3.0                                MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1       THE STUDY SITE
The experiment was conducted at the Teaching and Research farm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources Management, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. The site is located  by latitude 06°4’N and longitude 08°65E in the derived Savanna of the southeast agro ecological zone. The area experiences a bimodal pattern of rainfall (April-July and September —November) with a short spell in August. Its total mean annual rainfall range is between 1700-2000mm. It has a minimum and maximum temperature of 27°c and 3 1°c. The relative humidity in dry season and rainy season is 6O% and 80 respectively. The soil belongs to the order uttisol classified as Typic Hapluslult (FDALR, 1985). 

3.2       Land preparation
The area of land that was used for this study is 15m x 12m. The field was cleared with cutlass and debris removed. Each bed size was 2m x 3m and spaced 0.5m between beds and in between replications. Each bed was tilled with local hoe and ashes incorporated during tillage.

3.3       Treatment
Three different source of ash were studied and this Include; wood ash (WA), Burnt rice husk ash (BRHA), Burnt coconut husk ash (BCHA).
Test crop: Maize (Oba super II variety) was used for this experiment.

3.4       Experiment design and maize planting
The experiment was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCDB). Four treatments were used in this experiment and replicated. Five times the treatments are control (O), wood ash (WA), burnt rice husk ash (BRHA) and coconut ash (CA). The planting distance of maize 25cm x 75cm was planted two seeds per hill and was thinned down to one after two weeks of germination. Weeding was done at regular interval till harvesting.

Layout of Field

3.4.1               Sources of the Material:
The rice husk that was used for this experiment was obtained from Abakaliki rice mill. The wood and coconut husk ash that was used is obtained from Eke-Aba market in Abakaliki. The maize variety that was used is Oba super II and it was obtained from Ebonyi State Agricultural Development Programme (EBADEP), Onuebonyi,izzi.

3.1.1   Agronomic Data
Six plants were sampled from each of the plots for plant height and shoot dry matter yield.  Harvesting was done three months after planting and six plants from each plot was uprooted to determine the shoot dry matter. The plants were air-dried at 650c to constant weight and roots were cut-off from the shoots. The shoot was weighted to determine shoot dry matter yield  

3.6       Soil Sampling
            Soil samples was collected randomly collected with augar at a depth of 0-20cm for initial and final with core and soil augar for soil analysis, the soil samples was bagged separately according to the methods of hodson (1983). The sample was air dried, crushed and sieved for physico-chemical analysis.

3.7       Physical Soil Properties
Core samples were used to determine some physical properties. Bulk density was determined using the method (Blake and Hartge, 1986). Total porosity was determined by a method (Obi, 2000). Percentage moisture content was also determined by using core sample method (Klute, 1986) and hydraulic conductivity was determined (Klute, 1986).

3.8       Soil Chemical Properties
Soil auger sample was used to determine chemical properties. The soil pH was carried out by electronic method using a 1:2:5 soil /water ratio. Total nitrogen was determined by using macro-kjehdal procedure (Bremmer, 1982). Organic carbon determination was done according to the method of Nelson and Sommer (1982). Organic matter content was obtained by multiplying the percentage organic carbon by a factor of 1.724. Exchangeable cation Ca, K, Mg, and Na were extracted with ammonium acetate and their amount in filtrate determined by Perkins Elmer atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Exchangeable acidity determination was done by titration methods (Tel and Rao, 1982).

3.9       Data Analysis
The soil and maize yield data that were obtained in this work, was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and means separated using the fishers Least Significance Different (FLSD) according to the procedure Outlined by Steel and Torrie (1980).
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