Spatial Variability and Fertility Mapping for Site-Specific Management of a Smallholder Farm in Minna, Nigeria

Full Article - PDF

Published: 2021-12-09

Page: 197-203

Baba A. Lawal *

Department of Soil Science and Land Management, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

Maruf K. A. Adeboye

Department of Soil Science and Land Management, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

Philips A. Tsado

Department of Soil Science and Land Management, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

Tetengi Mohammed

Department of Crop Production Technology, College of Agriculture, Mokwa, Niger State. Nigeria.

Abdulwahab A. Panti

Department of Agricultural Science, School of Vocational Education, College of Education, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Farmers’ practice of blanket application of fertilizers negates the inherent variation of nutrients in the soil. This work assessed and mapped the spatial variability of some soil properties in a smallholder maize farm in Minna, north-central Nigeria, for site-specific soil nutrients management. The study was conducted on a 1.13 ha farm. The farm was divided into 9 subplots of 35 m x 35 m dimension. In each subplot, geo-referenced soil sample was collected at 0-20 cm depth for purpose of interpolation and mapping. The samples were analysed in the laboratory for particle size distribution, soil reaction (pH), soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Data from laboratory analysis was subjected to descriptive statistics to describe the spatial variability of the nutrients in the soil. Mapping of spatial distribution of the measured parameters was based on point krigging interpolation techniques using Surfer 11 GIS software. Texture of the soils varied from sandy loam to sandy clay loam. Soil reaction was slightly acid to neutral. Nitrogen was high in all the soil, while K ranged from high to low. Phosphorus was low in all the soils. Soil organic carbon (CV = 51.17%), N (CV = 36.11%) and K (CV = 47.62%) all had a high spatial variability, while silt (CV = 27.72%) and P (CV = 27.50%) had moderate spatial. Spatial variability was low in land configuration (CV = 9.37%), sand (CV = 5.18%), clay (CV = 13.66%) and pH (CV = 1.64%). Micro-relief had non-significant (P = .05) effect on distribution of soil separates. Mapping could be helpful in partitioning of the farm into relatively uniform units to allow site-specific management of SOC, N and K with high spatial variability.

Keywords: Site-specific management, soil quality, spatial variability, GIS-based mapping, smallholder farm

How to Cite

Lawal, B. A., Adeboye, M. K. A., Tsado, P. A., Mohammed, T., & Panti, A. A. (2021). Spatial Variability and Fertility Mapping for Site-Specific Management of a Smallholder Farm in Minna, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Research and Review in Agriculture, 3(1), 197–203. Retrieved from


Download data is not yet available.


Ngailo JA, Vieira SR. Spatial patterns and correlation of soil properties of a lowland soil. Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management. 2012; 3(12):287-296.

Okeyo JM, Shepherd KD, Wamicha W, Shisanya C. Spatial variation in soil organic carbon within smallholder farms in western Kenya: A geospatial approach. African Crop Science Journal. 2006; 14(1):27-36.

Udoh BT, Harold KO, Adiole CU. Variation in soil types and characteristics as influenced by topography within an agricultural management unit in south-eastern Nigeria. Journal of Applied Agricultural Research. 2010;2:105-111.

Pulungan NA, Sartohadi J. Variability of Soil Development in Hilly Region, Bogowonto Catchment, Java, Indonesia. International Journal of Soil Science. 2018;13(1):1-8. DOI: 10.3923/ijss.2018.1.8.

Abdulrasak YL, Lawal BA, Raji BA, Yakubu M, Panti AA. An Assessment of Farmers Use of Soil Survey Information in Crop Production and Local Classification of Soils, Niger State, Nigeria. In: Okoye, BC, Mbanasor JA, Olojede AO, Ndirpaya YD, Ewuziem JE, Anyaegbunam HN, Onyeka TJ, Onyeneke RU, Onunkwo DN. (eds.). “Sustainable Strategies for Enhancing Food Security & Livelihoods in Nigeria”. 52nd Annual Conference of Agricultural Society of Nigeria. 22nd-26th October, 2018. ARCN, Abuja. 2018;946-951.

Abdurasak YL, Lawal BA, Raji BA, Yakubu M, Panti AA. An Assessment of Farmers Awareness and Perception on use of Soil Information in Niger State. In: Chinma, C.E. et al. Food Insecurity in Africa: Agricultural Diversification as a Panacea. Proceedings of the International Conference of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, 23rd - 26th April, 2019 held at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology. 2019;453-459.

