Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering
Articles Information
Journal of Agricultural Science and Engineering, Vol.3, No.1, Feb. 2017, Pub. Date: Jan. 21, 2017
Effect of Firing Time and Temperature on Selected Physical Properties of Black Cotton Soil
Pages: 1-12 Views: 796 Downloads: 382
Authors
[01] Samwel Nyakach, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya.
[02] Seth F. O. Owido, Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soils, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya.
[03] Japheth O. Onyando, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Egerton University, Njoro, Kenya.
Abstract
Black cotton soils which are classified as Vertisols cover approximately 200 million hectares of land in the arid and semi arid tropics. In these environments they are considered the most suitable soils for agriculture because of their high water holding capacity. However, this water holding ability has been found to be deceptive since not all the water is readily available for crop use. In addition, the soils present a range of management challenges that limit their suitability for agricultural production. The soils are easily eroded, have poor infiltration rates coupled with very slow hydraulic conductivities which limit both irrigation and drainage, and a highly varied consistency. Various management technologies for the soils have been developed resulting into varying degrees of productivity and sustainability. This study evaluated the effect incorporating organic matter into the soil prior to firing at definite temperatures and for given durations of time. Based on factorial experimental design, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was done using the SAS studio. Results indicated that the mean bulk density decreased by 20% when 10% (by weight) of rice husk was added. The mean bulk density changed from 1.29 g/cm3 before firing to 1.12 g/cm3 on firing and further to 0.99 g/cm3 upon size reduction. The Pearson correlation coefficient was -0.019 for time of firing and increased marginally to 0.076 after size reduction. The time of firing had the least effect on bulk density. However, for saturated hydraulic conductivity, the temperature, time and percent black cotton soil all had a significant effect with Pearson’s correlation analysis giving coefficients of 0.77, 0.22 and -0.43 respectively. The mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for the aggregates was 0.0045 cm/s which compares closely to that of Loamy Sand as estimated as 0.0041 cm/s by the RETention Curve (RETC) model.
Keywords
Vertisols, Bulk Density, Hydraulic Conductivity, Temperature, Time
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