Cereal crop emergence and early root establishment in acidic sandy subsoil ameliorated with lime and gypsum

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Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)




  • Lime application on its own had no effect on crop emergence but high rates of gypsum slowed plant emergence by 2 days. Application of lime with gypsum, however, eliminated the negative emergence impact of gypsum by reducing the number of days required to achieve 75% plant emergence which could be an advantage especially in farming areas that are sown dry and/or receive a small rainfall event during sowing.
  • Increasing the lime rate increased total root length by up to 14-fold through the production of secondary and fine root systems which may allow young seedlings to grow their roots into comparatively moist subsoil. This can be advantage where the crop experiences a dry spell following germination.
  • Early seedling emergence and enhanced root growth were achieved due to an increase in soil pH and a decrease in Al concentration where lime increased pH of acidic subsoil but gypsum did not. Combined application of lime and gypsum was found to be more efficient than applying either lime or gypsum alone.


Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Soil Science


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