PhD Research: Amelioration of Sandy Soils with Clays and Organic Matter – Effect on Crop Response, Soil Water and Nutrient Retention
- According to FAO/UNESCO Soil map of the World, sandy soils occur in all parts of the globe.
- These soils generally are characterized with inherent low fertility, low cation exchange capacity (CEC), extremes of pH, low levels of organic matter, poor microbial activity, high vulnerability to erosion and poor aggregate formation. In addition, where sandy soils are used for crop production, the problem of insufficient organic matter and non-wetting usually cause uneven germination resulting in poor weed control, low levels of soil cover and reduced productivity.
- The research focuses on amelioration of sandy soil using organic and inorganic materials and seeks to identify the proportion of these mixtures that could produce optimal water and nutrient retention under cultivation, as well as carbon sequestration via organic-inorganic matter interaction.
- It also measures how changes in soil conditions influence the behaviour and yield of spring wheat using various approaches including Computed Tomography (CT) scanning and rainfall simulation.