Suitability Assessment of Soils of Egbili Obebe in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State for Oil Palm Establishment

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P. O. Oviasogie


Soils of Egbili Obebe in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State were evaluated for suitability for oilpalmcultivation. Suitability of soils for oil palm was assessed using Hartley’s Land and soil requirement and suitability ratings for oil palm. Soil texture classes identified were dominated by clay loam.The soils were slightly acidic, with pH ranged from 4.50 to 6.00. The results showed that certain land characteristics such as,mean annual temperature, rainfall, soil depth and drainage were rated highly suitable (S1) to marginal suitable (S2), organic matter, total nitrogen, Available phosphorus and ECEC were generally low and rated as marginally suitable (S3) for oil palm cultivation in the study area. The major limitations that lower the suitability of these soils for oil palm establishment in the area were inadequate rainfall, rooting depth, poor drainage, and low soil fertility status. If these soils can be put to use for oil palm it should be subjected to soil management practices, which may encourage return of organic residue into the soils such as incorporation of legumes and application of farmyard manures. The low level of N 0.35 – 3.5 gkg-1and P 2.44 - 37.48 cmolkg-1in these soils makes application of inorganic fertilizer necessary to supply basic nutrient element required by the oil palm. Results, however, indicated that over 67% of the entire area assessed is marginally suitable (S3) while 33 % is considered Not suitable (N) for the cultivation of the oil palm. Marginal suitability implies non-optimal yield in oilpalm productivity. Alternatively, soil characteristics that posed a severe limitation to high yielding oil palm cultivation in the study area, it is, therefore, recommended that a more suitable site be adopted for the establishment of the oil palm.

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