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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 8 No. 4, p. 493-496
    Received: Sept 15, 1978

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Effects of Phosphorus Fertilizer and Lime on the As, Cr, Pb, and V Content of Soils and Plants1

  1. L. L. Goodroad and
  2. A. C. Caldwell2



The occurrence in fertilizer materials of small quantities of chemical elements not essential to plants suggests that the soil may become contaminated with these elements due to the use of fertilizers. Two experimental sites: a Nicollet clay loam fertilized with 0, 1,111, 2,222, 4,444, and 8,888 kg/ha of concentrated superphosphate (CSP) and 20.2 metric tons of lime, and a Port Byron silt loam fertilized for 19 years with 99, 73, 82, and 352 kg/ha annually of CSP, calcium metaphosphate, phosphoric acid, and southern rock phosphate, respectively, were sampled to determine if significant amounts of arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), or vanadium (V) had been added from use of these fertilizer materials. There was no indication of increased As, Cr, Pb, or V from the addition of P fertilizers to either the Nicollet or Port Byron soils. The addition of lime increased the Cr content of the Nicollet soil by approximately 3 ppm, but there was no increase in As, Pb, or V. There was no increase in As, Cr, Pb, or V from addition of CSP in soil samples from below the Ap horizon to a depth of 47.5 cm. Soil samples from a representative Nicollet soil suggest that higher As, Cr, Pb, and V concentrations in the A and B horizons are due to leaching of CaCO3 into the C horizon. Corn (Zea mays L.) plant growth and grain yields were similar for all CSP and lime treatments. The results of this study indicate that the use of P fertilizers at the rates presently applied would not add substantially to the natural levels of As, Cr, Pb, and V in the soil.

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