Comparison of Extractants for Calibrating Phosphorus Application Rates in a Calcareous Soil

in HortScience

Preplant soil testing is essential for optimizing phosphorus (P) fertilization and minimizing the potential for soil P losses. Currently, there is no effective soil P extractant for calcareous soils in Florida. This study was conducted to compare Mehlich-3, ammonium bicarbonate–diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (AB-DTPA), and Olsen for evaluating P availability, estimating soil-test P (STP) critical levels, and calibrating P application rates for fresh-market tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) production in a calcareous soil. Tomatoes were grown during Winter 2014 and 2015 with P application rates of 0, 29, 49, 78, 98, and 118 kg·ha‒1 P. Water-extractable P (water-P) and dissolved reactive P (DRP) in leachate were used to determine the STP change point of leaching potential. Results showed the greatest correlation occurred between Mehlich-3 and Olsen of the three STP extractants. For Mehlich-3-P, the medium STP level (producing 75% to 90% relative yield) was predicted from 76 to 89 mg·kg‒1 and the change point was predicted at 88 or 104 mg·kg‒1 by split-line models. The P requirement was calculated from 52 to 112 kg·ha‒1 when Mehlich-3-P was rated as low level (producing 50% to 75% relative yield), which was from 42 to 76 mg·kg‒1. The multiple regression models using AB-DTPA-P and Olsen-P could not predict either the medium STP level or the practical P application rates for the low level. Consequently, based on 2 years of data, Mehlich-3 was the most effective extractant for estimating soil P availability and calibrating P rates in calcareous soils with an extremely high calcium carbonate (CaCO3) content.

Contributor Notes

This research was funded by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Program No. 2662019QD016).

We are grateful to Guiqin Yu and Jose Castillo, University of Florida/Tropical Research and Education Center, for their help in crop management and data collection

Corresponding author. E-mail: zhuqiang@mail.hzau.edu.cn.

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Article Figures

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    Correlation of soil-test phosphorus (P) concentrations extracted by Mehlich-3, ammonium bicarbonate–diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (AB-DTPA), and Olsen. Number of data points was 180 (6 treatments × 3 replications × 5 sampling dates × 2 seasons). X0, change point of soil-test P; S.E., standard error for the change point.

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    Tomato relative yield as estimated by multiple regression models using phosphorus (P) fertilizer application rates and preplant soil-test P extracted by (A) Mehlich-3, (B) ammonium bicarbonate–diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (AB-DTPA), and (C) Olsen.

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    Relationships between soil-test phosphorus (P) extracted by Mehlich-3, ammonium bicarbonate–diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (AB-DTPA), and Olsen and soil solution P extracted by water. Number of data points was 180 (6 treatments × 3 replications × 5 sampling dates × 2 seasons). X0, change point of soil-test P; S.E., standard error for the change point.

  • View in gallery

    Relationships between soil-test phosphorus (P) extracted by Mehlich-3, ammonium bicarbonate–diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (AB-DTPA), and Olsen and dissolved reactive P (DRP) in leachate. Number of data points was 78 [(4 treatments × 3 sampling dates + 1 treatments × 1 sampling date) × 3 replications × 2 seasons]. X0, change point of soil-test P; S.E., standard error for the change point.

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