Lime and phosphogypsum application management: changes in soil acidity, sulfur availability and crop yield
ABSTRACT Oxisols ( Latossolos ) are widely distributed in tropical zones and generally characterized by high levels of surface and subsurface acidity. In Brazil, most Oxisols are managed under no-till conditions with surface application of acidity amendments. This study aimed to evaluate lime application strategies (incorporated and surface) for achieving the desired soil base saturation (BS%) levels (44, 60, 70, and 90 %) and the effect of phosphogypsum + lime application on soil chemical properties as well as wheat and corn yield in southern Brazil. Lime incorporation was more effective in reducing the soil acidity and increasing Ca2+ and Mg2+ despite a decrease in organic matter at the soil surface. Phosphogypsum application increased S-SO42- and Ca2+ availability throughout the deeper soil layers and reduced the Mg2+ content in the surface layer. Wheat yield under incorporated lime conditions increased with BS% up to 75, but there was no response to surface application. When phosphogypsum was applied, the wheat yield increased by 8.4 %. For corn, incorporated lime increased the yield up to 445 kg ha-1, which was equivalent to the yield after phosphogypsum application. An increase in the S-SO42- level was the main factor related to the increase in crop yields. In the short term, our results suggest that phosphogypsum applied along with lime is more appropriate than incorporating lime under no-till management conditions.