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Sheep and Goat Corralling Density Effect on Soil Properties and Weed Species Diversity of Arable Lands

  • N. Abdul Rahman
  • A. Larbi
  • A. Opoku
  • F. M. Tetteh
Full-Length Research Article
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Abstract

The hypothesis that livestock corralling improves soil properties and weed species richness was investigated in a 2-year on-farm trial conducted in Sudan savanna agro-ecology of Ghana. The effect of three stocking densities of sheep and goats corralling (0, 70 and 140 head ha−1) on soil properties and weed species diversity was evaluated in a randomized complete block design with eight replicates. Sheep and goats weighing 27 ± 2.0 and 24 ± 1.5 kg, respectively, were corralled on fallow arable lands from 19: 00 to 06: 00 GMT hours daily for 178 nights during 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons. Soil parameters measured include pH, organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen, available phosphorus, exchangeable potassium, microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, soil microbial quotient, earthworm cast, bulk density, porosity, and moisture. Soil properties and weed species diversity increased (P < 0.01) with sheep and goats corralling relative to the control. Broadleaf and sedge species were positively correlated with soil OC while the grass was positively correlated with soil OC, microbial biomass carbon, bulk density, and porosity. The results suggest that crop-livestock farmers could corral 70 head ha−1 sheep and goats for soil fertility amendment on Ferric Lixisol in Sudan savanna agro-ecology of West Africa and similar agro-ecologies.

Keywords

Manure and urine Small ruminants Soil fertility amendment Sudan savanna Microbial biomass carbon Microbial biomass nitrogen Soil microbial quotient Earthworm cast 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the USAID-funded Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) West Africa project for the financial support.

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Copyright information

© NAAS (National Academy of Agricultural Sciences) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical AgricultureTamaleGhana
  2. 2.Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  3. 3.Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Soil Research InstituteKwadaso, KumasiGhana

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