F. C. (Frederick Charles) Bauer.

Response of Illinois soils to limestone online

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yields. If the yield for the limed land is desired, it can be determined
by multiplying the unlimed yield by the ratio figure. Thus if the yield
of corn was 30 bushels an acre on unlimed land and the response
ratio was 1.500, it would mean that the yield on the limed land was
45 bushels (30 X 1.500).



79J-/] RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE 327

For all crops limestone has demonstrated its importance much
more strikingly on the sandy and the light-colored soils than on the
dark-colored soils. The hay crops are especially responsive on the
sandy and the light-colored soils. The grain crops differ more in their
response to limestone on these soils than they do on the dark-colored
soils. Wheat, for example, is much more responsive than corn on
the light-colored soils, but on the more productive dark-colored soils
the difference is negligible. All crops, however, have given a rather
small response to limestone on the dark-colored soils. Oats usually
have given the smallest response of any of the nonlegume crops on
these soils.

In general, crop responses to limestone have been greater in the
residues system than in the manure system.

Responses of Legume Crops

The response of soybeans, common clovers, and alfalfa to lime-
stone applications, in both the manure and residues systems, is shown
in Tables 7 and 8. Since these legume crops were not grown regu-
larly on all fields, it is impossible to make comparisons of their in-
dividual responses under all soil conditions, but nevertheless some in-
teresting differences in these crops are to be observed.

Altho all the legumes grown on light-colored soils gave a re-
markable response to liming, the common clovers gave a much more
pronounced response than soybeans. The increase in the yield of the




FIG. 14. LIMESTONE MEANS A BETTER FIRST-YEAR STAND OF RED CLOVER
Seeded in the spring with oats, red clover made very sparse growth on
land where only manure was applied. The above pictures were taken in the
fall of the first year. A year later the hay yield on the limed land was three-
quarters of a ton larger than on the unlimed land. Mi. Morris field, 1932.



328



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



clovers varied from 300 to 465 percent, while that of the soybeans
varied from 37 to 66 percent.

Legumes grown on the most productive fields gave but little re-
sponse to limestone and varied little in their degrees of response. On
the dark-colored soils of medium and low productivity (Groups IV,
V, and VI) the various legumes showed rather striking differences
in their response to limestone. Soybean increases varied from 4 to 10




FIG. 15.-



-LiMEsxoNE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN- ALFALFA
AND No ALFALFA ON SANDY LAND



Limestone and alfalfa are an excellent combination for sandy land. Three
and a quarter tons of good quality alfalfa hay was harvested where limestone
and manure were applied. On land that received only manure, alfalfa failed
completely. Oquaicka field, 1931.



percent, while increases in the yields of the common clovers varied
from 14 to 40 percent. On both the light-colored and the dark-colored
soils the greatest increases were obtained in the residues system.

The variations in the responses of the various kinds of crops
legumes and nonlegumes to limestone, are, no doubt, related to their
lime requirements and the ease with which they are able to obtain the
needed lime from the supplies naturally in the soil. The lime deficien-
cies in the dark-colored soils are not sufficient to cause a great deal of
difference in the growth of the different kinds of crops except clover
and alfalfa when grown on some of the least productive soils in these
groups. In the sandy and the light-colored soils the available calcium
or other lime materials and other nutrients are sufficiently low to cause
somewhat more striking differences in the responses of the different
crops.



