Cereal Crop Emergence And Early Root Establishment In Acidic Sandy Subsoil Ameliorated With Lime And Gypsum

GRDC - Gaus Azam, Chris Gazey, Craig Scanlan, Mario F. D'Antuono, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: “Liming on its own did not improve emergence of barley seedling on acidic subsoil but gypsum application at higher rates significantly delayed plant emergence. Combining lime with gypsum eliminated negative effects of gypsum on the number of days required to achieve ED75. A reduction in early seedling emergence time of two days could be an advantage in farming areas that receive small amounts of rainfall during sowing and there is only a small window for young seedlings to grow roots into comparatively moist subsoil. This was proven as we found that increasing lime rates resulted in an enormous increase in total root length and decreased average root diameter due to enhanced production of secondary and fine roots. Application of gypsum only did not affect root characteristics, however, when gypsum was added with higher rates of lime, it enhanced the positive effect of lime on total root length”.   Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.

Key messages from the paper include:

  • 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.

2018 - Australia - GRDC - Gaus Azam, Chris Gazey, Craig Scanlan, Mario F. D'Antuono, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
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