African Journal of Soil Science

African Journal of Soil Science ISSN 2375-088X Vol. 4 (2), pp. 313-320, March, 2016. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Fertility mapping of some micronutrients in soils of Cheha District, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Mohammed Mekonnen1*, Kibebew Kibret2 and Tekalign Mamo3

1Department of Soil and Water Resource Management, Woldia University, Woldia, Ethiopia.

2Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.

3Agriculture Transformation Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

*Corresponding author. Email: mohammedmekii@gmail.com

Accepted 8 April, 2016

Abstract

Although micronutrients are required in minute quantities, they have the same agronomic importance as macronutrients and play vital roles in plant production. Therefore, the study was conducted to assess and map the status of micronutrients in soils of Cheha District, Southern Ethiopia. Accordingly, about 249 composite soil samples were collected from cereal and perennial crops, respectively. The extractable micronutrients were determined using Mehlich-III soil test extraction procedure. ArcMap 10 with spatial analyst function of ArcGIS software was used to prepare nutrient maps.  The study shows that the mean values of extractable micronutrients (Fe,Mn, Cu, Zn and B) were 150.98, 108.4, 1.81, 2.36 and 0.57 ppm and ranged from 52 to 379, 31 to 290, 0.62 to 10.4 and 0.27 to 0.98 ppm, respectively. Based on the analysis, the extractable Fe, Mn and Cu values were high and above the critical levels in 100% of the samples. Furthermore, it is found that about 80% and 3% of samples were optimum in extractable Zn and B, respectively. As a result of this study, it is recommended that, future research should focus on assessing the availability of these and other micronutrients based on large number of soil and plant samples along with field trials. 

Key words: Soil fertility; micronutrients, Geo-statistics, Mehlich-III, critical level.