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THE E\TAT,UATTOI{ OF' THE RESIDUAL EFFECT OF

FERT{LIZER IN LONGTERM FERTILITY PLO'TIJ


I. POTASStrUM'
A. A. X,Iacl-oax exr
J. J.
Dovm"
C a'itada D ep arttnettt of Agricuhur e, F r e derict on, N eu; Brwytsruic ],:
[Received for publication December 7, I962i
Resitlual effccts of lorrg-rcrm
'r-r-":T'T:iLrtions
of ferrilizer porassiiinr o'
the potassium status of irr acid sanCy it,an Podzol ucie invcstigatcc in a
greenhouse experiment, Fotassium accumulated in the surface soil in a
iorm readily ai'ailablc to plancs.
On plots'rvitir higher cation exchange capacities, resulting from manurial
treatmcnis, there was no er-idence to in<iicate leaching belorv 15 inches, On
plcts v'here cation exchange capacity was not incieascd by treatrrx:nr, a
higher percentage porassium
saruiarion ar grearer depths inCicares rlrar ieach-
in! of potassiuri
had occurrcd to a depth"of 2l inclhes. An incrcascd con-
centration of nitric acid-soluble potassium at greater depths suggestl; that
some of the leached
potassium
hai been convcrccd to the non-exchans:eable
form.
Accumuiation in the surface soil lvas suficient to supply most cf the
potassium requirement of ladino clover under conditions of intensive crop-
ping.
.Tlre
resulrs.suggest thar.exchangeable and nirric acid-soluble poressium
are reliable criteria of available oorassium.
INTRODUCTION
In a revierv of literature dealing with the residual effects of fertilizers.
Nelson and Stanford (9) present eiidence that potassium applied regularly
accumulates in the soil in a form r,vhich is available to planta.
'Jlirey
state
that this accumulation is reflected by higher crcp yields and grear:er uptake
of potassium but may not necessarily be-reflected by rhe usuai rap,id eitrac-
tion procedures. The latter is contingent upon the degree of reversion of
applied potassium to slo\\'ly available non-exchangeable forms. Ftrrther evi-
dence of the accumulation of applied potassium is presented by Cook and
Davis (1), Feterburgskii and Yairisne*tii (tt), and Struchterneyer et 6il.
(
14).
Conversely, Kime (8), rvho conducted studies on a fine sandy loam,
concluded that fertilizer
potassium
which was not utilized bv the :immediate
crop was losr by leaching. Further evidence of loss of porissium by )each-
ing^or fixation bn co"rrJ-t.xtured soiis is presented by'Hanway ,?t'al. (5),
Robertson et al. (13), and Iversen (7). It is concluded by Nelson and
Stanford (9), however, that potassium losses by leaching have been over-
e,mphasized except on very sandy soils. This conclusion is supported by
Floover (6), who found that relatively little of the applied potassium moved
from the A to the B horizon even under conditions conducive tr) extreme
leaching.
In Nerv Brunswick, where high rates of fertilizer are applied 1or potato
production,
there is considerable lrrt.r.rt in the fate of thif ponion
bf tn"
fertilizer potassium which is not utilized by the crop. Recent greenhouse
and laboratorv investigations have been concerned with its movement in the
soil and the extent to which it can supply the potassium requirements of
succeeding crops. Soil samples from long-term fertility plots v,hich had
received diffcrential fertilizer treatments were utilized in this stud)'.
*,.rbo,r"t No. 117, Reseuch Station, Canada Department of Agriculture, Fredeicton, N.B.
2Present qddress:
F. A. O., Rome, Italy.
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230 CANADIAN
JOURN.{L
OF SOIL SCIENCE
MATERIALS AND METIIODS
[Vol.
43
Soil samples were collected from a long-term fertiliry experiment in
which pot"tob, had been grown annually f or i+ years on an'acid^sandy loam
Podzol] Plots representiig five rates df potassium, applied annuallf, were
sampled to a depth of 27 inches. Cation exchange capaciry (10), exchange-
able'potassiu-
ito;,
and potassium soluble in bJiling'0.lN nitric acid (t7),
were determined on all samples.
The availability of potassium in the surface soil was assessed under
conditions of intensive cropping in the greenhouse. Samples were prepared
for cropping by liming to a'uniiorm pli of 6.5 (4) with ialcium hydroxide,
and by-trea-ing with a soil conditioner to assur a, uniform degree of-1ggre-
gate stability (3). A fertilizer treatment equivalent to 40 pounds N, 200
pounds P"O", 30 pounds Mg, and 5 pounds B per acre was applied to all
samples. Potassium chloride was applied at rates equivalent to 0 and 200
T-tsrr l.-PorASSruM DrsrRrBUTIoN rN .4.N AcrD sANDY LoAM AFTER 24 YEARS
Annual treatment per acre
1600 lb.
