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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1952. Department of Agronomy.


Copyright 1952, the author. Used by permission.


Chemical methods of characterizing the phosphorus status of soils have been in use for many years. The distribution of the various forms of phosphorus in the soil and the actual availability of these forms of phosphorus to plants may affect crop yields.

This investigation was initiated to obtain information of the phosphorus status and related properties of four eastern Nebraska soils, using both chemical and biological methods. The soils used in this investigation are all considered to be phosphorus deficient. Alfalfa was selected as the crop to be grown on the horizons of these soils, since it is considered to have a high phosphorus requirement and has the ability to assimilate large amounts of phosphorus from the soil.

Results of this study indicate increased yields varied from soil to soil, depending upon the native phosphorus status of each soil. The role of phosphorus in the production of available nitrogen appears to be important. It may directly affect the nitrogen-fixing and nitrification organisms of the soil. When phosphorus treatments were added to the soils, the content of phosphorus within the alfalfa plants was greatly increased. When phosphorus and lime treatments were added in combination to the soils, the alfalfa plants showed an increased total uptake of the elements calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium.

Advisor: Leon Chesnin.