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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Liming alkaline clay soils: effects on soil structure, nutrients, barley growth and yield

Gunnarsson, Anita; Blomquist, Jens; Persson, Lars; Olsson, Asa; Hamner, Karin; Berglund, Kerstin

Abstract

Liming before cultivation of sugar beets is favourable even on alkaline soils but knowledge of response in other crops is lacking. Therefore, effects of ground limestone (GL) and structure lime (SL1 slaked lime or SL2 mix of ground limestone and slaked lime) were evaluated in southern Sweden on soil structure, growth and nutrient concentration in barley under four fertilisation strategies 1.5-2 years after application. All lime products increased aggregate stability, but with variations between locations. A lower proportion of large aggregates was found in both limed treatments, and a higher proportion of small aggregates in SL. In barley, grain yield was unaffected while shoot numbers and biomass in first node stage increased for GL and biomass increased further for SL. Structure lime increased potassium concentration in plants in first node stage, due to more potassium in the product. Both lime types increased molybdenum concentration. Ground limestone reduced zinc concentration compared with no liming. Finer seedbed tilth and increased aggregate stability may explain increased biomass for GL. Higher potassium content in SL might be a further explanation. No interactions between liming and fertilisation were found. In conclusion, on the soil types studied, no change of fertilisation strategy is needed due to liming.

Keywords

Aggregate stability; fertilisation; fertiliser placement; Hordeum vulgare; seedbed

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil and Plant Science
2022, Volume: 72, number: 1, pages: 803-817