The Effect of Synthetic Soil Conditioners on Soil Structure and Production of Sugar Beets1
- Howard R. Haise,
- L. R. Jensen and
- Joseph Alessi2
Two synthetic soil additives, VAMA and HPAN, were broadcast on a glaciated Williams loam subsoil at rates of 0, 500, 1,000, and 1,800 pounds per acre and rototilled to a depth of 6 inches with and without 20 tons of manure. Sugar beets were selected as an indicator crop to measure treatment differences. Nitrogen and phosphorus (P2O5) were side dressed each at the rate of 100 pounds per acre. Physical measurements included aggregate analysis, aeration porosity, water holding capacity, total porosity and bulk density.
In general, VAMA produced a greater change in the physical condition of the soil than did HPAN irrespective of the determinations made. Percent aggregation for any given size range, the mean-weight diameter and aeration porosity progressively increased as the rate of material applied was increased. Differences between mean-weight diameters and percent aggregation of untreated plots as compared to those which received 500 pounds of VAMA were significant, whereas 1,000 pounds of HPAN were required to obtain similar differences.
Regardless of the apparent improvement in soil structure, a significant decrease in yield was obtained with increased rates of VAMA and HPAN under conditions of this experiment. In fact, the decrease was linear and highly significant for both formulations, and either with or without manure. In other words, beet yields were decreased 0.52 tons for each 500 pounds of soil additives applied. There were no significant interactions among VAMA and HPAN, rates and manure.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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