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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing Sustainable Cropping Systems to Improve Water Productivity and Protect Water and Soil Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Acidification rate from chemical N fertilization and alleviation by manure in an 18–year field experiment in a ferralic cambisol, South China

Authors
item Cai, Zejiang -
item Wang, Bairen -
item Xu, Minggang -
item Zhang, Huimin -
item Xinhua, He -
item Zhang, Lu -
item Gao, Suduan

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2013
Publication Date: November 3, 2013
Citation: Cai, Z., Wang, B., Xu, M., Zhang, H., Xinhua, H., Zhang, L., Gao, S. 2013. Acidification rate from chemical N fertilization and alleviation by manure in an 18–year field experiment in a ferralic cambisol, South China. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 406-2.

Technical Abstract: Soil acidification from chemical N fertilization has worsened and is a major yield-limiting factor in the red soils of southern China. Assessment of the acidification process under field conditions over a long term is essential to develop strategies for maintaining soil productivity. The objective of this study was to quantify soil acidification rates from chemical fertilizers and determine the annual amount of manure needed to alleviate the acidification process from long-term (1990-2008) field applications in a wheat-corn cropping system. Treatments included non-fertilized control, chemical N only (N), chemical N and P (NP), chemical N, P and K (NPK), pig manure only (M), and NPK plus M (NPKM; 70% total N from M). Annual soil sampling and analysis were carried out. Soil pH decreased sharply from an initial pH of 5.7 and then stabilized after 8 to 12 years of fertilization in N, NP, and NPK treatments with a final pH of 4.2, 4.5, and 4.5, respectively. These three treatments significantly increased soil exchangeable acidity dominated by Al, decreased soil exchangeable Ca2+ and Mg2+, and elevated acidification rates (from 3.2 to 3.9 kmol (H+) ha-1 yr-1). In contrast, the manure applications (M or NPKM) showed either an increase or no change in soil pH and increases in soil exchangeable base cations. This research concluded that as 70% total N source, continuous manure application can fully prevent or reverse red soil acidification process. As an effective animal waste management tool, manure incorporation into acidic soil promotes the overall agricultural sustainability.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014
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