Key words Pyrites
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract We evaluated the effect of agricultural-grade (AG) pyrites (total sulfur 22%) varying in water-soluble sulfur (1–8%) and gypsum on the soil properties and yields of rice and wheat in alkali soils during the years 1993–1995 at the Gudha and Saraswati experimental farms at the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, India. Gypsum and pyrites were applied on the basis of gypsum requirement (GR) of the soils. Results showed that the efficiency of AG pyrites in decreasing soil pH and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP) and increasing crop yields was dependent on their water-soluble sulfur content at the time of application to the field. Pyrites with 5.5% and 8% soluble sulfur were as effective as gypsum. The freshly mined pyrite (water-soluble S 1%) was found to be inefficient in reclaiming alkali soils. We also explored the possibility of increasing the water-soluble sulfur content of pyrite by optimizing its storage conditions. When pyrite (1% water-soluble S) was stored under moist conditions by sprinkling water over the bags under a rain shelter, there was an enrichment of indigenous iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria of pyrite, and the water-soluble sulfur increased to 5% within a period of 6 months. However no such increase occurred when pyrite was stored dry. We conclude that the soluble sulfur content of pyrite increased during its storage under moist conditions and should be between 6% and 8% at the time of its application to the field.
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