Effects of Tillage and Fertilizer Application on Soil Physico-Chemical Properties in Pearl Millet Field in Northen-Central Namibia

  • NS Nwodom
  • PN Nweze
Keywords: Soil, Pysico-chemical, Tillage, Fertilizer, Pearl Millet


The influence of Physico-chemical properties of soil as affected by tillage systems and fertilizer applications as it hasa direct bearing on plant growth and cropping systems sustainability. The study conducted a field experiment during the 2020/2021 cropping season at the Ogongo Campus of the University of Namibia, using a split-plot design for determining the effects of different tillage systems and fertilizer applications on soil nutritional characteristics. The triangular method was applied to the settling method results to determine physical soil texture. The effects of tillage and fertilizer on different soil physical and chemical properties were tested using Parametric Analysis of Variance.  The results depicted that a predominant sandy loam characteristic is possessed by the soil. Further, it was shown that tillage effects were statistically significantly different on N (p < 0.001), P (p = 0.013), K (p = 0.004). Similarly, fertilizers influenced soil N, P, and K, with respective p-values of 0.076; <0.001 and 0.044. Interaction between tillage and fertilizers has shown significant statistical differences in all three elements (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium). The study concluded that the adoption of appropriate fertilizer management combined with suitable tillage practice can enhance soil fertility and improve crop production since soil physicochemical properties are influenced by soil tillage and fertilizer practices.


Download data is not yet available.


Abagandura, G. O., Mohamed Nasr, G. E.-D., & Moumen, N. M. (2017). Influence of Tillage Practices on Soil Physical Properties and Growth and Yield of Maize in Jabal al Akhdar, Libya. Open Journal of Soil Science, 07(07), 118–132. https://doi.org/10.4236/ojss.2017.77010

Aikins, S., & Afuakwa, J. (2012). Effect of four different tillage practices on maize performance under rainfed conditions. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America, 3(1), 25–30. https://doi.org/10.5251/abjna.2012.

Allison, F. E. (2007). Soil organic matter and its role in crop production. Dev. Soil Science. 3, pp. 164-165.

Anderson, J. P. (1997). Agricultural use of municipal solid waste on tree and bus crop. Agriculture and Engineering Research, 73-79.

Bertha, M. (2012). Effect of convetional tillage on soil properties. Soil Science and Engineering, 30-34.

Billings, S. A., & Ziegler, S. E. (2008). Altered patterns of soil carbon substrate usage and heterotrophic respiration in a pine forest with elevated CO 2 and N fertilization. Global Change Biology, 14(5), 1025–1036. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01562.x

Böhme, L., & Böhme, F. (2006). Soil microbiological and biochemical properties affected by plant growth and different long-term fertilisation. European Journal of Soil Biology, 42(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejsobi.2005.08.001

Brady, N. C., & Weil, R. R. (2007). The Nature and Properties of Soils. Prentice Hall, UK: Willy and Soons.

Bumb, B. L., & Baanante, C. A. (1996). The role of fertilizer in sustaining food security and protecting the environment to 2020. Intl Food Policy Res Inst. pp.50-65.

Carof, M., De Tourdonnet, S., Coquet, Y., Hallaire, V., & Roger-Estrade, J. (2007). Hydraulic conductivity and porosity under conventional and no-tillage and the effect of three species of cover crop in northern France. Soil Use and Management, 23(3), 230–237. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-2743.2007.00085.x

Chen, S., Wang, X., Zhang, L., Lin, S., Liu, D., Wang, Q., Cai, S., El-Tanbouly, R., Gan, L., Wu, H., & Li, Y. (2016). Identification and characterization of tomato gibberellin 2-oxidases (GA2oxs) and effects of fruit-specific SlGA2ox1 overexpression on fruit and seed growth and development. Horticulture Research, 3(1), 16059. https://doi.org/10.1038/hortres.2016.59

Dalal, R. C., & Henry, R. J. (1986). Simultaneous Determination of Moisture, Organic Carbon, and Total Nitrogen by Near Infrared Reflectance Spectrophotometry. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 50(1), 120–123. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1986.03615995005000010023x