1934]



RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE



329



TABLE 7. MANURE SYSTEM: RESPONSE OF SOYBEANS, CLOVER, AND ALFALFA TO

LIMESTONE ON ILLINOIS SOIL EXPERIMENT FIELDS

(Yields are given as annual acre averages)



Soil groups and fields in
order of natural
productivity


Soybean yields 1


Clover yields' l


Alfalfa yields'


No.
of
crops

(1)


Ma-
nure
only

(2)


Ratio
ML
M

(3)


No.
of
crops

(4)


Ma-
nure
only
(5)


Ratio
ML
M

(6)


No.
of
crops

(7)


Ma-
nure
only
(8)


Ratio
ML
M

(9)


I . Dark soils with heavy, non-
calcareous subsoils
Hartsburg


2
1
3
4


tons
1.64
2.20
1.92
1.51
1.73


1.110
.991
1.047
1.060
1.056


6
8
6
5

14

13

15
13

12

14
14
8
11

2


tons
2.40
3.03
2.74
2.81
2.76

2.24

2.67

2.40
2.33
2.37

1.45

2.30
2.13
2.95
2.00
2.29

.00


1.042
.993
1.139
.975
1.034

1.053

1.026

1.204
1.069
1.142

1.159

.213
.324
.156
.635
.318

(3.52<)


10
11


tons
3.67
2.55


1.065
1.008


LaMoille


Aledo














3.08


1.040


II. Dark soils with noncal-
careous subsoils




III. Brownish-yellow soils
with open, noncal-
careous subsoils


1

2
5


2.47

1.80
1.75
1.76

1.51

2.12
1.84
1.59
1.76
1.79

1.03

.95
.59
.88

1.25
.72
.91
.69
.83
.48
.79

.50


1.032

.978
1.069
1.042

1.086

.000
.087
.151
.142
.096

1.146

1.537
2.169
1.626

1.528
1.764
1.516
1.826
1.410
2.500
1.655

1.480


8

12
24

13


3.30

2.33
3.95
3.41

1.35


1.142

1.601
1.109
1.221

1.437


IV. Dark soils with open, non-
calcareous subsoils
Mt. Morris




Average*


V. Dark soils with impervi-
ous, calcareous sub-
soils
Joliet


6

5
5
9
4


VI. Dark soils with impervi-
ous, noncalcareous
subsoils


Clayton
















Carlinville
















VII. Sandy loams and sands


17

19
5


14


1.68


1.738


VIII. Yellow soils with noncal-
careous subsoils
Unionville


Hnli.-lil


2

4
3
9

1


.27
.27

.46
.24
.25
.00


4.410
4.410

2.696
3.250
5.280
(1.66*)
















IX. Cray soils with impervi-
ous, noncalcareous
subsoils
Oblong


5
3
8
15
17
8








Toledo








Raleigh








Sparta








Newton








Ewing


3


.23

.27


4.565
4.322








Average 1








X. Hilly land
Elizabethtown


4


6


.10


11.900











Yields on the limed land can be determined by multiplying the yields on the unlimed land by their
response ratios. 'Mostly red clover. 'Weighted averages. 4 Actual yield for limestone.



330



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



TABLE 8. RESIDUES SYSTEM: RESPONSE OF SOYBEANS, CLOVER, AND ALFALFA

TO LIMESTONE ON ILLINOIS SOIL EXPERIMENT FIELDS

(Yields are given as annual acre averages)



Soil groups and fields in
order of natural
productivity


Soybean yields 1


Clover yields 1


Alfalfa yields 1


No.

of
crops

(1)


Resi-
dues
only
(2)


Ratio
RL
R

(3)


No.
of
crops
(4)


Resi-
dues
only
(5)


Ratio
RL
R

(6)


No.
of
crops

(7)


Resi-
dues
only

(8)


Ratio
RL
R

(9)


I . Dark soils with heavy, non-
calcareous subsoils
Hartsburg


3
2
4
5


bu.
25.4
17.2
16.0
18.6
19.1


1.024
1.035
1.062
.952
1.009


6
8
6
5

14

13

15
13

12

14
14
8
11

2


tons
.78
.94
.91
.50
.81

1.38

2.33

1.57
1.48
1.53

.97

1.36
1.48
1.48
1.83
1.53

.00


.955
1.041
.937
1.007
.989

1.174

1.030

1.306
1.176
1.247

1.155

1.360
1.385
1.344
1.497
1.403

(2.13*)


