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Soil Nutrient Status, Spatial Variability Of Soil Chemical Properties And Fertilization Requirements In Cabo Delgado, Nampula And Manica Provinces Of Mozambique

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Title: Soil Nutrient Status, Spatial Variability Of Soil Chemical Properties And Fertilization Requirements In Cabo Delgado, Nampula And Manica Provinces Of Mozambique
Authors: Maria, Ricardo M.
Issue Date: Dec 2004
Abstract: This study was conducted to understand soil fertility status, spatial variability of soil properties, and to predict fertilization needs with decision aids. Composite soil samples from 0-15 and 15-30cm were collected in 10 districts located 1n northern and central Mozambique representing areas of high potential for food production. The sampled locations were georeferenced using Differential various soil's physical, Position Systems (DGPS) unit Trimble III. Analysis of chemical, mineralogical and P sorption capacity were conducted both 1n Hawaii and in Mozambique. The data analysis were performed using various procedures provided by Statistical Analysis Systems computer package (SAS) , GS+, Arc Map and Sigma plot. Results show that soil fertility is a fundamental problem of food production in Mozambique. The majority of the soils in the study locations are low in effective cation exchange capacity, moderate in organic matter, strongly to moderately acidic, coarse-textured, and moderately weathered. The X-ray diffractogram indicates that these soils are mostly kaolinitic. The major accessory minerals are gibbsite and goethite. Traces of illite-type clay minerals appeared consistently in the majority of the soils. In general, these soils can be classified as having low fertility capability, presumably due to weathering stage, low CEC, poor agronomic practices, and in some areas, low pH. Phosphorus sorption curves show some differences and similarities among soils. The amount of P at 0 P added was below the adequate level in all soils, while the amounts needed to attain 0.2 mg L-1 in a soil solution varied considerably because of differences in soil clay mineralogy. Almost all soils are deficient in N and P. The range of N requirement for maize varies from 20 kg N ha- 1 to 200 kg N ha- 1 , and the amount of P requirement ranged from 3.77 kg P ha- 1 to 16.9 kg P ha-1. In the platinum region in the central province of Manica, P amendment seems almost impractical because of the high amount needed to correct P deficiency, presumably due to low pH, which is nearly 4.4. The use of acid tolerant crops might be the most appropriate cropping system for those soils. It appears that K is not deficient possibly because of significant amount of micaceus minerals. An attempt to estimate economic benefit of fertilizer application indicates substantially low price of the product and high cost of fertilizer. Lack of agricultural policy, poor infrastructure, poor markets for inputs and agricultural products, and lack of financial credit might contribute for low agricultural productivity and hence feasibility of fertilizer use. Geostatistical analysis of soil properties show spatial dependence with some areas consistently low in exchangeable bases, N and P. However, future sampling could be more efficient if spatial dependence were considered in sample design.
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Appears in Collections:M.S. - Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

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