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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOP AND IMPROVE STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF IRRIGATED AGRICULTURAL CROPS AND SOILS

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Use of Fly Ash as a Liming Material for Corn and Soybean Production on an Acidic Sandy Soil

Authors
item Tarkalson, David
item Shapiro, C -
item Petersen, J -

Submitted to: Crop Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2010
Publication Date: April 26, 2010
Repository URL: http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/cm/research/2010/flyash/
Citation: Tarkalson, D.D., Shapiro, C.A., Petersen, J.L. 2010. Use of Fly Ash as a Liming Material for Corn and Soybean Production on an Acidic Sandy Soil. Crop Management [online]. Available: http://www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/sub/cm/research/2010/flyash/.

Interpretive Summary: Fly ash produced from subbituminous coal combustion can potentially serve as a lime material for crop production in acidic soils in areas. A five-year study was conducted to determine if fly ash can be used as a liming material in an acid sandy soil under corn and soybean grain production. Fly ash and pelletized lime were surface applied at rates ranging from 0.5 to 2 times the recommended lime rate at two sites near Brunswick, NE. Lime sources increased soil pH and decreased soil exchangeable Al to a depth of 20 cm. Lime source additions did not change corn and soybean grain yields compared to when no lime was added. This lack of difference was likely due to soluble Al concentrations not being great enough to affect grain yield. Fly ash did not negatively affect grain yields in this study. The FA applied at rates in this study, increased pH comparable to pelletized lime and is an appropriate liming material.

Technical Abstract: Fly ash (FA) produced from subbituminous coal combustion can potentially serve as a lime material for crop production in acidic soils in areas. A five-year study was conducted to determine if FA can be used as a liming material in an acid sandy soil under corn and soybean grain production. Fly ash and pelletized lime (PL) were surface applied at rates ranging from 0.5 to 2 times the recommended lime rate at two sites near Brunswick, NE. At Site A, lime source additions increased soil pH by 0.7 units and decreased soil exchangeable Al by 7.3 mg/kg to a depth of 20 cm. Lime applications resulted in pH increase during the first year (2004) at the 0-10 cm depth, and in 2007 at the 10-20 cm depth. At Site B, soil pH data suggested that one or more past lime applications may have occurred. Corn and soybean grain yields were not different during each year between the control and lime source treatments at both sites. This lack of difference was likely due to soluble Al concentrations not being great enough to affect grain yield. Fly ash did not negatively affect grain yields in this study. Boron concentration (400 mg B/kg) in FA were likely too low to adversely affect yields. The FA applied at rates in this study, increased pH comparable to PL and is an appropriate liming material.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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