Limited movement of fertiliser-derived Mg and K through volcanic ash and alluvial clay soils of Papua New Guinea

Berthelsen, Suzanne, Webb, Michael J., and Nelson, Paul N. (2010) Limited movement of fertiliser-derived Mg and K through volcanic ash and alluvial clay soils of Papua New Guinea. In: Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science. pp. 140-143. From: 19th World Congress of Soil Science, 1-6 August 2010, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Crop symptoms of K and Mg deficiency are common on the coastal plains of Papua New Guinea. It was hypothesised that fertiliser uptake efficiency in oil palm is limited in these environments due to leaching loss resulting from high rainfall and high soil exchangeable Ca contents. Two field experiments were carried out on volcanic ash soils to determine the effect of fertiliser type (MgSO4, MgO or MgCO3) on movement of Mg. In one trial the fertilisers were applied to 36-palm plots over a period of 3 years before soil sampling. In the other trial the fertilisers were applied evenly over 4 m2 plots and the soil was sampled after 42 days and 1 year. A third field experiment, in which various rates of K fertiliser had been applied to an alluvial clay soil over a period of 13 years (36-palm plots), was sampled to determine the depth to which K had moved. Concentration profiles and mass balances showed that neither Mg nor K moved deeper than 0.6 m depth in any of the trials. In the K trial, approximately half of the fertiliser-derived K was fixed in non-exchangeable form. Results suggest that loss of K or Mg by leaching is not of concern in these environments.

Item ID: 11747
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-646-53783-2
Keywords: exchangeable cations; K fixation; kieserite; magnesium carbonate; magnesium oxide; oil palm
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Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2010 23:11
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070306 Crop and Pasture Nutrition @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 50%
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