Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Effect of Various Soil Amendments on Calcium and Magnesium Availability.

Marcia LaCorbiniere-Jn-Baptiste and Darryl Warncke. Michigan State University, A574 PSS Building, East Lansing, MI 48824

An experiment was conducted to assess the impact of various soil amendments on the availability of calcium and magnesium, using sweet corn as an index plant.  The treatment design involved three factors, gypsum application with two levels (applied or not applied), compost application with two levels (applied or not applied), and cover crops with 6 levels (five covers, including no cover). The statistical model included the three studied factors and all the interactions among them as fixed effects, and replication (blocks) as a random effect.  Soil sampling was done in Spring 2005, Fall 2005, and Spring 2006.  Compost application significantly increased calcium levels for all three seasons; had no significant effect on magnesium in Fall 2005, but was significant in Spring for both years.  There were no significant interactions among cover crops, compost and gypsum with regards to calcium levels and no significant difference between the gypsum and no gypsum treatments for both magnesium and calcium levels. Cover treatments significantly enhanced magnesium levels in Fall 2005, but no significant difference was observed in Spring 2006.