Stratification of Selected Soil Properties as Influenced by Mechanical Manipulation

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Elmubarak, Eatidal Abd El Rahim
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Distribution of soil properties with depth is common in management systems under conventional tillage. Stratification ratios of soil chemical and physical properties may be a good guide for soil quality judgement. A field stud was conducted in the Arab Company For Agricultural Production and Processing Vegetables and Fruits Unit at Umdom (South of Khartoum- Sudan) to investigate the effect of two long- term (more than 20 years) management systems on some selected soil (Aridisoil) quality indices and to establish their stratification ratio values. The study showed that, total nitrogen (TN), organic carbon (O.C), bulk density (Bd), and weight of particulate of organic matter (POM) associated with sand particles, N content, C and C/N ratio were significantly (P £ 0.05) higher in native vegetation (NV) while water holding capacity (WHC), soil porosity and cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the lower soil depths (20-30 and 30-40cm) were significantly (P£0.05) higher in tilled soil (TS). Stratification (0-10/10-20cm) ratio values of organic carbon were low and ranged from 1.01 (in NV) to 0.75 (in TS). Similarly, stratification ratios (0-10/10-20) of Bd, porosity, TN and CEC were found to range from 0.77 (in NV) to 0.98(in TS) and from 0.51 (in NV) to 1.18 (in TS) and from 0.53 (in NV) to 1.16 (in TS) and from 0.9 (in NV) to 0.96 (in TS) respectively. It could be concluded that in the heavy textured clay soil under the Arab Company Production in the dry tropics, soil degradation by tillage might not by a constraint if non-inverted tillage implements were used. This could possibly be attributed to the physical protection of organic matter by the high clay content (³ 52%). These data will be useful in developing improved soil management systems in the dry tropics
Soil Properties,Agricultural Engineering