The experiment was conducted to assess land degradation in agrarian soils of Ebonyin State. Ten farmers’ fields were selected based on land use and landscape positions across the three zones in the state. Physical and socio- economic information were obtained from the farmers and extension agents. Surface and sub-surface soil samples were collected for physical and chemical analysis. The soils at the upland were clay loam and at lower slope to valley bottom were clay loam to clay in texture. The upland and low land soils were strongly acidic (4.1) to moderately acidic (5.5) with low P (3.36 - 5 mg/kg). The soils also were low in cation exchange capacity (CEC) (1.36 - 2.68). Soil degradation indicators include crop conditions, poor yield, low fertility level, shallow soil depth (50 cm), high gravel content (> 35%), compaction of exposed sub soils and soil erosion. The factors and causes of soil degradation include improper tillage system, continuous cultivation, nutrient mining due to many crops per heap under mixed cropping and improper crop combination. Conservation agriculture with minimum tillage and green manure are recommended for sustainable production while combination of organic and in-organic fertilizer is recommended to improve soil quality.
Key words: Land use, soil degradation indicators, tillage systems, cropping systems and poor yield.
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