Duffera, M., Robarge, W. P., & Mikkelsen, R. L. (1999). Estimating the availability of nutrients from processed swine lagoon solids through incubation studies. Bioresource Technology, 70(3), 261–268. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0960-8524(99)00039-5

Edwards, D. R., & Daniel, T. C. (1992). Environmental impacts of on-farm poultry waste disposal—A review. Bioresource Technology, 41(1), 9–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/0960-8524(92)90094-E

Ortiz Escobar, M. E., & Hue, N. V. (2008). Temporal changes of selected chemical properties in three manure – Amended soils of Hawaii. Bioresource Technology, 99(18), 8649–8654. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2008.04.069

FAO. (2017). FAOSTAT. Retrieved 09 24, 2018, from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: http://www.fao.org/faostat/en#data/QC

Fernandez, R. N., Schulze, D. G., Coffin, D. L., & Van Scoyoc, G. E. (1988). Color, Organic Matter, and Pesticide Adsorption Relationships in a Soil Landscape. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 52(4), 1023–1026. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1988.03615995005200040023x

Fertilization and Liming Committee. (2004). Recomendações de Adubação e Calagem para os Estados do Rio Grande do Sul e Santa Catarina. Porto Alegre,: Fertilization Committee of Soil from the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina .

Gardner, C. M., Laryea, K. B., & Unger, P. W. (1999). Soil physical constraints to plant growth and crop production. Land and Water Development Division, Food and Agriculture Organization.

Gregorich, E. G., Monreal, C. M., Ellert, B. H., Angers, D. A., & Carter, M. R. (1993). Evaluating changes in soil organic matter. Soil quality evaluation program. 367-385.

Gu, Y., Zhang, X., Tu, S., & Lindström, K. (2009). Soil microbial biomass, crop yields, and bacterial community structure as affected by long-term fertilizer treatments under wheat-rice cropping. European Journal of Soil Biology, 45(3), 239–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejsobi.2009.02.005

Guzha, A. C. (2004). Effects of tillage on soil microrelief, surface depression storage and soil water storage. Soil and Tillage Research, 76(2), 105–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2003.09.002

Habtegebrial, K., Singh, B. R., & Haile, M. (2007). Impact of tillage and nitrogen fertilization on yield, nitrogen use efficiency of tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) and soil properties. Soil and Tillage Research, 94(1), 55–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2006.07.002

Hamza, M. A., Al-Adawi, S. S., & Al-Hinai, K. A. (2011). Effect of combined soil water and external load on soil compaction. Soil Research, 49(2), 135-142. https://doi.org/10.1071/SR09144

Hangara, G.N., Teweldemedhin, M., & Groenewald, I. (2011). Measuring factors that can influence cattle supply response to the market in Namibia: Case study from Omaheke communal farmers. Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, 3, 141-146.

Hao, X. H., Liu, S. L., Wu, J. S., Hu, R. G., Tong, C. L., & Su, Y. Y. (2008). Effect of long-term application of inorganic fertilizer and organic amendments on soil organic matter and microbial biomass in three subtropical paddy soils. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 81(1), 17–24. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-007-9145-z

Huang, S., Zhang, W., Yu, X., & Huang, Q. (2010). Effects of long-term fertilization on corn productivity and its sustainability in an Ultisol of southern China. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 138(1–2), 44–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2010.03.015

IITA. (1979). Selected Methods for Soil and Plant Analysis of the soil. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 1(1), 70.

Ingavale, R. R., Mohite, S. A., Shinde, T. V., Jadhav, A. S., & Raut, P. D. (2012). Studies on physico-chemical characteristics of soil of Bhogawati river bank in Kolhapur District. In S. W. Management (Ed.). Kolhapur: Shivaji University.

IPNI Insights. (2013, July). A Publication of the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI). Retrieved from International Plant Nutrition Institute : https://www.ipni.net/publication/insights-na.nsf/issue/INSIGHTS-NA-2013-7?OpenDocument&toc=0

Iqbal, M. U., & Hassan, A. (2005). Residual effect of tillage and farm manure on some soil physical properties and growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 54–57.

