Studying the Characteristics of Vertisols to Set Up Field Management Practices at Dinder Area (Sennar State - Sudan)
The development of irrigated agriculture in Dinder area was part of the program to heighten the Rosaries Dam built on the Blue Nile and irrigate more lands on both banks of the river. The Dinder Area on the right bank of the river encompasses two parts, Dinder North (DN) and Dinder South (DS). The Dinder North area is situated between Dinder River in the west and Khor Al Atshan in the north east. The Dinder south area lies between Dinder River to the north east and Khor Al Aqalayin in the west. The area of Dinder is nearly flat to very slightly undulating with predominantly cracking clay soils (Vertisols). The soil study area is in semi-arid zone and experiences rainfall in the order of 500 mm in its northern edge, increasing to some 800mm at its southern boundary near Dinder National Reserve Park. This soil study has been based on semi-detailed soil survey data  with the key specifications are a field density of 1 observation each 150 ha and map scales of 1:50,000 and 1:100,000. Previously published soil study information was reviewed and incorporated in the findings and the database of this study. The Vertisols have high potential for crop production, but some constraints emerge affecting crop performance and decreasing yields. Those limitations are aspects of land degradation, manifested in, 1) water erosion and; 2) deterioration of physical and chemical properties. Continuous cropping of Vertisols, through time, can lead to compaction and in some cases development of a hardpan in the subsurface, reducing porosity, intensity of cracking and obliterating water movement. Such adverse effects are indicators of degraded soil physical properties. The aim of this study is to show the pedological characteristics of the Vertisols of Dinder area and as well to recommend on their use and management in order to minimize the concurrence management hazards. Field management procedures should adhere to the recommended land and crop management systems. Parallel to this approach, the fertility status is likely to decline due to intensive farming of some nutrient-depleting crops, but this nutrient deficiency is correctable through implementing a fertilizer program. Those technical inputs if properly used and practiced they are expected to sustain crop production.
Key words: Dinder area; Vertisols;Morphological, Physical and Chemical Properties
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