Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Soil water content profiling using EnviroSMARTTM in Northern Ghana

F. K. Abagale* and G. A. Tetteh
Department of Agricultural Mechanisation and Irrigation Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 November 2011
  •  Published: 22 December 2011

Abstract

Soil moisture is very important in crop cultivation. Farmers in Ghana usually cultivate crops by guessing the available moisture content of the soil by means of observation and feeling. Major drawbacks with these methods are that estimation is subjective and not exact. These methods normally lead to either soil water deficits or water logging on crop fields. The need for soil moisture profiling to understand the moisture levels at different depths of soil is therefore very important. The study assessed the moisture levels at different depths of the soil profile of the Cheshegu community in the Tolon-Kumbungu District of northern Ghana. Soils of the area are predominantly dystric planosols. EnviroSMARTTM recorded soil moisture at depths of 10, 20, 40, 60 and 80 cm whilst tipping bucket rain guage was used to record rainfall amounts. Results indicated an increase in clay and soil moisture content across the soil profile. The average soil moisture content was 21.22% with a standard deviation of 12.10 for 10 cm depth whilst at 20 cm depth 27.67% soil moisture with a standard deviation of 7.20 was recorded. Average volumetric moisture content at the 40 cm depth was 30.78% with a standard deviation of 5.31 whilst the 60 cm depth recorded 43.93% and a standard deviation of 2.62. The 80 cm depth of the soil profile had 49.37% as the average moisture content with a standard deviation of 1.97%. It was only for the 10 cm depth that there was no significant difference in soil moisture variation but the rest had significant difference (p<0.001) indicating much soil moisture during the months under study. Soil moisture conservation is therefore considered to be very important in the area.

 

Key words: Soil, water, volumetric, profile, moisture.