Jackson, B. L. J. (1985). A modified sodium tetraphenylboron method for the routine determination of reserve-potassium status of soil. New Zealand Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 13(3), 253–262. https://doi.org/10.1080/03015521.1985.10426091

Ji, B., Zhao, Y., Mu, X., Liu, K., & Li, C. (2013). Effects of tillage on soil physical properties and root growth of maize in loam and clay in central China   Plant, Soil and Environment, 59(No. 7), 295–302. https://doi.org/10.17221/57/2013-PSE

Kausar, M. A., Chaudhry, F. M., Rashid, A., Latif, A., & Alam, S. M. (1976). Micronutrient availability to cereals from calcareous soils: I. Comparative Zn And Cu deficiency and their mutual interaction in rice and wheat. Plant and Soil, 45(2), 397–410. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00011702

Khalil, M. I., Boeckx, P., Rosenani, A. B., & Van Cleemput, O. (2001). Nitrogen transformations and emission of greenhouse gases from three acid soils of humid tropics amended with n sources and moisture regime. II. Nitrous oxide and methane fluxes. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 32(17–18), 2909–2924. https://doi.org/10.1081/CSS-120000971

Kumar, A., & Yadav, D. S. (2001). Long-Term Effects of Fertilizers on the Soil Fertility and Productivity of a Rice-Wheat System. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, 186(1), 47–54. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-037x.2001.00452.x

Legros, J. P., & Petruzzelli, G. (2001). The status of Mediterranean soils. Proceedings Soil and Biowaste, 18-19.

Levine, E. (1998). Why is soil data important to scientist. Social Science, 400.

Liu, E. K., Zhao, B. Q., Mei, X. R., So, H. B., Li, J., & Li, X. Y. (2010). Effects of no-tillage management on soil properties. Agric. Sci. Camb, 217–223.

Miriti, M. (2013). The effects of tillage systems on soil physical properties and water conservation in a sandy loam soil in Eastern Kenya. Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management, 4(7), 146–154. https://doi.org/10.5897/JSSEM2013.0395

Morgan, M. F. (1930). A simple spot-plate test for nitrate nitrogen in soil and other extracts. Science, 71(1839), 343–344. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.71.1839.343

Myint, A.K., Yamakawa, T., Kajihara, Y., Myint, K.K.M. and Zenmyo, T. (2010) Nitrogen Dynamics in a Paddy Field Fertilized with Mineral and Organic Nitrogen Sources. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 7, 221-231.

Nahire, M. B., & Dhiware, S. D. (2017). Carrolation beteen physico chemical, charateristics with dielectric constant of soil. International Journal of Science and Research, 6(3), 1.

Nelson, D. W., & Sommers, L. E. (1989). Total Carbon, Organic Carbon, and Organic Matter. Methods and Soil Analysis. Part 2. Chemical and Microbial Properties, Agronomy Monograph, 539-557.

Omar, S. (2017). Employee in the Secretariat of Agriculture. Journal of Soil Science, 2-5.

Rahman, M. H., Islam, M. R., Jahiruddin, M., Puteh, A. B., & Mondal, M. M. (2013). Influence of Organic Matter on soil charateristics. International Journal of Agriculture and Biology, 55-61.

Rashidi, M., & Keshavarzpour, F. (2008). Effect of different tillage methods on soil physical properties and crop yield of melon (Cucumis melo). ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science, 2(2), 41-46.

Rasmussen, P. E., Allmaras, R. R., Rohde, C. R., & Roager, N. C. (1980). Crop Residue Influences on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen in a Wheat-Fallow System. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 44(3), 596–600. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1980.03615995004400030033x

Sauer, T., Prueger, J., & Hatfield, J. (2016). Soil moisture sampling and decision frameworks for agriculture. Phoenix, Arizona: USDA.