10


tons
3.78


.913


LaMoille


Aledo




















3.78


.913


11. Dark soils with noncal-
careous subsoils




III. Brownish-yellow soils
with open, noncal-
careous subsoils


1

2
6


22.8

16.0
14.0
14.5

13.1

23.7
17.6
14.0
17.6
17.4

8.5

5.9
3.8

5.4

10.5
5.3
8.2
5.7
4.9
5.4
3.4
6.4

2.7


.991

1.181
1.014
1.060

1.092

.932
1.125
1.086
1.290
1.085

1.435

1.441
2.500
1.612

1.495
1.830
1.268
2.123
2.367
1.611
2.823
1.667

1.370








IV. Dark soils with open, non-
calcareous subsoils
























V. Dark soils with impervi-
ous, calcareous sub-
soils
Joliet


11

5
5
10
4


13


1.12


1.393


VI. Dark soils with impervi-
ous, noncalcareous
subsoils
Carthage


Clayton
















Carlinville








Average 1


14


1.36


2.147


VII Sandy loams and sands
Oquawka


18

20
6


VIII. Yellow soils with noncal-
careous subsoils


Enfield


2

4
3


.17
.17

.60
.15


4.765
4.765

2.650
7.267








Average 2








IX. Gray soilswith impervious,
noncalcareous sub-
soils
Oblong


6
5
26
8
13
18
8








Toledo .








Odin








Raleigh


9
1


.08
.00


8.875
(1-50)


























3


.00

.18


(.88')
5.647
















X. Hilly land


5


6


.02


34.000











>Yields on the limed land can be determined by multiplying the yields on the unlimed land by
their response ratios. 'Weighted averages. 'Actual yield for limestone.



1934] RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE 331

That the various crops have made less pronounced responses to
limestone in the manure system than in the residues system is due to
the effect of the manure in reducing deficiencies of lime and other
plant nutrients.

EFFECT OF LIMESTONE ON SOIL
PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS

The soils upon which the different experiment fields are located
vary greatly in natural productiveness (Table 1). The more produc-
tive soils yield, on the average, more than a ton and a quarter of
grain and hay an acre annually, corn alone averaging about 50 bushels
an acre. The poorest soils are only about one-tenth as productive. The
Elizabethtown field, for instance, produces on the average only 325
pounds of grain and hay an acre annually and 11.5 bushels of corn.
The other soils produce yields distributed more or less uniformly be-
tween these extremes.

Whether the level of productivity of the poorer soils can be
raised to that of the naturally more productive soils by means of good
management and treatment practices is a question of very practical
interest. The direct influence of limestone on the productive levels of
the different soils is shown in Table 9 and also in Tables 1 and 4. The
fields in Soil Group I are used as the standard of reference. The
annual crop yields of the untreated land in this group have averaged
2,477 pounds an acre. The field representing Group X, the least pro-
ductive group, has produced only 325 pounds an acre, or 13.1 percent
as much as the average in Group I. The ratio is then .131. The
total yields from the limestone plots in both the manure and the
residues systems divided by 2,477 provide ratios (Columns 4 and 6)
which indicate directly the influence that limestone has had in raising
the productivity levels of the various soils toward the levels of the
naturally more productive soils. The results for the different soil
groups are shown graphically in Fig. 16.

Limestone has raised the productivity levels of all soils. It has
shown the least influence on the naturally more productive soils and
the greatest influence on the naturally less productive soils. The handi-
cap on the least productive soils, however, is so great that the present
levels are far from approaching the natural levels of the more pro-
ductive soils. The light-colored soils have, under treatment, reached
production levels that are approximately 50 percent as high as the
levels of the naturally more productive soils. Groups II, III, and IV,



332



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



representing the more productive dark-colored soils, are the only
groups whose levels have been raised to that of Group I, the standard
used. On the dark-colored soils limestone used in the residues system
tended to be more effective than in the manure system. This tendency,
however, was reversed on the sandy and the light-colored soils.



