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DETERMINATION AND ANALYSIS OF FIELD CAPACITY OF IMO STATE SOIL
1.1 Background of the study
Soil being a key factor of production is subject to degradation due to environmental and human activities which prevents it from offering the expected quality; this particularly is as a result of erosion. It not only causes severe land degradation and soil productivity loss, but also threatens the stability and health of society in general, and sustainable development of rural areas in particular . Soils comprise of minerals, organic matter, nutrients, moisture and living organisms which support growth and ascertain the fertility of the soil for food production, this particular property of the soil is threatened when it undergoes degradation by erosive actions. Erosion is one of the surface processes that sculptures the earth’s landscape and constitutes one of the global environmental problems. Soil erosion is a natural process of soil material removal and transportation through the action of erosive agents such as water, wind, gravity, and human disturbance. The problem of soil erosion has really aided in declining the quality of arable land in generating food crops for export and human consumption thus preventing guaranteed food security in the country.
In increasing food production to keep pace with demand while retaining the quality of land and the ecological balance of the production systems are the current challenges to agricultural research and development policy in Nigeria . Currently, efforts to achieve sustainable agricultural development and food self-sufficiency in the country are threatened by widespread environmental degradation resulting from soil erosion menace, characterized by massive soil loss estimated at 30 million tons per annum. Erosion is prevalent in all parts of the country as it is experienced in no smaller degree in almost every geo-political region of the country, with specific impact in southeastern part of Nigeria.  states that degradation of natural resources in Anambra State and almost everywhere in Nigeria is one of the greatest threats to future food
production capabilities and sustained development. In Nigeria desertification and aridity are the major environmental problems of the northern part of the country while the torrential rainfall of the southern Nigeria creates enabling environment for catastrophic soil erosion in the region. The greatest threat to environmental settings of southeastern Nigeria is the gradual but constant dissection of the landscape by soil erosion
Soil erosion takes place when soil particles are carried away by water or wind and deposited somewhere else. Erosion starts when rain or irrigation water detaches soil particles . Soil erosion is the most widespread form of land degradation worldwide . According to , soil erosion as a part of soil degradation is the decline in quality and quantity of a soil, which may be a function of various processes including erosion, contamination, drainage, acidification, laterization and loss of soil structure or a combination of these.
Soil Erodibility is an estimate of the ability of soil to resist erosion based on the physical characteristics of each soil. Generally, soils with faster infiltration rates, higher levelsof organic matter and improved structure have a greater resistance to erosion. In Erodibility studies and the development of erosion models, numerous publications on the effect of soil properties in erosion processes have assisted in better quantifying and defining soil Erodibility.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Several indices of soil Erodibility have been developed by soil scientist and engineers to predict the susceptibility of soil to erosion, but a unified model for soil loss prediction is yet a challenge . This major setback is as result of certain limitation such as location, soil type, and climatic factors, annual as well as seasonal rainfall associated with the parameters of measurement. This brought about the emergence of various indices to measure soil Erodibility such that will satisfy the condition of a particular region or area of choice under study.
Erodibility indices like dispersion ratio, clay ratio, modified clay ratio and erosion ratio have been employed by different researchers to assess the soil Erodibility. However, very little information is available on the Erodibility indices for the soils of submontaneous tract of Nigeria, particularly under different land uses and in relation to runoff and soil loss.
The Universal Soil Loss Equation which is an acclaimed general equation to measure soil loss is not actually universal. This is because some factors of the equation are widely dependent on the location, soil type or class, cropping practices and conservation practices, needing further evaluation of the various indices prior to application in a particular study area.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. To understand the determination of field capacity of imo state soil
2. To understand the relationship between capacity of imo state soil and agricultural productivity.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What is the field capacity of imo state soil
2. What is the relationship between capacity of imo state soil and agricultural productivity.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no relationship between capacity of imo state soil and agricultural productivity.
H1: There is no relationship between capacity of imo state soil and agricultural productivity.
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