Crop Production in Acid soil

Crop Production in Acid soil
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Crop Production in Acid soil

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Publisher: Agrotech Publications
ISBN: 9788185680187
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Availability: In Stock
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PREFACE
The largest reserves of potential arable land still available in the world are acid soils. Acid soils, estimated at more than 800 million ha worldwide, constitute from 40-50 of potentially arable highly weathered soils. These soils are located primarily in the tropics and subtropics, where intense chemical weathering occurs. The outcome of the race between world food production and population will largely determined in the tropics, where most of the world s undernourished people live. There are three avenues for in creasing food production in the tropics increasing yields per unit area in presently cultivated regions, opening new lands to cultiva tion, and expanding irrigated land. The first two require the allevia tion or elimination of soil constraints, while the third eliminates water stress as the main constraint lim itin g crop production. All the three alternatives are needed. According to FAO estimates, increasing yields on lands already in use is not sufficient, and additional land must be incorporated into agriculture to accomplish this goal. Making efficient use of acid soils is one of the most important option to achieve the goal. Most well drained tropical soils which are not currently used for agriculture are acid. This is not generally true for soils presently under cultivation, because since man started to grow crops he has always tended to settle on high base status soils. Acid soils are developed under high rainfall conditions and, because of their specific nature, pose several problems for successful crop production. The various aspects of management of acid soils have therefore, attracted the attention of several research workers during last fifty years. V J
C-----------------------------------------------------In humid climates, weathering and leaching processes lead sooner or later to natural acidification of permeable soils unless airborne salts are deposited or counteracting measures are taken by man. The, acid soil infertility is a major limitation to crop production on highly weathered and leached soils in both tropical and temperate regions of the world. In addition, soil acidification caused by leach ing with acid precipitation an outcome of industrial expansion is a subject causing increasing concern. Apart from the above process, application of acid forming fertilizers, decomposing plant residues and organic wastes contribute quite a bit to acidity. Soils may also be acidic when derived from acidic parent material or materials ini tially low in the basic cations Ca , Mg , K and Na . The acid soils represent the largest land reserve available for meet ing mankind s future needs for food, fibres and other plant products. Soil acidity is a major growth limiting factor for plants in many parts of the world. Aluminium and other toxicities associated with it, low contents of major plant nutrients, trace element deficiencies and disease hazards have all hindered the intensification of agricultural produc