University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Chemistry
Results are reported of a long-term field trial on acid fine sand soil in which the effects of store dressing with rock phosphate in amounts of 0, 4000, 8000, or 12000 kg/ha was studied comparing them with an annual application of 200 kg/ha of superphosphate using the split plot technique. In the first four years, more thoroughly studied, the response to the store dressing with rock phosphate was distinct both in the dry matter yields and the phosphorus content of the cereal and the red clover-timothy hay. The differences between the various rates of rock phosphate treatments were not statistically significant, though there was some tendency to higher results with larger amounts of rock phosphate. The annual applications of superphosphate as surface dressing to the ley did not brought about any significant increase in the dry matter yield of the rock phosphate plots, and although they tended to increase the phosphorus content of hay, the increase was statistically significant only in a few cases. No effect was found on the phosphorus content of barley grain and straw in the ninth experimental year. No differences were found in the calcium, magnesium, or potassium content of the plant samples from the variously treated plots. Nitrogen content of clover and timothy was increased by both rock phosphate and superphosphate, particularly in the first year ley. In this soil, 4000 kg/ha of rock phosphate was effective enough to produce higher dry matter yields of hay, with equal phosphorus content, than the annual application of 200 kg/ha of superphosphate. Soil analyses indicated that this soil represented the extreme pattern of phosphorus retention in which applied phosphate is almost completely retained as aluminium bound forms of the fluoride soluble fraction supposed to be fairly available. It was suggested that in soils which retain the slowly dissolving rock phosphate phosphorus mainly as less available iron bound forms, heavy applications of rock phosphate will not be a profitable way to improve the phosphorus conditions.
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