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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effect of Soil Moisture and Depth of Application on Retention of Anhydrous Ammonia1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 20 No. 4, p. 557-561
    Received: Sept 10, 1955

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  1. Frank A. Stanley and
  2. G. E. Smith2



A procedure for the accurate application of small quantities of anhydrous ammonia to soil and measurement of losses has been developed. Retention of ammonia was high when applied to soils of optimum moisture content, or when placed at least 6 inches deep in dry soil. Losses were much greater when applied to wet soils. The loss from wet soil was gradual, indicating the escape was not from the knife openings. When anhydrous ammonia equivalent to 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre in 40-inch spacings was applied, some soils could not adsorb this amount in the diffusion area. As moisture evaporated from the surface, the ammonia moved upward and was lost. When ammonia was released in the soil, movement upward was greater than to the side or below the point of release. Movement and retention were greater in cloddy soil than where there was good crumb structure. Anhydrous ammonia increased the availability of phosphorus, had little effect on exchangeable potassium, but depressed the availability of calcium. The magnitude of the effects of ammonia on these ions is probably of little practical importance.

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