African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6574

Full Length Research Paper

The effects of superphosphate application and mucuna (Mucuna pruriens) management options on chemical characteristics of a sandy loam soil in Zimbabwe

M. D. Shoko1,2, P. J. Pieterse1* and G. A. Agenbag1 
1Department of Agronomy, University of Stellenbosch, P. Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa.  2Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Africa University, Box 1320, Mutare, Zimbabwe. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 December 2011
  •  Published: 26 February 2012

Abstract

Low soil fertility due to monoculture crop production systems is recognized as one of the major biophysical causes for declining per capita food production in sub-Saharan Africa. The major objectiveof this research was to investigate the effect of two superphosphate levels and four mucuna management options on soil chemical properties on a depleted kaolinitic sandy soil in Zimbabwe. The two phosphorous treatments were P0 = 0 kg P ha-1 and P40 = 40 kg P ha-1 and the four mucuna treatments were MF = mucuna incorporated at flowering, MAR = mucuna above ground biomass removed at maturity and only roots incorporated, MPR = above ground biomass except pods incorporated at maturity and F = Fallow (control). The following soil nutrients were investigated; Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. The MF and P40 treatment combination resulted in the highest N, P, K, Ca and Mg levels. However the P40 and mucuna treatment combinations had significantly lower Zn levels than the P0 and mucuna treatment combinations. 
 
Key words: Exchangeable bases, major nutrients, mucuna.

Abbreviation

F, Fallow; MAR, mucuna above ground biomass removed at maturity and only roots incorporated; MF,mucuna incorporated at flowering; MPR, above ground biomass except pods incorporated at maturity