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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 6, p. 1025-1029
    Received: Jan 25, 1980

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Manure and Inorganic Fertilizer Effects on Sorghum and Sunflower Growth on Iron-Deficient Soil1

  1. A. C. Mathers,
  2. J. D. Thomas,
  3. B. A. Stewart and
  4. J. E. Herring2



Iron chlorosis occur in grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] and other Fe-inefficient crops on calcareous soils in spots throughout the Great Plains. Economical control of Fe deficiency in these crops will allow them to be grown in places where they are otherwise not adapted.

Grain sorghum (‘Dekalb E-59’) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. ‘Hybrid 896’) crops were grown on Arch fine sandy loam (Ustochreptic Calciorthid of the fineloamy, mixed thermic family) to compare their growth on calcareous soil and to study the effects of soil treatments with beef feedlot manure (11 and 33 metric tons of dry matter/ha), and inorganic N, P, and Fe (168-56-22) kg/ha) fertilizer. Sunflower seed yield was not changed significantly by any of the treatments. In 1977, the second year of the study, sorghum grain yield where N + P was applied was about half that of the check plot. However, in 1978 forage yield was reduced only about 10% below the check by N + P. Iron-deficiency symptoms in sorghum were very severe on both check and N + P treatments; many sorghum plants died and others did not produce heads. When 22 kg/ha Fe was added with the N + P, grain yield was increased 66% over the check in 1977, and forage yield was twice that of check in 1978. Sorghum grain yield where manure was applied was three times the yield on check lots in 1977, indicating that manure keeps both Fe anZP available for use by grain sorghum on calcareous soil. The study also showed that sunflower is not highly sensitive to iron deficiency and could serve as an alternative crop for iron-deficient soils.

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