IPI International Potash Institute
IPI International Potash Institute

Scientific abstracts

Ability of Sorption-Desorption Experiments to Predict Potassium Leaching from Calcareous Soils
Jalali,M., and Z.Kolahchi.
Published in:
J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 171:1-10 (2008), English


When potassium (K+) fertilizers are applied to the soil, K+ is subject to displacement through the soil profile. Leaching can play an important role in agricultural K+ losses that can decrease groundwater quality. To avoid over fertilization, estimation of K+ leaching from soil is important. The ability of the soils to retain K+ against leaching varies according to the adsorption coefficient of the soils. The aim of this study was to relate the K+ leaching from a wide range of calcareous soils to the values obtained from a sorption-desorption experiment. The soil columns were leached with 10 mM CaCl2 solution and the leachate was analyzed for K+. The breakthrough curves for K+ were different, and the amounts of K+ leached varied considerably between different soils. In these calcareous soils where crops are irrigated with water containing significant concentrations of Ca2+ and other cations, large amounts of K+ will be leached. Cumulative K+ leached after five pore volumes leaching with 10 mM CaCl2 was significantly (r = 0.776, p < 0.01) related to the equilibrium K+ concentration. The results of this study enabled us in many cases to estimate the K+ leaching from soil without conducting column experiments, minimizing the laborotary work.

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