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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Calcium Sulfate on Iron and Zinc Uptake in Sorghum1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 5, p. 923-925
    Received: July 16, 1981

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  1. R. A. Bowman and
  2. S. R. Olsen2



In a recent report, Olsen and Watanabe found significant increases in uptake of Fe and Zn in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench. var. RS-610) due to calcium sulfate treatments in four of six soils. Our research extended this sulfate × micronutrient interaction study to evaluate the possible ameliorative effect of sulfate on Fe and Zn as influenced by P and CaCO3 levels. A greenhouse factorial experiment was designed using two levels of P, sulfate, and CaCO3 in a Nunn loam soil (fine, montmorillonitic mesic Aridic Argiustoll) with sorghum as the test plant. Plants were grown for 60 days, and then sectioned into top leaves, bottom leaves, and stems. Data collected included dry matter, and P, Fe, and Zn concentrations in the various parts.

Dry matter yields and P concentrations were increased with added P treatments. Phosphorus with added CaCO3 resulted in the lowest Fe and Zn concentrations in the top leaves while P with added sulfate resulted in the highest. These treatment effects were generally reversed in the bottom leaves. Phosphorus, and Fe and Zn, showed different mobility relationships. Total Fe uptake was increased 20% and Zn uptake also tended to increase with added sulfate. Apparently, the top leaves were supplied with Fe through internal transfer of Fe from bottom to top leaves, and external transfer (soil), while the Zn transfer was largely through internal transfer processes.

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