Ciencia del suelo
versión On-line ISSN 1850-2067
VAZQUEZ, Mabel et al. Basic amendment application effects on alfalfa production in Argentine temperate areas. Cienc. suelo [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.2, pp. 141-154. ISSN 1850-2067.
Natural and anthropic factors may produce soil acidification in temperate areas, causing deficiencies/unbalances of basic nutrients, particularly Ca and Mg. This problem requires regional experimentation to generate regulations for the election of the amendment, rate and application form. The aim of this study was to compare the alfalfa yield of three areas in the argentine temperate region, the basic nutrient concentration in the plants, and the changes in edaphic properties caused by the different rates and types of amendments. Two trials were conducted in Typic Argiudolls and one in an Entic Hapludoll of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe and Córdoba provinces. The treatments consisted in the application of 0 and 700, or 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 kg ha-1 of shell/calcite and dolomite, according to the site. The effect of the additional application of 200 kg ha-1 of gypsum was evaluated. Alfalfa dry matter yield, foliar concentration of Ca and Mg and the effect of the treatments on edaphic properties were measured. The smaller rates (700-1,000 kg ha-1), with or without gypsum, produced the greatest yield increases. These increases were of 9, 16.5 and 18.8% respect to the control, for the trial of Santa Fe (C1000; 6 harvests), Buenos Aires (C1000, 5 harvests) and Córdoba (C700, 10 harvests), respectively, and of 11.7; 14.4 and 9.1% respect to the control, for the trial of Santa Fe (D1000), Buenos Aires (D1000) and Córdoba (D700), respectively. The residuality extended all along the evaluation time (27 months). The treatments did not produce mayor differences in the foliar concentrations of Ca and Mg, although they increased the availability of both nutrients per area unit at the expense of the increase of yield, with maximums of 9.4 kg ha-1 of Ca and 7.6 kg ha-1 of Mg. After two years of liming, the soils still showed the effects in the reduction of the real acidity (0.1-1.1 pH units) and in the potential acidity (0.1-0.9 unit of pH) in the superficial layer. The cationic exchange capacity increased from 0.2 to 5.3 cmol kg-1, and the exchangeable Ca up to a maximum of 2.6 cmol kg-1. Liming produced a negative impact on the extractable P levels, suggesting the need to monitor P levels when following this practice.
Palabras clave : Calcite; Shell; Dolomite; Gypsum; Exchange complex.