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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Sulfuric Acid Applications to Calcareous Soils: Effects on Growth and Chlorophyll Content of Common Bermudagrass in the Greenhouse1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 5, p. 633-637
    Received: Dec 4, 1974

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  1. J. Ryan,
  2. J. L. Stroehlein and
  3. S. Miyamoto2



Iron deficiency is often a serious problem in common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) grown on calcareous soils. This study was carried out .in order to determine the effects of applications of sulfuric acid, an abundant material from the copper industry, on bermudagrass grown on calcareous iron-deficient soils. Cave (Typic Paleorthid) and Stewart (Typic Nadurargid) soils were placed in pots and sulfuric acid was applied 1) to the soil surface, 2) mixed with the soil, 3) as a band, or localized as spots prior to seeding. Ferrous sulfate, iron chelate (Fe-EDDHA), and an iron-bearing copper refining byproduct, “jarosite”, were included for comparison. The 93% H2O4 was the most effective material in increasing growth of the plant material by alleviating iron deficiency, the effect decreasing for the first four of seven harvests over a 1-year period. There was no difference between H2SO4 application methods at equivalent rates. Surface-applied H2SO4 increased chlorophyll concentrations in the plant with increasing rates but was not as effective as either FeSO4 7H2O or Fe-EDDHA. Application of 3% H2SO4 in the irrigation water was as effective as these materials in alleviating chlorosis on a series of previously untreated pots. Results indicate that H2SO4 may be useful for treating iron-deficient bermudagrass, a common turf and seed crop in the Southwest.

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