Cow Dung Forms and their Effect on Microbial Community of Degraded Ultisols of some Smallholder Women Farmers' Fields in the Rainforest Zone of Nigeria
Soil microorganism is one of the indices of a healthy soil and one of the ways to boost its increase in the soil is by adding organic manure. It is important to know the form of the animal manure that will increase the soil microbes. It is against this backdrop that a scientific investigation was conducted at the research field of the College of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike. The pot study was aimed to assess the effect of cow dung forms on the
... orms on the microbial community of the Ultisols of smallholder women farmers in the Rainforest zone of Nigeria. The treatments were composted cow dung (CCD), normal cow dung (CD), cow dung ash (CDA), cow dung biochar (CDB) and a control (CTRL), which did not receive any amendment. They were applied at the rate of 5 t ha-1 (equivalent to 1.4 kg) to 10 kg of soil and replicated three times. The microbial analysis was done before treatment application, at 1, 2, 3 and 4 weeks after treatment application (WAA) using the standard laboratory procedures. The results obtained showed that the main microbes, present in the soil were bacteria and fungi. At 1 weeks after treatment application, CCD significantly (P≤0.05) increased the value of bacterial from 137060 (cfu g-1) before treatment application to 774000 (cfu g-1). The highest bacterial population was obtained at 3WAA with a value of 1200000 (cfu g-1) given by CCD. Composted cow dung gave 863000 (cfu g-1), which was the highest value obtained for fungi at 4WAA. Soil pH correlated positively with the soil bacteria. It will be concluded that if the smallholder women farmers will apply CCD, the microbes will be increase and this will improve the soil health of the degraded soil.