5-10-13
800 lb.
5-10 13
No
treatment
16 tons
manure
800 lb. 5-10-13-l-8 tons ruanure
Estimated K applied (lb./acre)
4160 3200
A. Exchangeable K (p.p.m.)
Depth
(i".)
0-6
6-9
9-12
t2-t5
15-21
2t-27
Mean
1 50*
85
55
5U
34
2l
nAa*
1 38*
AA
30
27
341*
236*
111*
104*
68
28
46
43
28
32
33
25
- J* 66 87 148
B. K soluble in boiling 0.1 N nitric acid (p.p.m.)
0-6
64
9-lz
r2-t5
t5-21
2t-27
753
+
581
*
632*
607+
465*
369*
637*
328
300
JIJ
807+
667*
444*
324
367
29+
Mean JO6
+signifrcantly
greater than corresponding value in untreated; L.S.D. (P.05) values for exchangeable and nitric
acid-soluble K are 56 and 98 respectively.
298
295
307
342
296
261
300
613*
504*
428*
.'to/
320
357
432 +84 389
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August, 19631 MAcLEAN AND DoyI-D-REsTDUAL EFFEcT oF FERrrLrzER. t" 231
pounds K"O per acre. Ladino clover was used as the indicator crop. Treat-
ments were replicated six times. After six crops had been grown, the soil
\vas removed from the pots, sieved free of roo^ts, refertilized' and reseeded.
Six additional crops were grown. Plant material from the tr,velve crops was
dried, ground and analysed for potassium content (2).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Potutssioun Distribu.tion in the Soluru
Levels of exchangeable potassium and potassium soluble in nitric acid
(Table 1
)
show that ?onsiddrable accumulation of fertilizer pot:rssium has
occurred. Manurial treatments favored accumulation of
^exchangeable
potassium in the surface soil and to a depth of 15 inches. The cati6n ex-
change capacity (Table 2) is higher on plocs which received manrrre. This
may account for the fact that potassium was not leached beyond the 12-15
inch depth on these plots. A marked increase in levels of nitric acid-soluble
potassium occurred on plots which had received commercial fertilizer alone.
Further, this increase occurred at all depths. Increases in potassium satura-
tion
(Table
2) and nitric acid-soluble potassium suggest that potissium has
heen leached to the 21-27 inch depth on plots receiving the high.er rate of
commercial fertilizer and that a poftion of the leached potassiunr has been
converted to the non-exchangeable form.
Tenr,n 2.
-
Certon EXCHANGTJ cApAcrl.tr AND
porASSruM
sATURATIoN -lrrBn 24
ypens
1600 lb.
5-10-13
800 lb.
5-10 13
No
treatmellt
16 tons
manure
Annual treatment per acre
800 lb. 5-10-1.i*8 tons manure
Depth
(i".
)
A. Cation exchange capacity (m.e./100 gm.)
0-6
64
9-r2
l2-15
15-21
2I-27
10 .4+
10.2*
5.6*
4.7
4.3
2.5
9.3*
6.9
3.8
3.3
3.6
2.2
4.8 Mean 6.3
OF FERTILIZATION
4.8
J.J
2.8
1.9
B. Potassium saturation (/6)
0-6
6-9
9-t2
r2-15
r5-2r
2l-27
8.4*
5 .9*
5.1x
5.7+
4.0
2.9
5 .3*
/
(x
4.0
3.9
3.1
2.8
7 .7*
5 .5x
6. 3*
6.2*
5 .6*
3.1
1.8
1.8
2.0
2.4
2.7
2.8
2.2
6.8*
5.1*
3.0
2.7
2.1
3.1
3.9 J./ 5.3 3.8 Mean
*Significantly
greater than corresponding value in untreated; L.S,D. (P. 05) values for cation exchange capacity
and for potassium
saturation are 2.0.
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GANADIAN
JOURNAL
OF SOIL SCIENCE lVol.
43
80
z
U
E
L
q
f
6
a
3
40
3 4 5 6 7 I 9 lO ll
NUMBER OF LADINO CLOVER CROPS IN GREENHOUSE.
Frcune 1 Duration of residual effect of potassium applied to an acid sandy- loam podzol'
Field treatmenrs
(per acre): 1.) 600 lb. 5-10-13; 2.) 800 lb. 5-10-13; 3.) Check
-
no treat-
rnent; 4.) 16 tons manure; 5.) 800 lb. 5-10-11
+
8 tons manure.
