University of California

The chemical effect of gypsum, sulfur, iron sulfate, and alum on alkali soil


W. P. Kelley
Alexander Arany

Authors Affiliations

W. P. Kelley was Professor of Agricultural Chemistry in the Graduate School of Tropical Agriculture and Chemist in the Experiment Station; Alexander Arany was Chemical Engineer of the Royal Hungarian Agrochemical Experiment Station, Debrecen, Hungary. The chemical studies reported in this paper were carried out by the junior author while working in the Citrus Experiment Station under a Fellowship granted by the International Education Board. These data were first discussed in a manuscript which the junior author prepared for publication in Hungary. Since the form and method of treatment employed therein seemed to be not well suited for publication in California, it was decided to write an entirely new manuscript. The interpretation of the data and general conclusions that are drawn are similar in these two papers.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 3(14):393-420. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n14p393. September 1928.

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Until recently the toxicity of alkali soils was attributed almost exclusively to the presence of an excess. of one or more of the soluble salts, and the general opinion has been that the toxic conditions will be removed by leaching out the soluble salts, Where sodium carbonate occurs Hilgard pointed out that it may be necessary to apply some substance, such as gypsum, which will convert the carbonate into a neutral salt; otherwise it may be difficult or even impossible to leach out the soluble salts, owing to the deflocculated condition of the soil that is produced by alkali carbonates. In any case the prevailing opinion has been that the removal of the soluble salts will overcome the toxic conditions. Numerous attempts have been made to reclaim alkali soils by applying this idea. In some instances good success has been obtained; in others the results have been disappointing.

Literature Cited

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Kelley W, Arany A. 1928. The chemical effect of gypsum, sulfur, iron sulfate, and alum on alkali soil. Hilgardia 3(14):393-420. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v03n14p393
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