Impact of Continuous Cultivation on the Soil Physical Properties along the White-Volta River at Pwalugu-Ghanam

B. Ampadu, I. Sackey, F. A. Kyeremeh

Abstract


The study was conducted in irrigation farms along the White Volta River at Pwalugu in the Upper East Region, Ghana to e valuate the effects of continuous cultivation on aspects of the physical properties of the soil in the area. Undisturbed soil cores, taken from 0 - 10 cm, 11 - 20 cm and 21 - 30 cm down the soil profile, were used to evaluate bulk density, soil moisture content, total porosity and particle density. Also, the basic infiltration rates of soils in the selected area were determined. The results indicate that soil under continuous cultivated land within 0 - 30 cm depth (down the soil) is generally compacted, particularl y within the subsoil (21 - 30 cm), as compared to adjacent soil which has been left to fallow for about twenty years. The overall soil condition in the continuous cultivated land is deteriorating. This may have major adverse effect on agricultural productivi ty and sustainability. Therefore, strategies to reduce compaction to ensure sustainable soil management should be adopted. The adoption of management practices such as agro - forestry, composting, crop rotation and bush fallowing, which ensure substantial am ount of biomass transfer that lead to soil structure stability have been recommended.

 

Keywords: Continuous cultivation, Soil physical properties, White

                  Volta, Pwalugu 


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