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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Subsurface Amendments and Irrigation on Alfalfa Growth1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 77 No. 1, p. 72-75
    Received: Apr 19, 1984

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  1. J. E. Rechcigl,
  2. R. B. Reneau Jr. and
  3. D. E. Starner2



Aluminum toxicity is a major cause of low yields and reduced longevity of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in many areas. This research investigated the effectiveness of subsurface placement (30 cm) of 22 400 kg ha−1of dolomitic lime and varying rates of P and K fertilizer on alfalfa yield. A Davidson clay loam (clayey, kaolinitic, thermic Rhodic Paluedult) soil had subsurface amendments applied 8 years (1969) prior to seeding ‘Arc‘ alfalfa. Yields from 1978 through 1982 increased with plowsole application of lime regardless of irrigation. In 1981, the average increase in yields due to liming was 6.7 and 2.2 Mg ha−,1 while in 1982 the yield increases averaged 4.5 and 3.5 Mg ha−,1 with and without irrigation, respectively. Soil exchangeable AI was reduced and pH and root lengths were increased by plowsole lime. These data indicate that plowsole application of lime in acid soil can increase alfalfa yields.

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