120



100



UNTREATED LAND
RESIDUES SYSTEM
MANURE SYSTEM




IZ T TZI
SOIL GROUPS



"VTT VTIT TT



FIG. 16. INFLUENCE OF LIMESTONE ON PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS

OF VARIOUS ILLINOIS SOILS

The productivity levels of Groups II to X, compared with that of Group
I, the naturally most productive soils, without soil treatment, are shown by the
lower portions of the bars. The influence that limestone has had in raising the
productivity levels of these soils, both in the manure and in the residues systems
of farming, is shown by the upper parts of these bars. Limestone raised the
level of every group, Groups II, III, and IV reaching the 100-percent level. The
least productive soils were raised approximately to 50 percent of the level of
the most productive soils.



Thus limestone has had striking effects in raising the productive
levels of some soils, but it has not been able to bring all soils to the
same level.



1934]



RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMKSTONE



333



TABLE 9. INFLUENCE OF LIMESTONE ON PRODUCTIVE LEVELS OF ILLINOIS SOILS



Soil groups and fields in
order of natural
productivity


Untreated land


Limed land


Aver-
age

yield

(1)


Produc-
tivity
ratio 1

(2)


Manure system


Residues system


Yield

(3)


Produc-
tivity
ratio'
(4)


Yield

(5)


Produc-
tivity
ratio'
(6)


I. Dark soils with heavy, noncalcareous subsoils


Ibs.
2 600
2 524
2 396
2 388
2 477

2 408

2 372

2 210
2 068
2 139

1 690

1 748
1 723
1 661
1 476
1 652

799

684
494
589

731
611
608
558
527
500
482
574

325


1.050
1.019
.967
.964
1.000

.972

.958

.892
.835
.863

.682

.706
.696
.670
.596
.667

.322

.276
.199
.238

.295
.247
.246
.225
.213
.202
.194
.232

.131


Ibs.
2 916
2 547
2 702
2 378
2 636

2 546

2 494

2 527
2 283
2 405

2 045

2 117
2 185
1 941
2 170
2 103

1 747

1 148
1 418
1 283

1 511
1 403


1.177
1.028
1.098
.960
1.064

1.028

1.007

1.020
.922
.971

.826

.855
.882
.784
.876
.849

.705

.463

.572
.518

.610
.566


Ibs.
2 548
2 670
2 615
2 382
2 554

2 670

2 484

2 747
2 331
2 539

1 946

2 222
2 279
2 075
2 014
2 147

1 593

1 124
1 131
1 128

1 238
1 228
872
1 241
1 010
969
1 150
1 101

934


1.029
1.078
1.056
.962
1.031

1.078

1.003

1.109
.941
1.025

.786

.897
.920
.838
.813
.867

.643

.454
.457
.455

.500
.455
.352
.501
.408
.391
.464
.444

.377


LaMoille


Aledo






II. Dark soils with noncalcareous subsoils


III. Brownish-yellow soils with open, noncalcare-
ous subsoils


IV. Dark soils with open, noncalcareous subsoils




Average


V. Dark soils with impervious, calcareous subsoils
Joliet


VI. Dark soils with impervious, noncalcareous
subsoils
Carthage






Carlinville




VII. Sandy loams and sands


VIII. Yellow soils with noncalcareous subsoils


Enfield




IX. Gray soils with impervious, noncalcareous
subsoils
Oblong


Toledo


Odin


Raleigh


1 442
1 248
1 179
1 506
1 381

1 091


.582
.504
.476
.608
.558

.440


Sparta


Newton


Ewing


Average


X. Hilly land

Eliza bethtown. . .



'The ratio representing the productive level of a field is obtained by dividing the average annual
e-yield by 2,477, the average yield (in pounds) of the more productive soils (Group I).



