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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 6, p. 1804-1814
     
    Received: June 17, 2011


    * Corresponding author(s): efcaires@uepg.br
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doi:10.2134/agronj2011.0192

Use of Gypsum for Crop Grain Production under a Subtropical No-Till Cropping System

  1. Eduardo F. Caires *a,
  2. Fernando J. Garbuiob,
  3. Susana Churkac and
  4. Hélio A. W. Jorisd
  1. a Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa (UEPG), Dep. of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, Av. Gen. Carlos Cavalvanti, 4748, 84030-900, Ponta Grossa, Parana, Brazil
    b Instituto Federal Catarinense, Campus Sombrio, Rua das Rosas s/n, 88965-000, Santa Rosa do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil
    c Universidade de São Paulo (USP), College of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz, Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition, P.O. Box. 9, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
    d Instituto Agronômico de Campinas, Av. Barão de Itapura 1481, P.O. Box 28, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Research supported by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnolόgico), and CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior)

Abstract

Gypsum has been used in tropical and subtropical agriculture when subsoil acidity is an important yield-limiting factor. However, the conditions that promote increased crop yield as a result of gypsum addition in no-till (NT) systems still remain unclear. A field trial examined the effects of newly and previously surface-applied gypsum in a long-term NT system on the soil chemical properties and nutrition and yield of corn (Zea mays L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] on a clayey Rhodic Hapludox in Parana State, Brazil. Gypsum was surface-applied at 0 and 6 Mg ha−1 in 2004 on plots that had received gypsum previously at 0, 3, 6, and 9 Mg ha−1 in 1998. Surface-applied gypsum newly and previously improved exchangeable Ca and SO4–S availability throughout the soil profile, and increased the cumulative grain yield of the crops. Exchangeable K losses through leaching caused by gypsum application were low, and a larger mobility of exchangeable Mg as compared with exchangeable K in soil was found as a result of gypsum addition. An increase in Ca content in the corn, wheat, and soybean leaves, and in S content in the corn and wheat leaves occurred following the gypsum application. The use of gypsum showed economic viability to maximize crop grain production in a long-term NT soil with a sufficient level of exchangeable Ca (≥8 mmolc dm−3) and low levels of exchangeable Al (≤4 mmolc dm−3) and Al saturation (≤15%) in the subsoil layers (20–60 cm).

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