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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

Print version ISSN 0100-0683On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


TIECHER, Tales et al. Crop Response to Gypsum Application to Subtropical Soils Under No-Till in Brazil: a Systematic Review. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2018, vol.42, e0170025.  Epub Feb 15, 2018. ISSN 0100-0683.

The use of gypsum to improve the root environment in tropical soils in the southeastern and central-western regions of Brazil is a widespread practice with well-established recommendation criteria. However, only recently gypsum began to be used on subtropical soils in South of Brazil, so available knowledge of its effect on crop yield is incipient and mainly for soils under no-till (NT) systems. Avaiable studies span a wide range of responses, from a substantial increase to a slight reduction in crop yield. Also, the specific conditions leading to a favorable effect of gypsum application on crop yield are yet to be accurately identified. The primary objectives of this study were to examine previously reported results to assess the likelihood of a crop response to gypsum and to develop useful recommendation criteria for gypsum application to subtropical soils under NT in Brazil. For this purpose, we examined the results of a total of 73 growing seasons, reported in 20 different scientific publications that assessed grain yield as a function of gypsum rates. Four different scenarios were examined, by the occurrence or not of high subsurface acidity (viz., Al saturation >20 % and/or exchangeable Ca <0.5 cmolc dm-3 in the 0.20-0.40 m soil layer) and of water deficiency during the crop cycle. Based on the results, for grasses, 10 % Al saturation and/or 3 cmolc dm-3 exchangeable Ca in the soil subsurface layer (0.20-0.40 m) is more suitable than the current recommendation (Al saturation of 20 % and/or 0.5 cmolc dm-3 Ca) for subtropical NT soils in Brazil. Also, applying gypsum to NT soils with low subsurface acidity (Al saturation <10 %) and with an adequate Ca content (>3 cmolc dm-3) failed to increase crop yield, irrespective of the soil water status. Under these conditions, high gypsum rates (6-15 Mg ha−1) may even reduce grain yield, possibly by inducing K and Mg deficiency. On the other hand, applying gypsum to soils with high subsurface acidity increased yield by 16 % in corn (87 % of cases) and by 19 % in winter cereals (83 % of cases), whether or not the soil was water-deficient. By contrast, soybean yield was only increased by gypsum applied in the simultaneous presence of high soil subsurface acidity and water deficiency (average increase 27 %, 100 % of cases).

Keywords : phosphogypsum; aluminum saturation; subsurface acidity; base saturation.

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