The toxicity of sodium arsenite and sodium chlorate in four California soils
AuthorA. S. Crafts
Author AffiliationsA. S. Crafts was Assistant Botanist in the Experiment Station.
Hilgardia 9(9):459-498. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v09n09p459. July 1935.
Abstract does not appear. First page follows.
Soil sterilization by means of chemicals has been practiced for many years. Among the agents used, arsenic is the most prominent. Recognized years ago(8), (14) as particularly effective, it has been recommended by many workers(3), (7), (13), (15) for controlling weeds in drives, walks, tennis courts, and various waste areas.
More recently the need for cheap and practical soil-sterilization methods has been indicated by consideration of(1) the dissemination by irrigation waters of the seeds from weeds growing on the ditchbanks,(2) the blocking of irrigation and drainage ditches by overhanging weed growth,(3) the harboring of insect pests and plant diseases by weeds in waste areas, and(4) the fire hazards of dry vegetation near roads, firebreaks, buildings, and fences.
That the methods described in the literature have found such limited use is apparently explained by the lack of fundamental knowledge regarding the behavior of arsenic in soils. There is no basis for interpreting critically the results obtained in the field. When the responses of soils to arsenic treatment are clearly understood and when more satisfactory methods are devised for applying arsenic under field conditions, this chemical should be far more widely used as a soil sterilant.
A satisfactory agent for killing deep-rooted perennial weeds through the soil has long been sought. Aslander(1), (2) showed that sodium chlorate may be successfully used for this purpose. Although his results were apparently overlooked in the hurried attempts to solve the country’s weed problems by the use of this chemical as a foliage spray, recent works(6), (9), (10), (11) point to soil treatment as the more logical method and indicate the need of a more consistent and reliable control practice than has been existent. Studies on the behavior of sodium chlorate in four western soils should assist materially the formulation of this practice.
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