New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Alternatives to Improve Major Properties of the Irrigated Soils in the Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre (MARC), Ethiopia, with Special Emphasis on Organic Matter and Water Holding Capacity

Mesfin Mitiku Feleke, Kombolcha Agricultural College (Ethiopia)


Poor soil physical conditions were identified to be the main cause for crop failures in the irrigated soils of Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre (MARC). From the major soil physical properties, low water holding capacity as a result of poor soil management practices has proven to be the key reason of lower agricultural production. As a consequence, lack of sufficient soil moisture is found to be the main cause of crop failures in MARC, the later occurred, in due course of insufficient precipitation and non-uniform distribution of rainfall. As organic matter plays a significant role in soil physical properties the low organic matter content of MARC soils is found to be the major cause of poor physical soil conditions. In a response to this problem the feasibility of organic matter application as an alternative solution for the problem of irrigated soils of Melkassa Agricultural Research Centre (MARC) was assessed. By improving the aggregate stability of the soil, organic matter application is found to improve this problem The possibility of having sustainable solution for the existing problem, the presence of sufficient amount of organic resources and suitable climate for the decomposition are some of the potentials observed to consider this option. 

Keywords: Irrigated soils, Organic matter, water holding capacity;

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