Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094
December, 2015 Special Anniversary Review Issue.  Vol. 4(12): pp. 864-870
Copyright © 2015 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of Biochar on Selected Soil Physical Properties and Maize Yield in an Ultisol in Abakaliki Southeastern Nigeria

Njoku, C., Mbah, C.N., Igboji, P.O., Nwite, J.N, Chibuike, C.C and Uguru, B.N

 

Department of Soil Science and Environmental Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, Ebonyi State University, P.M.B. 053, Abakaliki

Email: chimarco2001@yahoo.com

Accepted 07 December, 2015

 

Abstract

This study was carried at Teaching and Research Farm of Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki to evaluate the effect of biochar on selected soil physical properties and agronomic parameters in an Ultisoil in Abakaliki, Southeastern Nigeria. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD). Treatments were biochar at 0 tha-1 (Control), 5 tha-1, 10 tha-1 and 15 tha-1 replicated five times. Data collected were analysed using the General Linear Model of SAS software in RCBD and significant difference dictated using F-LSD. Soil samples were collected and analysed for soil particle size distribution, bulk density, total porosity, dispersion ratio, saturated hydraulic conductivity, aggregate stability, mean weight diameter and moisture content while agronomic parameters measured were maize height, leaf area index and maize grain yield. Results of the study showed that biochar amended plots had significant (P < 0.05) higher aggregate stability, maize height, leaf area index and maize grain yield than control. Results also showed non-significant (P < 0.05) changes in bulk density, total porosity, dispersion ratio, saturated hydraulic conductivity, mean weight diameter and moisture content among different rates of biochar application. Also, there was an increase in the magnitude of the parameters with an increase in the rate of biochar applied. This study recommended that biochar should be used as soil amendments to increase soil productivity.

KeywordsAgronomic parameters, Biochar, Physical properties, Soil productivity.

 


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