International Journal of Soil Science and Agronomy

International Journal of Soil Science and Agronomy Vol. 1 (2), pp. 010-017, December, 2013. © Advanced Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Soil fertility status of selected citrus orchards in the Eastern, Central and Volta Regions of Ghana

1Allotey D.F.K*, 2K. Ofosu-Budu, 5F.Essuman, 2B. Ason, 2R.N. Issaka, 4E.Monney, 3C.K. Sackey, and 2P.M. Gyekye Jr.

1Soil Research Institute, Accra Centre. P. O. Box M. 32 Accra, Ghana.

2University of Ghana Research Centre, Okumaneng, Kade, Ghana.

3German International Cooperation Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (GIZ-MOAP), Ghana.

4Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Accra, Ghana.

5Trade and Investment Program for a Competitive Export Economy (TIPCEE), Accra, Ghana.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: dfkallotey@yahoo.com

Accepted 31 December, 2013

Abstract 

This study was initiated to evaluate the soil fertility status of selected citrus orchards in the Eastern, Central and Volta regions of Ghana. Soil (0 – 20 and 20 – 60 cm) and leaf samples were taken during the study period and their nutrient contents assessed. Results obtained indicated that Climatic conditions (rainfall and temperature) of the three regions are suitable for citrus production. Soil texture ranged from sandy clay loam in the Volta to clay loam in the Eastern and Central regions, however, their high sand contents of 44.00, 46.39 and 52.62 percent should be a matter of concern for nutrient losses through leaching and erosion. The EC within the two depths sampled for the three regions were below 4 dS/m and were therefore rated as non-saline. Mean top soil pH was slightly acidic (5.8) in the Eastern region but strongly acidic in the Central (4.7) and Volta (4.5) regions. Mean sub-soil pH was strongly acidic (< 5.0) for all the regions. Mean total nitrogen, available P and K contents within the two depths of the three regions were low. Organic carbon/matter contents were medium. Mean total exchangeable bases (TEB), exchangeable acidity, effective cation exchange capacity (ECEC) were low in these soils, whereas, their base saturation levels (%BS) were high. Leaf analytical results showed deficient N, Fe and Zn but high P, K Na and Mg levels for most of the sites in the three regions.

Key words: Citrus, primary nutrients, secondary nutrient, micronutrients, soil fertility, orchards.

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