AbstractData are presented here on the effect of synthetic soil conditioners on aggregation and aggregate stability of acid Lares clay and on their effect, with or without lime, on the yields of sweetpotatoes, cotton, and corn. Three conditioners were used: Formulations 6 and 9 of Krilium, and Aerotil, dry form, each at the rates of 900, 1,800, and 3,600 pounds to the acre. There were 20 treatments: Check, lime, conditioners at three levels, and conditioners at the same three levels plus lime. The data presented indicate that these conditioners will stabilize soil structural units, but will not form them. Five crops were grown as a sequence: Sweetpotatoes, cotton, cotton (a ratoon crop), sweetpotatoes, and corn. All crops, except the cotton ratoon, showed some response to the application of soil conditioners. Sweetpotato, a root crop, was more responsive; but the cotton plant crop responded also to stabilized good structural soil conditions. The largest crop responses measured were in the limed treatments. Increases attributable to lime were obtained either in the presence or absence of synthetic soil conditioners. Liming and rational fertilization seems to be the key to increased productivity in some acid soils of Puerto Rico. The synthetic materials do not have practical possibilities in large-scale farming.
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