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Distribution of fertilizer residues in the soil after fourteen years of a fertilizer experiment with alfalfa

Metzger, W.H.
Agronomy journal 1934 v.26 no.7 pp. 620-625
animal manures, Medicago sativa, continuous cropping, phosphorus, potassium, soil depth, superphosphate, rock phosphate, potassium sulfate, sodium nitrate, soil pH, exchangeable cations, application rate, Kansas
Soil samples taken at various depths from the plats of a 14-year-old alfalfa stand were analyzed to determine the distribution of phosphorus and potassium residues from annual top dressings of various fertilizers. Phosphorus from superphosphate accumulated in considerable amount at the surface but penetrated the soil only in small amounts where applied alone. Less easily soluble phosphorus was found low in the profile of plats treated with superphosphate and K2SO4 and with K2SO4 alone than in "no treatment" plats. Marked movement of phosphorus was indicated where rock phosphate was applied. Movement was also noted where a complete fertilizer including NaNO3 was used. Potassium movement was not marked in any case and was limited to the surface 9 to 12 inches. Where K2SO4 was applied alone slightly more than one-half the potassium applied remained as a residue in the surface 6 inches. It was more completely utilized by the alfalfa when applied with other fertilizer salts. Surface applied lime penetrated the soil only about 6 inches during the 14-year period.