Schulte, E. E., Kaufmann, C., & Peter, J. B. (1991). The influence of sample size and heating time on soil weight loss‐on‐ignition. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 22(1–2), 159–168. https://doi.org/10.1080/00103629109368402

Schwen, A., Bodner, G., Scholl, P., Buchan, G. D., & Loiskandl, W. (2011). Temporal dynamics of soil hydraulic properties and the water-conducting porosity under different tillage. Soil and Tillage Research, 113(2), 89–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2011.02.005

Shahid, M. N., Zamir, M. S. I., Haq, I.-U., Khan, M. K., Hussain, M., Afzal, U., Asim, M., & Ali, I. (2016). Evaluating the impact of different tillage regimes and nitrogen levels on yield and yield components of maize (Zea mays L.). American Journal of Plant Sciences, 07(06), 789–797. https://doi.org/10.4236/ajps.2016.76073

Sheldrick, B. H. (1986). Test of the leco chn-600 determinator for soil carbon and nitrogen analysis. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 66(3), 543–545. https://doi.org/10.4141/cjss86-055

Shen, J., Li, R., Zhang, F., Fan, J., Tang, C., & Rengel, Z. (2004). Crop yields, soil fertility and phosphorus fractions in response to long-term fertilization under the rice monoculture system on a calcareous soil. Field Crops Research, 86(2–3), 225–238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2003.08.013

Shen, J.-P., Zhang, L.-M., Guo, J.-F., Ray, J. L., & He, J.-Z. (2010). Impact of long-term fertilization practices on the abundance and composition of soil bacterial communities in Northeast China. Applied Soil Ecology, 46(1), 119–124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2010.06.015

Shirani, H., Hajabbasi, M. A., Afyuni, M., & Hemmat, A. (2002). Effects of farmyard manure and tillage systems on soil physical properties and corn yield in central Iran. Soil and Tillage Research, 68(2), 101–108. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-1987(02)00110-1

Stevenson, F. (1994). Humus Chemistry: Genesis, Composition, Reactions (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Strudley, M., Green, T., & Ascoughii, J. (2008). Tillage effects on soil hydraulic properties in space and time: State of the science. Soil and Tillage Research, 99(1), 4–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2008.01.007

Liu, E., Yan, C., Mei, X., Zhang, Y., & Fan, T. (2013). Long-Term Effect of Manure and Fertilizer on Soil Organic Carbon Pools in Dryland Farming in Northwest China. PLoS ONE, 8(2), e56536. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0056536

Swangjang, K. (2015). Soil carbon and nitrogen ratio in different land use. International Conference on Advances in Environment Research, 87(10), 36-40.

Tisdall, J. M., & Oades, J. M. (1982). Organic matter and water-stable aggregates in soils. Journal of Soil Science, 33(2), 141–163. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2389.1982.tb01755.x

U. I., U., E. B., E., C.., U., E. O., O., A. O., E., & J. E, O. (2017). Evaluation of Soil Quality in Relation to Landuse Effect in Akamkpa, Cross River State – Nigeria. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 5(2), 35–42. https://doi.org/10.12691/aees-5-2-2

Varsa, E. C., Chong, S. K., Abolaji, J. O., Farquhar, D. A., & Olsen, F. J. (1997). Effect of deep tillage on soil physical characteristics and corn (Zea mays L.) root growth and production. Soil and Tillage Research, 43(3–4), 219–228. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-1987(97)00041-X

Velayutham, M., & Bhattacharyya, T. (2000). Soil resource management. In N. R. India (Ed.), Natural.

Weeraratna, C. S. (1979). Patern of nitrogen release during decomposition of some green manures in a tropical alluvial soil. Plant and Soil, 53(3), 287–294. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02277863

Whitbread, A., Blair, G., Konboon, Y., Lefroy, R., & Naklang, K. (2003). Managing crop residues, fertilizers and leaf litters to improve soil C, nutrient balances, and the grain yield of rice and wheat cropping systems in Thailand and Australia. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 100(2–3), 251–263. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(03)00189-0

How to Cite
NS Nwodom, & PN Nweze. (2020). Effects of Tillage and Fertilizer Application on Soil Physico-Chemical Properties in Pearl Millet Field in Northen-Central Namibia. International Journal for Research in Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, 7(5), 299-305. https://doi.org/10.31033/ijrasb.7.5.39