University of California

Gypsum, sulfur, and sulfuric acid for reclaiming an alkali soil of the Fresno series


Roy Overstreet
J. C. Martin
H. M. King

Authors Affiliations

Roy Overstreet was Professor of Soil Chemistry and Soil Chemist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley; J. C. Martin was Associate Chemist in the Experiment Station, Division of Plant Nutrition, Berkeley; H. M. King was Principal Laboratory Technician in Soils, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 21(5):113-127. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n05p113. November 1951.

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This paper is a report of recent experiments in the use of gypsum, sulfuric acid, and sulfur in the reclamation of a severely affected alkali soil of the Fresno series. Effects of the soil correctives on the yield of irrigated pasture are compared statistically.

Treatment consisted of applications of the chemicals on the basis of the same sulfur content (1.86 tons) per acre. Resulting yields of the sulfuric-acid plots (5.70 tons H2SO4 per acre) were markedly higher than those of the gypsum (10 tons per acre) and sulfur plots over the two-year period following treatment.

Yields of the sulfur plots were never significantly higher than those of the check plots, probably because the sulfur had not had time to oxidize. Yields of the gypsum plots were significantly higher than the sulfur-plot yields for the initial cuttings, but 20 months after application there was no significant difference.

Reduced H2SO4 applications on the same soil (2.85 and 1.42 tons per acre) also gave pronounced beneficial effects. Greenhouse experiments indicate that improvement may be expected from applications as small as 0.4 tons H2SO4 per acre.

Literature Cited

Bower C. A. Availability of ammonium fixed in difficultly exchangeable form by soils of semi-arid regions. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. Proc. 1950. 15:119-22.

Kelley W. P. The reclamation of alkali soils. Calif. Agr. Expt. Sta. Bul. 1937. 617:1-40. (Out of print.) DOI: 10.1017/S0021859600012454 [CrossRef]

Richards L. A. Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. 1947. Riverside, Calif.: U. S. Dept. Agr., Bureau of Plant Industry, Soils, and Agricultural Engineering, U. S. (Regional) Salinity Laboratory. 157p. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-195408000-00012 [CrossRef]

Overstreet R, Martin J, King H. 1951. Gypsum, sulfur, and sulfuric acid for reclaiming an alkali soil of the Fresno series. Hilgardia 21(5):113-127. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n05p113
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