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Effect of Soil pH, Liming Materials and Phosphorus on Growth and Nutrient Uptake of Sugarcane

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Title:Effect of Soil pH, Liming Materials and Phosphorus on Growth and Nutrient Uptake of Sugarcane
Authors:El-Tahir, Awad El-Hag M.
Date Issued:1976
Abstract:Sugarcane (Variety H59-3775) yield and nutrient composition was studied in relation to soil pH, liming with caco3 and CaSi03, and P fertilization. The pH levels investigated were 4.7, 5.0, 5.2, 5.6, 5.8, 6.0 and 6.7 obtained with either Caco3 or CaSi03. Two P levels, 0.006 and 0.025 ppm Pin solution, were also included in the study as the main plots.
Liming Wahiawa soil (Tropeptic Eutrustox) significantly increased sugarcane yield. Maximum yield was obtained at pH 5.8 in the caco3 system and at pH 6.0 in the CaSi03 system. In general, an optimum soil pH for sugarcane was about 5.8.
Liming resulted in a significant increase in Ca, Mg, and N concentrations in various plant tissues. Besides supplying Ca and some Mg, the liming materials substantially improved the retention of these elements within reach of plant roots. This was due to the marked increase in CEC obtained with increasing soil pH. This can be of practical importance since the well aggregated condition of Wahiawa soil can result in rapid leaching of the basic cations under acid conditions. In the unlimed treatment, and at the low liming rates (pH 5.2 and 5.6) large amounts of K moved down the soil profile to the 45 cm depth. Potassium extracted from the surface was 30% greater from the high lime treatments (pH 6.7) than from the control (pH 4.7).
Increasing soil pH significantly reduced soil Al and Mn in the surface. Mn was also reduced markedly in the soil profile down to the 30 cm depth in the high liming treatments.
Phosphate sorption studies suggested that the first rates of liming decreased P sorption by reducing Al activity which otherwise could immobilize P by precipitation as Al-phosphate or adsorption on the surface of hydrous Al oxide. The silicate applications at the high rates decreased P sorption markedly by anion exchange.
An attempt was made to study the direct effect of H ion concentration on sugarcane growth in a nutrient solution culture using a split-root technique. In the pH range investigated (3.0, 4.0, 5.5, 6.5, and 8.5) supplied with 45 ppm Ca in solution, the maximum yield of cane was obtained at solution pH 5.5 and 6.5. Yield declined slightly at pH 8.5 and significantly at pH < 4.0. Absorption of nutrients was severely curtailed at pH 3.0 and 4.0, probably due to the high H ion concentration. Symptoms of Fe deficiency occurred at pH 8.5, and it appeared that the Fe absorbed was precipitated in the stalks. In general, growth and nutrient absorption of sugarcane was best in the pH range 5.5 - 6.5.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Agronomy and Soil Science

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