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Reversal of adverse effects of heavy ammonium sulphate application on growth and nutrient status of a Kikuyu pasture


, : Reversal of adverse effects of heavy ammonium sulphate application on growth and nutrient status of a Kikuyu pasture. Plant and Soil 48(1): 169-183

Adverse effects resulting from fertilization with high rates of ammonium sulfate were determined on a kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) pasture grown on a krasnozem in a sub-tropical environment. Corrective fertilizer practices using lime and P were evaluated. Ammonium sulfate application (336 kg N/ha per annum for 4 yr followed by 672 kg N/ha per annum for 2 yr) decreased soil pH from 5.0-4.0. Under these conditions, soluble Al in the soil increased, while exchangeable Ca, Mg and K decreased. Concentrations of Ca, Mo and P in the kikuyu tops were lowered, while concentrations of Mn were raised. Liming to pH 5.5 promoted growth more at 672 kg N/ha/annum than at 134 kg N/ha/annum, while generally little further yield response occurred as soil pH was raised to about 6.0. Liming increased the concentrations of P, Ca, N and Mo but decreased Mn in kikuyu tops. P application decreased soluble Al in the soil in all N treatments, but only increased kikuyu yield where 672 kg N/ha per annum was applied. It did not alter plant chemical composition, except for an increase in P concentration. Yield increases to liming and P were attributed to the alleviation of Al toxicity in the high N treatments. Lime responses in low N treatments were due to improved N nutrition resulting from mineralization of organic N. Lime application reduced the amount of N fertilizer required for maximum growth of kikuyu from 672 kg N/ha per annum on the unlimed soil to 134 kg N/ha/annum, while maintaining an adequate level of nutrients in the herbage and avoiding the problems of excess soil acidity.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1007/bf00015166


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