Agricultural Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 125–131 | Cite as

Sheep and Goat Corralling Density Effect on Soil Properties and Weed Species Diversity of Arable Lands

  • N. Abdul RahmanEmail author
  • A. Larbi
  • A. Opoku
  • F. M. Tetteh
Full-Length Research Article


The hypothesis that livestock corralling improves soil properties and weed species richness was investigated in a 2-year on-farm trial conducted in Sudan savanna agro-ecology of Ghana. The effect of three stocking densities of sheep and goats corralling (0, 70 and 140 head ha−1) on soil properties and weed species diversity was evaluated in a randomized complete block design with eight replicates. Sheep and goats weighing 27 ± 2.0 and 24 ± 1.5 kg, respectively, were corralled on fallow arable lands from 19: 00 to 06: 00 GMT hours daily for 178 nights during 2014 and 2015 cropping seasons. Soil parameters measured include pH, organic carbon (OC), total nitrogen, available phosphorus, exchangeable potassium, microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, soil microbial quotient, earthworm cast, bulk density, porosity, and moisture. Soil properties and weed species diversity increased (P < 0.01) with sheep and goats corralling relative to the control. Broadleaf and sedge species were positively correlated with soil OC while the grass was positively correlated with soil OC, microbial biomass carbon, bulk density, and porosity. The results suggest that crop-livestock farmers could corral 70 head ha−1 sheep and goats for soil fertility amendment on Ferric Lixisol in Sudan savanna agro-ecology of West Africa and similar agro-ecologies.


Manure and urine Small ruminants Soil fertility amendment Sudan savanna Microbial biomass carbon Microbial biomass nitrogen Soil microbial quotient Earthworm cast 



The authors are grateful to the USAID-funded Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) West Africa project for the financial support.


  1. 1.
    Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Parkinson JA, Quarmby CL (1974) Chemical analysis of ecological materials. Blackwell, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson JM, Ingram JSI (1993) Tropical soil biology and fertility—a handbook of methods, 2nd edn. CAB International, Wallingford, p 221Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bationo A, Wani SP, Bielders CL, Vlek PLG, Mokwunye U (2000) Crop residue and fertilizer management to improve soil organic carbon content, soil quality, and productivity in the desert margins of West Africa. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 117–145Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bell LW, Kirkegaard JA, Swan A, Hunt JR, Huth NI, Fettell NA (2011) Impacts of soil damage by grazing livestock on crop productivity. Soil Tillage Res 113:19–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brady NC, Weil RR (1996) The nature and properties of soils, 11th edn. Prentice Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bray IL, Kurtz LT (1945) Determination of total organic and available form of phosphorus in soils. Soil Sci 59:39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bremner JM, Mulvaney VA (1982) Steam distillation methods for ammonium nitrate and nitrite. Anal Chim Acta 32:485–495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dangol DR (1991) Rice field weeds in chitwan valley, Nepal. Rice Science for a Better World-International Rice Research Institute. Inter Rice Res Newslett 16:27–28Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dawoe EK, Quashie-Sam J, Isaac ME, Oppong SK (2012) Exploring farmers’ local knowledge and perceptions of soil fertility and management in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Geoderma 179:96–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Deibert EJ, Utter RA (1994) Earthworm populations related to soil and fertilizer management practices. Better Crops 78:9–11Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Drewry JJ, Cameron KC, Buchan GD (2008) Pasture yield and soil physical property responses to soil compaction from treading and grazing: a review. Aust J Soil Res 46:237–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fujisaka S, Escobar G, Veneklaas EJ (2000) Weedy fields and forests: interactions between land use and the composition of plant communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Agric Ecosys Environ 78:175–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gerowitt B (2003) Development and control of weeds in arable farming systems. Agric Ecosys Envrion 98:247–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ikpe FN, Powell JM (2002) Nutrient cycling practices and changes in soil properties in the crop-livestock farming systems of western Niger Republic of West Africa. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 62:37–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    IUSS (International Union of Soil Sciences Working Group) (2014) World reference base for soil resources 2014 international soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resource Reports 106, FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Landon JR (1991) Booker tropical soil manual: a handbook for soil survey and agriculture land evaluation in the tropics and subtropics. Longman, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Li JT, Zhong XL, Wang F, Zhao QG (2011) Effect of poultry litter and livestock manure on soil physical and biological indicators in a rice-wheat rotation system. Plant Soil Environ 57:351–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Liniger HP, Mekdaschi Studer R, Hauert C, Gurtner M (2011) Sustainable land management in practice—guidelines and best practices for Sub-Saharan Africa. TerrAfrica, World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), pp 148–149Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Materechera SA, Modiakgotla LN (2006) Cattle manure increases soil weed population and species diversity in semi-arid environment. S Afr J Plant Soil 23:21–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nelson DW, Sommers LW (1982) Total carbon, organic carbon and organic matter. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis Part 2 Second edition, Chemical and microbiological properties. Am Soc Agron Soil Sci, Madison Wisconsin, USA, pp 301–312Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nyamangara J, Piha MI, Kirchmann H (1999) Interactions of aerobically decomposed manure and nitrogen fertiliser applied to soil. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 54:183–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Palm CA, Gachengo CN, Delve RJ, Cadisch G, Giller KE (2001) Organic inputs for soil fertility management in tropical agroecosystems: application of an organic resource database. Agric Ecosys Environ 83:27–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Powell JM, Pearson RA, Hiernaux PH (2004) Crop-livestock interaction in the West African drylands. Agron J 96:469–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Salton JC, Mercante FM, Tomazi M, Zanatta JA, Concenço G, Silva WM, Retore M (2014) Integrated crop-livestock system in tropical Brazil: toward a sustainable production system. Agric Ecosys Environ 190:70–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sangaré M, Fernández-Rivera S, Hiernaux P, Bationo A, Pandey V (2002) Influence of dry season supplementation for cattle on soil fertility and millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) yield in a mixed crop/livestock production system of the Sahel. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 62:209–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    SAS (Statistical Analysis System) Institute Incorporation (2011) The SAS system for windows. SAS Institute Inc., CaryGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tetteh FM, Larbi A, Nketia KA, Senaya JN, Hoeschle-Zeledon I, Abdul Rahman N (2016) Suitability of soils for cereal cropping in Northern Ghana. Evaluation and recommendations. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) report. IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria, pp 19Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Thomas GW (1982) Exchangeable cations. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis, Part 2, Agronomy Monograph 9, Am Soc Agron, Madison Wisconsin, pp 159–165Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Van Soest PJ, Wine RH (1968) Determination of lignin and cellulose in acid-detergent fiber with permanganate. J Assoc Off Anal Chem 51:780–785Google Scholar

Copyright information

© NAAS (National Academy of Agricultural Sciences) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical AgricultureTamaleGhana
  2. 2.Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  3. 3.Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Soil Research InstituteKwadaso, KumasiGhana

Personalised recommendations