48%, 23.55% of the soils were highly suitable (S1), moderately suitable (S2), marginally suitable (S3) and not suitable (N) for sugarcane cultivation, respectively. Potentially, 0%, 9.52%, 44.91% and 23.55% of the soils were found to be highly suitable (S1), moderately suitable (S2), marginally suitable (S3) and not suitable (N) for sugarcane cultivation, respectively. The soils were strongly limited by low soil nutrient availability, soil acidity and flood hazard. Soil management practices such as application of organic manures, fertiliser and liming could be adopted to ameliorate the soil acidity and supply deficient nutrients while land development strategies such as drainage, flood control and possibly sub-soiling would mitigate other major limitations to sugarcane cultivation.

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