In derived savanna ecology, the evaluation of soil characteristics for the current and future capability and suitability for crop production is crucial. Therefore, studies were conducted to evaluate the capability and suitability of plinthic soil of a derived savannah ecology of Nigeria for sustainable crop production.


The methodology was essentially Grid using hand-held GPS to determine the coordinates of sampling points for the collection of soil samples. In all, 18 profile pit samples were collected. The profile pits were described morphologically on the field using the FAO guideline on soil profile description. From the various horizons of these profile pits, soil samples were collected.


Land assessment indicates that the soils of the area are very fragile and inherently low in nutrients. Mapping unit A is moderately suitable for arable crop production while Units B and C are fairly suitable. For agricultural activities, mapping unit D is marginal for arable crop production. Stoniness, steep slope, and shallow soil depth are the major limitations. Mapping unit E is the most suitable for lowland rice production. Soil fertility management ought to be integrated (organic and inorganic). The land evaluation shows that the soils of the project site are very fragile and poor in native fertility. Also, the soils are generally defined by the plinthite content. Apart from the traditional crops grown in the area, some other crops like sweet potato and cowpea will do well on the soil of the area. Crop residue has to be well managed and adopted. Crop rotation and intercropping should be encouraged and included in the soil management plan. Also, due to the low level of organic carbon in the soils, the soils will benefit optimally from the application of manure. This will improve the soil aggregation, water, and nutrient-holding capacities as well as improve the pH status of the soil.


Soil fertility assessments should be undertaken every two years after continuous cropping. ’High-Intensity Detailed Soil Survey’ of this nature should be carried out every ten years.

Keywords: Plinthic soil, Land capability, Land suitability, Mapping unit, Derived savannah, Profile pit.
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