ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 110, No. 4 (2023), p. 357–366
DOI 10.13080/z-a.2023.110.040

Residual effects of repeated animal manure application on coarse-textured Ultisol, nutrient uptake and cucumber yield

Benedict Onyebuchi UNAGWU, Ikechukwu ONAH, Grace CHIBUIKE


One of the main UN Millennium Development Goals is eradication of poverty and hunger through food security. Unfortunately, this goal is difficult to achieve in Nigeria due to soil degradation, low soil fertility, and other agricultural challenges. The current research on food security in Nigeria is focused on improving soil fertility using low-cost organic amendments. Thus, in 2019, the study investigated the residual effects of the repeated animal manure application on the cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) yield, the nutrient uptake, and the soil nutrient status of a coarse-textured Ultisol in a greenhouse at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomised design with four treatments: poultry manure (PM30), cow manure (CM30), and pig manure (PgM30) applied at 30 t ha−1, and untreated control with five replicates. The experiment was performed (repeated) three times. The results showed that the soil pH increased (p < 0.05) by 33.3% for the PM30 treatment, 13% for the PgM30 treatment, and 11.1% for the CM30 treatment and decreased by −7.4% for the control treatment compared to the initial amount of the soil pH (5.4). The total nitrogen (Ntot) increased by 99.4% (CM30), 63.3% (PgM30), and 56.3% (PM30) compared to the initial Ntot (4.8 g kg−1). The available phosphorus (Pavail) in the PM30, PgM30, and CM30 treatments increased by 1204%, 171%, and 164%, respectively, while in the control treatment, it decreased by −59.6% compared to the initial Pavail (7.57 mg kg−1). The soil organic carbon (SOC) increased by 13.3% (CM30), 3.9% (PM30), and 3.9% (PgM30) compared to the initial SOC content (1.28%) and decreased by −18.8% in the control treatment. Cucumber growth parameters: the number of fruits, fruit weight, and biomass (fresh and dry), were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the amended treatments compared to the control treatment. There was a significant correlation between the cucumber yield, N-uptake, P-uptake, and soil nutrients. The results of regression analysis showed that the cucumber yield was increased by 91, 61, 56.4, and 86.4 % due to SOC, Ntot, N-uptake, and P-uptake, respectively.

This study indicates that the repeated animal manure application has a positive residual effect on the properties of coarse-textured Ultisol and cucumber yield performance.

Keywords: Cucumis sativus, Utisol, manure, nutrients, residual, greenhouse.

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