We thought you should be aware of a good article released by the Plant Management Network, originally written by K-State, entitled Poor Wheat Tillering, Root Development May be Due to Aluminum Toxicity.
From the Artilce:
“…the producer should make a note of this condition (low pH/Aluminum Toxicity) and take action before planting another crop on that field. Lime application on low-pH soil should be considered a high priority. Even half-rates of lime will do some good,” Dr. Diaz said.
“Aluminum toxicity begins to occur where soil pH levels are less than 5.0 and potassium chloride-extractable free aluminum levels are greater than 25 parts per million, Ruiz Diaz said. Some varieties of wheat, such as Everest and Overley, have better tolerance to low-pH soils and high aluminum levels than other varieties, such as Fuller. The symptoms of aluminum toxicity include poor tillering and sometimes, but not always, a purplish color, he said. “In addition, older leaves may appear drought stressed and withered. Plants will either be stunted throughout the season even with adequate moisture and nitrogen, or may even die,” he said. High concentrations of aluminum will reduce development of the roots, giving them a short stubby appearance. “The roots will often have a brownish color, and the root tips may have a burned appearance. This effect on roots will limit nutrient uptake, and plants may show some deficiency symptoms even with good nutrient levels,” Ruiz Diaz said. In addition, low soil pH (below 5.0) can reduce the availability of plant nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.”
We couldn’t agree more, the following pictures is what happens to the roots when aluminum toxicity is a problem.
Here is what aluminum does to the root hair tips
In Canada where soils can typically have 400 -1200 ppm of aluminum per acre, 50# of SuperCal 98G has increase yields by up to 30 bushels per acre.
Our only disagreement with Dr. Diaz is with SuperCal 98G it is never too late to correct aluminum toxicity. With SuperCal 98G you get pH changes in days. Certainly there is an optimal time to change soil pH, but if you didn’t get it done before planting, you still have time this winter to spread 98G and protect some yield.
Photo Credit http://www.spectrumanalytic.com/
Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at http://blog.calciumproducts.com/ .