Pedological characterization, fertility status and classification of the soils under maize production of Bako Tibe and Toke Kutaye Districts of Western Showa, Ethiopia


Maize farm fields were selected in two districts of western Showa, Ethiopia. Four representative maize fields were selected based on landforms and other physiographic attributes in humid highland and sub humid mid altitude areas of Toke Kutaye and Bako Tibe Districts. The objective was to characterize and classify the soils under maize production in Toke Kutaye and Bako Tibe Districts of western Showa, Ethiopia. Four soil profiles were opened and characterized. Pedons are formed under udic and perudic moisture and iso-thermic temperature regimes for both districts. The soils were very deep, well-drained reddish brown to dark reddish brown loamy sand to sandy clay loams, with thick reddish brown loamy sand top and sub soil for Bako Tibe and Toke Kutaye. Three pedons had clayey top and sub soils. The pH of surface soil ranged from 4.48-5.52 which was very strongly acidic to strongly acidic. The soil organic carbon contents of the topsoil and subsoil of the four pedons ranged from 2.07 to 2.69% and 0.35 to 2.85 %, which were rated as medium to high, but very low to high respectively. Both two highland pedons had CEC ranging from 20.06 to 54.17 cmol c kg -1 soil, which was rated as medium to very high, while in the two mid altitude pedons it ranged from 10.82 to 23.52 cmol c kg -1 soil CEC, which was low to medium. The total nitrogen levels ranged from 0.19 to 0.23% for topsoils, which was low to medium, and from 0.03 to 0.07 % for subsoils, which was very low. According to USDA Soil Taxonomy, the four pedons were classified as Typic Palehumults (Acrisols and Alisols according to WRB). The four pedons were different in physicochemical properties, indicating the need to characterize soils to give site-specific fertilizer recommendations for maize production.


Ethiopian journal of applied science and technology, 2016; 7 (1): 18-33


Physico-chemical properties, Fertility, Pedons, Maize production, Bako Tibe, Toke Kutaye District