Soil Moisture Content of Date Palm Varieties (Phoenix Dactylifera L) as Affected By Water Harvesting Methods and NP-Fertilizer Rates
A field study was conducted at the Date palm Research Substation of the Nigerian Institute for Oil palm Research (NIFOR), Dutse(11o50’N, 09o25’E) to studysoil moisture content of date palm varieties as affected by water harvesting methods and NP-fertilizer rates. Six water harvesting methods (WHM), Six NP-fertilizer rates (F) and six date palm varieties (V) were arranged in a Latin square design.The location has mean annual rainfall of about 600mm spread over five months and average minimum and maximum temperatures of 23 and 25o C respectively. Soils of the experimental area are generally sandy loam. Results of our findings revealed that perimeter square basin retained highest soil moisture but comparable with double side pits. NP- fertilizer rate 40 g N + 20 g P conserved more soil moisture comparable with rate 60 g N + 30 g P in the sandy loam where this experiment was conducted. Soil moisture retention due to variety effect also differs significantly. Tirgal exploit more soil moisture as it retained less soil moisture compared to other varieties. A combination of perimeter square basin or double side pits with 40 g N + 20 g P or 60 g N + 30 g P and variety Tirgal will optimize soil moisture content and utilization within the Sudan ecological zone of Nigeria where this experiment was conducted.
Key words: date palm, water harvesting method, variety and soil moisture content.