Nadagouda BT. Precision nutrient management in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.). A PhD. Thesis submitted to the Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, Dharwad University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. 2011; 138.

Tola E, Al-Gaadi KA, Madugundu R, Zeyada AM, Kayad AG, Biradar CM. Characterization of spatial variability of soil physicochemical properties and its impact on Rhodes grass productivity. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2017; 24:421–429.

Scull P, Franklin J, Chadwick OA, McArthur D. Predictive soil mapping: A review. Progress in Geography. 2003; 27(2):171-197.

Mohamed MY, Abdo BM. Spatial variability mapping of some soil properties in El-Multagha agricultural project (Sudan) using geographic information systems (GIS) techniques. Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management. 2011; 2(2):58-65.

Ojanuga AG. Agroecological Zones of Nigeria Manual. FAO/NSPFS, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, Nigeria. 2006;124.

Adeboye MKA, Osunde AO, Ezenwa MIS, Odofin AJ, Bala A. Evaluation of the fertility status and suitability of some soils for arable cropping in the southern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Soil Science. 2009;19(2):115-120.

Lawal BA, Adeboye MKA, Tsado PA, Elebiyo MG, Nwajoku CR. Properties, classification and agricultural potentials of lateritic soils of Minna in sub-humid agroecological zone, Nigeria. International Journal of Development and Sustainability. 2012;1(3):903-911.

IITA. Selected Methods for Soil and Plant Analysis. Manual Series N0.3, IITA Ibadan, Nigeria. 2015;126.

IBM SPSS Version 20.0, Armonk, NY: IBM Corp, 2011

Golden Software Inc. SURFER 11 for Windows. Surface mapping system package; 2012. Available:

Wilding LP, Drees LR. Spatial variability and pedology. I. Concepts and interactions. In L.P. Wilding, N. Smeck and G.F. Hall (eds.). Pedogenesis and Soil Taxonomy. Wageningen, Netherlands. 1983;83-116.

Esu IE. Detailed soil survey of NIHORT Farm at Bunkure, Kano State, Nigeria. Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. 1991; 72.

Chude VO, Olayiwola SO, Osho AO, Daudu CK. Fertilizer Use and Management Practices for Crops in Nigeria. Fourth edition. Federal Fertilizer Department, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Abuja, Nigeria. 2011;1-59.

Brady NC, Weil R. The Nature and Properties of Soils. 13th edition. Singapore, Pearson Education. 2002;976pp.

Greenland DJ, Wild A, Adams D. Organic matter dynamics in soils of the tropics – from myth to reality. In: Lal R. and Sanchez P.A. (eds.), Myths and Science of Soils in the Tropics. Soil Science Society of America, Madison. 1992;17–39.

Lawal BA, Tsado PA, Eze PC, Idefoh KK, Zaki AA, Kolawole S. Effect of slope positions on some properties of soils under a Tectona grandis plantation in Minna, southern Guinea savanna of Nigeria. International Journal of Research in Agriculture and Forestry. 2014;1(2):37-43.

Adeboye MKA, Afolabi SG, Lawal BA, Mamman IB. Nitrogen Use Efficiency of Maize as Affected by Zinc Fertilization in the Moist Savanna of Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Soil and Environmental Research. 2020;19:22–31.

Haron K, Brookes PC, Anderson JM, Zakaria ZZ. Microbial biomass and soil organic matter dynamics in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) plantations in West Malaysia. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 1998; 30:547-552. DOI:10.1016/S0038-0717(97)00217-4

Adeboye MKA, Iwuafor ENO, Agbenin JO. The effects of crop rotation and nitrogen fertilization on soil chemical and microbial properties in a Guinea savanna Alfisol of Nigeria. Plant and Soil. 2006;281:97-107. DOI:10.1007/s11104-005-3828-5

Martey E, Wiredu AN, Etwire PM, Fosu M, Buah SSJ, Bidzakin J, Kusi F. Fertilizer adoption and use intensity among smallholder farmers in Northern Ghana: A case study of the AGRA soil health project. Sustainable Agriculture Research. 2014;3:24–36. DOI:0.5539/sar.v3n1p24.

Lawal BA, Ojanuga AG, Tsado PA, Mohammed A. Characterization, Classification and Agricultural Potentials of Soils on a Toposequence in Southern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria. International Journal of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. 2013;7(5):330-334.