Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 59
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SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT NUTRITION 59
Slightly over one-fourth of the boron applied at the 12- and 24-pound
rates was in the top 8 inches of soil in the fall of 1950, but in 1952
this layer of soil contained only 10 and 15 percent of the respective
amounts applied. Where 6 pounds per acre was used, adequate boron
for alfalfa remained in the soil after 2 years. Neither orchardgrass
nor smooth bromegrass was injured by rates of boron normally applied
Amounts of trace elements in soils
The South Carolina station found wide differences between the cobalt
content of soils. Piedmont soils derived from basic diorite and
basalt rocks ranged from 54 to 135 p. p. m. of total cobalt, whereas
those from acid igneous rocks such as granite, gneiss, and shist contained
only 1.5 to 3.25 p. p. m. Soils derived from mixed basic and
igneous parent materials were intermediate, ranging from 4.7 to 24
p. p. m. of cobalt.
In contrast to the soils of the Piedmont Plateau, the sandy soils of
the Coastal Plain contained very small amounts of total cobalt, varying
from 0.85 to 1.85 p. p. m. Certain of the lower-lying bottom and
terrace soils of the Coastal Plain, however, contained up to 39.5 p. p. m.
The South Carolina findings show that there is much more uniformity
in the molybdenum content than in the cobalt content of
soils. Soils ranged from 0.65 to 2.42 p. p. m. in molybdenum content,
with an average of 1.25.
The Hawaiian station found that the fixation of zinc by soils with
high pH does not play a dominant role in causing zinc deficiency.
Response to applications of zinc was obtained only on the highly
weathered acidic soils (pH 4 to 5) in the moderate and high rainfall
areas. Alfalfa and tomato were found to be good indicator plants
for studying availability of zinc in soils. Plant analyses were contradictory
to the response patterns, however, since plants grown on
the acidic soils where response was obtained contained the most zinc.
Manner of handling soil samples
The Iowa station found that the manner of handling soil samples
is important because the amount of either water-soluble or exchangeable
manganese may be increased by air-drying, heating, or steam
sterilization in certain soil types. Both forms of manganese were
greatly increased in Marion soil by air-drying, but there was no
change in the case of Grundy soil. Ovendrying at 110 C. gave
marked increases in both soils, but the effect was greatest in the
Marion. There was little added effect in this soil when it was heated
to 250, but a large increase occurred in the Grundy. Steam sterilization
resulted in large increases in both forms of manganese in the
two soils, regardless of previous treatments such as heating, desiccation,
or rewetting. Both water-soluble and exchangeable manganese
increased in amounts with steam sterilization up to 9.5 hours. It
is believed that the effects of steam sterilization and moisture may
be independent, but that when the treatments are combined their
effects are additive.
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/61/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.