Date of this Version
Spatial variability of soil properties under different land use in the Dang district of Nepal, Dinesh Panday, Roshan Babu Ojha, Devraj Chalise, Saurav Das & Bikesh Twanabasu, Cogent Food & Agriculture (2019), 5: 1600460.
Increased nutrient mining, soil erosion, and limited nutrient management has led to declines in soil quality and reduced productivity in many parts of Nepal. A study was conducted in the eastern part of the Dang district of Nepal in 2015 to assess the variability of selected soil properties of three different land use types (agricultural, agroforestry, and grassland) and to map their spatial distribution. A total of 120 soil samples were collected from 0–15 cm depth and analyzed for soil fertility parameters: pH, organic matter (OM), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), boron (B), and zinc (Zn). Results revealed that the average value of the soil pH significantly (P < 0.05) varied from agroforestry to agricultural land use. Soil OM and N contents were in the medium range in all land use with minor variation, with the highest average OM and N found in grassland (2.87% and 0.14%), followed by agricultural land (2.64% and 0.13%), and agroforestry (2.45% and 0.12%). Soil P showed a significant variation between agroforest (18.99 kg ha−1) and grassland (8.49 kg ha−1). Soil K content was high in grassland (144.44 mg kg−1) and low in agricultural land (120.95 mg kg−1) but was not statistically significant. Micronutrient B was low (0.28–0.35 mg kg−1) and Zn was very low (0.14 mg kg−1). The interpolated soil maps thus generated may assist farmers in identifying the expected nutrient levels for their localities and encourage them to modify their management practices to improve productivity and lift income.