Influence of soil nitrogen fertilisers on soil acidification in Papua New Guinea

Banabas, Murom, Nelson, Paul N., and Webb, Mike J. (2015) Influence of soil nitrogen fertilisers on soil acidification in Papua New Guinea. In: ACIAR Proceedings (144), p. 44. From: Workshop on Sustainable Management of Soil in Oil Palm Plantings, 7-8 November 2013, Medan, Indonesia.

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Abstract

Soil acidification is a worldwide concern with many cropping systems where nitrogen fertilisers are used. Inorganic N fertilisers are generally used to improve and maintain high yields especially with oil palm, however little is known on their effects on soil acidification in tree crops especially oil palm cropping systems. This study looked at the effects of different sources of N fertilisers on soil pH and suggests strategies to sustainably grow oil palm in Papua New Guinea.

Soil samples were collected in a grid designed from a nitrogen fertiliser trial that has been receiving five different N fertiliser types for more than eight years. The palms were receiving nitrogen at 0, 420, 840 and 1680 g N/palm/year. Soil pH was measured for composite samples for all the plots and individual grid points for two of the plots that received the highest AMC rates.

The effect of N fertiliser types and the rates significantly (p<0.001) reduced soil pH but the effects reduced with depth. At the highest N rate, AMC had the most effect in reducing pH to depths greater than 90 cm while urea had the least. However at the normal N rates, pH was reduced by 0.2 – 0.4 units. pH was highly variable between 3.86 and 6.87 at different grid points and was significantly different (p<0.001) between the points. Soil acidification at different grid points was a function of N fertiliser management. Alternating use of different N sources and use of empty fruit bunches are recommended to minimise acidification rates.

Item ID: 31524
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISBN: 978-1-925133-63-9
ISSN: 1038-6920
Related URLs:
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2014 00:52
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science) @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management @ 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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