Soil Physical Properties and Root Growth of Pearl Millet as Affected by Ridge Tillage and Farmyard Manure


northeast Nigeria
root growth

How to Cite

Chiroma A. M, Alhassan A. B., Usman K., Abdullahi R., & Ibrahim A. (2021). Soil Physical Properties and Root Growth of Pearl Millet as Affected by Ridge Tillage and Farmyard Manure. Journal of Agricultural Economics, Environment and Social Sciences, 7(2), 89-107. Retrieved from


Ridge tillage (RT) and organic manure management are among promising agronomic
practices for conserving soil moisture and improving soil physical environment in arid and
semiarid rain-fed areas. The studies were conducted during the year 2020 farming season with
two soil types from northeastern part of Nigeria to compare the relative efficacy of RT with
and without organic manure in improving soil physical properties and root growth of millet
under rain-fed semi-arid condition. The effects of the RT treatments in combination with
organic manure were compared to the conventional flat-bed treatment (control, FB). The soil
types chosen for the study were sandy loam soil located at the University of Maiduguri
(Unimaid) and sandy clay loam located at Alakaramti village, respectively. The other land
configuration and manure treatments compared were: open-ridge (OR), tied-ridge (TR), flat
bed + manure (FBM), open-ridge + manure (ORM), and tied-ridge + manure (TRM) each laid
out in randomized complete block design with four replicates. The combination of RT (open or
tied) plus organic manure (ORM & TRM) performed better in terms of all measured
parameters: bulk density (Bd), porosity (Tp), mean weight diameter (MWD), soil water content
(SWC) and root growth as measured with root mass density (RMD) than the bare ridge-tilled
(OR & TR) or flat bed with manure (FBM) and without manure (FB) treatments, irrespective
of differences in soil type. The improvement in soil condition resulting from combining the
practices of RT with organic manure application as reflected by reduced Bd, increased Tp, and
higher profile SWC has enhanced millet root growth under the water limited rain-fed farming
system of the study area. In regions like northeast Nigeria where low and variable rainfall
often limits crop production, the practice of combining RT(open or tied) with organic matter
input could be recommended as an optimal agronomic practice for improving drought
resilience of crops like millet




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