334



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



RAPIDITY AND TREND OF RESPONSE
TO LIMESTONE

In the preceding pages the discussion dealt with the influence of
limestone on crop yields as revealed by data massed into rather broad
averages averages for all the years since limestone applications were
started. Data massed in this way reveal certain outstanding facts, but
they do not show how quickly crop increases were obtained on the
different fields and soils, nor whether such increases became greater,
remained the same, or diminished with the passage of time matters
of very great importance to all interested in the use of limestone for
soil-improvement purposes.



600

400

200



400

200



-200

400

200



-200

200



-200

200



-200




-HARTSBURG



-LAMOILLE



CROUP AVERAGE





Fic. 17. TREND OF LIMESTONE INFLUENCE ON DARK SOILS WITH

HEAVY, NONCALCAREOUS SUBSOILS, GROUP I

There is some evidence that limestone has tended to be of a little more
value in recent years than in the earlier years of these experiments.



In order to ascertain the rapidity and the trend of the response to
limestone exhibited by different soils under different systems of farm-
ing, the yearly increases in crop yields on the various fields under the
manure and residues systems of farming have been converted into
movable rotation averages and plotted into the graphs shown in



19341 RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE 335

Figs. 17 to 22. Since a four-year rotation is practiced on most fields,
the figure for any particular year is the average of sixteen crop
harvests. The small figures along the zero line in the trend charts for
each individual field represent tons of limestone applied for that field
and approximate time of application. The total tonnage of limestone
for each field can be determined by adding together the figures given
for that field.

Dark Soils With Heavy, Noncalcareous Subsoils

The rapidity and the trend of the response to limestone on the
fields in the most productive soil groups the dark soils with heavy,
noncalcareous subsoils (Group I) have not been striking (Fig. 17).

The best response has been obtained on the Aledo field, especially
in the residues system, where the crop increases resulting from lime-
stone applications have tended to become gradually larger. The Mi-
nonk field has never given much response to limestone. On all fields
except the one at Hartsburg better responses have been obtained in
the residues system than in the manure system. No reason has been
discovered for the peculiar behavior of the Hartsburg field.

When the responses for all fields are averaged together for each
year, there is a slight tendency for the later years to show the greater
response. This increasing response suggests that these soils are be-
coming deficient in lime, and that with continued cultivation of this
land limestone may come to be of more and more importance.

Dark Soils With Open, Noncalcareous Subsoils

On the Mt. Morris and the Dixon fields, representing the dark
soils with open, noncalcareous subsoils (Group IV), the increases
from the use of limestone were rather small during the earlier years
these fields were under test (Fig. 18). After the first two rotations,
however, there were pronounced increases in yields, which were main-
tained for about twelve years. For the last three or four years there
has been a falling off in response, indicating either the need for
further applications of limestone or an increasing deficiency of some
other nutrient. Field tests show no deficiency of lime.

As in Group I, the dark soils with heavy, noncalcareous subsoils,
the greatest responses to limestone have been obtained in the residues
system.

Dark Soils With Impervious, Noncalcareous Subsoils

Steadily increasing yields from the use of limestone were obtained
on the Carthage, Clayton, Lebanon, and Carlinville fields, representing



336



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



the dark soils with impervious, noncalcareous subsoils (Group VI),
for the first fifteen or sixteen years these fields were under test
(Fig. 19). For the last six or seven years, however, increases in yield
have tended to remain stationary on some fields and on others have
declined.

On three fields Carthage, Clayton, and Lebanon the largest
increases have been obtained in the residues system. During recent
years, however, the manure and residues systems have tended to be-



600

40O

200



-200
600
600
400
200
00

-200
800

eoo

400
200


-200




-GROUP AVERAGE




FIG. 18. TREND OF LIMESTONE INFLUENCE ON DARK SOILS WITH

NONCALCAREOUS SUBSOILS, GROUP IV

The response to limestone was low in the early years. It became increas-
ingly larger in later years, reaching the crest of its influence after about six-
teen years, since which time it has been slowly receding.

come about equally effective. In fact, on the Clayton field in 1931 the
response in the manure system was slightly higher than in the residues
system. On the Carlinville field the advantage has always been with
the manure system. On this field, the soil of which is in a later stage
of development than that of the other three fields (see Table 1),
manure is evidently supplying a deficiency that is becoming more and
more pronounced and that cannot be cared for in the residues system.
Experiments on the Carlinville field indicate that this deficiency may
be potassium.



