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The longevity of sodium potassium and magnesium fertilizer residual effects on the yield and composition of rye grass grown on a sandy soil

, : The longevity of sodium potassium and magnesium fertilizer residual effects on the yield and composition of rye grass grown on a sandy soil. Journal of Agricultural Science 91(3): 693-700

A field experiment testing the effects of potassium and magnesium sulfates applied 1960-1967 and NaCl applied in 1966 and 1967 on a range of crops was sown with ryegrass in 1967. Only basal N and P was given to all plots until 1971 when basal K was also applied. The experiment terminated in autumn 1974. Grass yields were increased by K residues for 3-5 yr but overall yields became small due to K deficiency. After giving basal K, residual K no longer increased yields but did slightly increase percent K in the grass until the end of the experiment. Some residual K from the 1960-7 dressings was found in the sandy loam soil after the final harvest. Mg fertilizer residues slightly increased grass yields in the 1967-70 period but not later. Percent Mg in the grass dry matter was increased by the residues for the whole 7.5 yr period. Exchangeable Mg was also increased in soil sampled after the final harvest, especially in the 23-46 cm subsoil. Na fertilizer residues increased grass yields until the basal K was applied, especially on plots without added K. Significant increases in percent Na in the grass and Na uptakes were detectable in all years, i.e., up to 7.5 yr after the last Na application. This finding is contrary to most accepted views on the longevity of Na fertilizer effects and could be important in areas where Na deficiencies in cattle and sheep occur. Increases in percent Cl in the grass from the NaCl were only detectable in the first 2 cuts in the year following the final application.

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