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Exchangeable potassium and potassium balances in organic crop rotations on a coarse sandy soil

Askegaard, Margrethe; Eriksen, Jørgen and Olesen, Jørgen E. (2003) Exchangeable potassium and potassium balances in organic crop rotations on a coarse sandy soil. Soil Use and Management, 19, pp. 96-103.

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Crops on sandy soils (<5% clay) are exposed to K deficiency due to the small release and high leaching losses of K. Reliable tools are needed to improve the K management in cropping systems with limited K input, such as organic farming where import of nutrients are restricted according to the EC regulations. We investigated K balances and exchangeable K (Kexch) changes in an organic crop rotation experiment. Potassium leaching decreased from 42 kg ha-1 in 1998/99 to 21 kg ha-1 in 2000/01 as an average of a crop rotation (spring barley, grass-clover, winter wheat and pea/barley) with manure application and without catch crops. In the same period, spring Kexch decreased from 5.0 to 3.0 mg K 100 g-1 soil (0-20 cm). The retention of the straw K left in the field after harvest increased with decreasing levels of Kexch. The cereal crops did not respond to K application but in the pea/barley mixture the pea yield increased by 46%. The concordance between measured K balances and changes in Kexch was weak. Exchangeable K is suitable as a tool for K management on a crop rotational basis, and a Kexch above 3 mg 100 g-1 soil in the autumn should be avoided to minimize K leaching.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > IV.1 (EXUNIT) Experimental units for research in organic farming systems
Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > CROPSYS - The effect of cropping systems on production and the environment
Denmark > CROPSYS
Deposited By: Askegaard, Margrethe
ID Code:3898
Deposited On:22 Oct 2004
Last Modified:06 Jun 2022 15:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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