Availabil.ity of Residu.nl P otassiu:tm
Greenhouse yields without potassiu,m fertilization,
Per
cent-
Potassium
sufficiency, and pbtassium uptake by twelve croPs of clover (Tabl'J 3) show
the accumulated potassium fo be hiig'hly efiectiv-e in supplying crop require-
ments. Soi[ receiving no potassium"inihe
field showedd marled response to
fertilizer potassium in ali crops in the greenhouse'
No response lvas ob-
tained *liere 4160 pounds had been appU.a in the field ex_per-iment from
1931 to 1955. With intermediate rates oT application in the field, a resPonse
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August, 19631 MACLLAN EFFECT OF FERTILIZER. I.
Tesr-e 3.
-
Yroro RESpoNSE AND
poTASSIUM
uprAKE By LADTNo cLovER rN THE
GREENHOUSE
Estimated K
applied in
field experiment
NoK
Ind.25:3.
9. Nelson. W. L.. and G. Stanford. 1958.
havior and fertrlizer use: Residual
Agronomy X:116-118.
Chaneins concepts of
planc nutrient be-
value 5f ipplied
'potassium.
Advances in
Clover yield
in greenhouse
(12 crops)
Potassium
suffrciency
(No K/K X 100)
K uptake
onnoK
plots
K
lb../acre
4160
2080
0
3200
3680
gmJpot
t.tJ
101
69
124
I ZJ
gm.7'pot
148
147
124
151
164
mgm./pot
t72l
l166
538
1804
1918
to fertilizer potassium was obtained during the latter stages of the greenhouse
exPenment.
The duration of the effect of residual K is demonstrated by curves based
on percentage potassium sumciency for each crop (Figure l). This is
directly relaied to the amounts of pbtassium applied during the 24 years of
the fieid experiment. The fact tliat the 416b^pounds pe"r acre p6tassirrm
treatment was able to suDdv 76
per
cent of the
pbtassium requiremens atter
twelve crops had b".n
iioiu.ei
(equivalent t6 30 tons of dry matter
Per
acre) is ample evidence bf the availab'ility of residual potassium.
In assessing availability of soil potassium, the amount taken uP by
*.
crop provides the most ieliable esaimate. Since this approach is usually
impra-tical, chemical analyses involving various chemical extractants are
employed. in this experiment, correlation 6esffisients expressin-g relation-
ship between potassium uptake and levels of exchangeable and of nitric
acid-soluble
potassium
were 0.93 and 0.94 respectively. It is concluded that
either methoh provides a reliable estimate of ihe potissium status of the soil.
REFERENCES
l. Cook, R. L., and
J.
F. Davis. 1957. The residual effect of fertilizer. Advances in
Agronomy lX:205-216.
2. Delone.
.W.
A.. D. C. MacKay, and H. A. Steppler. 1953. Coordinated soil-plant
anllvsis. l. Nutrient cations. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Proc, 17:262-266.
3. Doyle, T. I.. and A. A. Maclean. 1961. use of a soil conditioner to increase the
'preiision
of soil fertility experiments. Can'
J.
Soil Sci' 41:8G88.
+. Dunn, L. E. 1943. Lime-requirement determination of soils by means of titration
curves. Soil Sci. 56:341-351.
5. Hanway,
J.,
G. Stanford, and H. R. Meldrum. 1953. Effectiveness and r.ec^overI of
phosph6rus and poiassium fertilizers topdressed on meadows. Soil Sci. Soc.
Amer. Proc. 17 :378-382.
6. Hoover, C. Dale. 1943. Residual effect of varying applications of potassium in
several Nlississippi soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer' Proc.8:144-149.
7. Iversen, K. 1957. Field trials rvith large and small quantities of potassium feriilizer,
1940-54. Soils and Fertilizers 20:283.
8. Kime, C. D. 19,t4. Leaching of potash from a sandy citrus soil of Florida. Cirus
-/o
91
69
56
82
76
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CANADIAN
JOURNAL
OF SOIL SCIENCE lVol.
43
10.
11.
t2.
13.
Peech, M., L. T. Alexander, L. A. Dean, and I. F. Reed. 1947. Methods of soil
arialysis for soil fertility investigations, U.S:D.A. Circ.757,
Peterburgskii, A. V., and F. V. Yanishevskii. 1960. A study of the behavior of
potaisium in sod-podzolic light Ioamy soil during the prolonged use of fertilizers
under conditions'of continlous fall6w and moioculiures ol
rye
and potatoes.
Soils and Fertilizers 23:207.
Pratt, P. F. 1951. Potassium removal from Iowa soils by greenhouse and laboratory
procedures, Soil Sci. 72:1O7-117,
Robertson, W. K., C. E, Hutton, and W. D. Hanson. 1956, Crop response to
different soil fertility levels in a 5 by 5 by 5 by 2 factoriil experiment" IL Pea-
nuts. Soil Sci. Soc.-Amer. Proc. 20:$7-543.
Struchtemeyer,
R.
A., C. E. Cunningham, and P. N. Carpenter. 1955. Utilization
of residual fertility by potatoes. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Proc. 19:272-214.
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