Searching for an Ideal Soil Extractant for Determining Sulfur in Sandy Soils

C. E. Esmel, B. M. Santos, J. E. Rechcigl, G. Toor, E. H. Simonne, J. W. Noling

Abstract


Soil testing could provide useful information for developing fertilizer programs for S fertilization. No reliable correlation has been found between soil extractable S or SO4-S and plant yield. The S fertilizer recommendations were not soil test based and relied upon leaf analysis results. The objectives of this study were to 1) compare soil extractants for SO4-S over selected soil samples and 2) compare these SO4-S values to total S in plant tissues and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) yield. Fifty-two paired soil from Spodosols and tomato leaf samples were collected for total S and SO4-S determination. Soil extracting solutions used were Mehlich-3, de-ionized water, and 0.025 M KCl. Linear regression analysis and slope comparison against an ideal linear regression line were used. Relationships between various soil extraction solutions and plant tissue S or tomato yield were found to be variable with low R2 values (<0.70). These results suggest that the predictability of any soil extractant with tomato plant tissue S or yield was low, thereby rendering a soil test based on these extractions unpractical. Hence, the current Florida recommendation for S using plant analysis should continue to be utilized.

Keywords


soil testing, plant analysis, fertilizer recommendations, crop nutrition, soil test calibration, Spodosols

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References


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