1934]



RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE



337




Fir.. 19. TREND OF LIMESTONE INFLUENCE ON DARK SOILS WITH

IMPERVIOUS, NONCALCAREOUS SUBSOILS, GROUP VI

More or less regular increases in crop yields have occurred on the fields
in this soil group since the beginning of the limestone applications. Limestone
reached the crest of its influence about eighteen years after the first application,
since which time it has gradually declined.



338



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



Yellow Soils With Noncalcareous Subsoils

The Enfield and Unionville fields, representing the yellow soils
with noncalcareous subsoils (Group VIII), have shown quite different
responses to limestone (Fig. 20).




1910 1913 1916



1919 1922 1925 1928 1931



FIG. 20. TREND OF LIMESTONE INFLUENCE ON YELLOW SOILS WITH

NONCALCAREOUS SUBSOILS, GROUP VIII

The Enfield field has shown a rapidly increasing response to limestone
thruout practically the twenty years of test. The Unionville' field showed a
gradually increasing response during the first years, but during the last fifteen
years the response has remained practically stationary.



The differences between these fields in their responses to lime-
stone are doubtless due to differences in certain soil characteristics.
The Unionville field is located close to the Ohio river in Massac
county on comparatively low land, whereas the Enfield field is away
from the river on higher land.

On both fields better responses to limestone have appeared in
the manure system than in the residues system.



1934}



RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE



339



Gray Soils With Impervious, Noncalcareous Subsoils

Fairly rapid and increasing responses to limestone have been shown
by the gray soils with impervious, noncalcareous subsoils (Group IX),
represented by seven fields the Ewing, Oblong, Newton, Odin,




1910 1913 1916 1919 1922 1925 1926 1931

Fu.. 21. TREND OF LIMESTONE INFLUENCE ON GRAY SOILS (GROUP IX)



Raleigh, Toledo, and Sparta fields (Fig. 21). The Ewing field has
given the most striking response, the Odin field the least striking.
The greatest responses have occurred in the manure system,



340



BULLETIN No. 405



[June,



especially on the Ewing field, where the trend has been upward with
no indication that the limit of response has been reached. In the
residues system on the Ewing field a rapidly increasing response to




1910 1913 1919 1919 1922 1925 1928 1931



FIG. 21. CONCLUDED

On the whole the fields representing this soil group have shown a rapid
upward trend in their response to limestone applications. In all groups lime-
stone has been decidedly more effective when used with manure than when used
with crop residues. Some fields are continuing to show increasing response ;
some are leveling out ; and some are declining.



limestone occurred during the first eight years, since which time there
has been but little change in the response level.

On the other fields in this group the differences between the ma-
nure and the residues systems in their responses to limestone are



1934] RESPONSE OF ILLINOIS SOILS TO LIMESTONE 341

similar to the differences on the Evving field. Other experiments on
these fields indicate that there may be a deficiency of potash, a
deficiency that manure would help to correct. If the manure system
had been used on the Odin field, the results would probably have been
similar to those in the manure system on the Ewing field.

On the whole, limestone has proved of great importance to the
soils in this group.

Other Soils Represented by Single Fields

The limestone responses for each of the five soil groups repre-
sented by only one field are shown in Fig. 22.

The dark-colored soils, represented by the Joliet, Kewanee, and
Springvalley fields, have given relatively small responses to lime-
stone. On the Springvalley field there have been practically no crop


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Online LibraryF. C. (Frederick Charles) BauerResponse of Illinois soils to limestone → online text (page 3 of 5)