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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 2 No. 2, p. 310-314
    Received: July 1, 1972

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Effect of Detergent Application on the Growth of Corn1

  1. J. N. Judy,
  2. D. C. Martens and
  3. W. Kroontje2



A greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine the effects of two detergents on the growth of corn (Zea mays L.) on Davidson clay loam and Norfolk fine sandy loam. A heavy-duty non-enzyme detergent (Bz) and a heavy-duty enzyme detergent (Tx) were applied to the soils in watering solutions at concentrations of 0, 20, 800, 1,600, 4,800, 8,000, 10,000, 12,000, and 14,000 ppm. Stimulations in growth occurred on the Davidson soil that received the 1,600 ppm Bz or the 800, 1,600, 4,800, and 8,000 ppm Tx solutions and on the Norfolk soil that received the 800 ppm Tx solution. These stimulations were attributed to responses to P contained in the detergents. Yield decreases occurred on the Davidson soil that received solutions containing 8,000 through 14,000 ppm Bz or 14,000 ppm Tx, and on the Norfolk soil that received solutions containing 1,600 through 14,000 ppm Bz or 4,800 through 14,000 ppm Tx. These yield decreases were attributed to soluble salt damage from the Na salts contained in the detergents on all treatments, except where Tx was applied to the Norfolk soil. In the latter case, specific Na salts effects could not be separated from general salinity effects. Plants grown on the Davidson soil were more tolerant to detergent applications than those grown on the Norfolk soil, probably because of the greater salt retention of the former soil. It was concluded that the changes in soil pH and B availability due to detergent applications were not responsible for the yield decreases in this study.

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