Ameliorating subsoil acidity by surface application of calcium fulvates derived from common organic materials
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Subsoil acidity is a serious constraint to crop production, and is difficult to correct by conventional liming practices. Thus, a different approach to ameliorating acid subsoils was evaluated. Subsoil material of an acid Ultisol (pH 4.4) was packed into 50-cm long columns, then leached with solutions of CaCl2, CaCO3 (suspension) or Ca fulvates prepared from chicken manure, cowpea green manure, or sewage sludge. In general, surface application of common organic material-derived Ca fulvates can increase subsoil Ca and decrease the Al saturation percentage. However, Mg depletion and enrichment of unwanted metals (e.g., Na or heavy metals) may be a problem when leaching with these organic sources.