Attempt to reclaim with chemicals a salty clay in Puerto Rico

How to Cite

Bonnet, J. A., Tirado Sulsona, P., & Lugo López, M. A. (1949). Attempt to reclaim with chemicals a salty clay in Puerto Rico. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 33(2), 75–84.


There are about 5,000 acres of high salty Aguirre clay in Lajas valley, in southwestern Puerto Rico, that need reclamation to be fit for crop growth. A field experiment was carried there including four treatments: check, leached, sulphur, and gypsum. The leached treatment consisted of preliminary washings with water. The irrigation source was the same used successfully in the good adjacent sugar cane fields for many years. The crops planted were rice and then, sugar cane. Data reported here include yields of rice in terms of whole plant and seed and of sugar cane in terms of tonnage and sugar content as well as conductivity values of the cane juices. Data are also reported for the pH and the specific conductance values for soil samples taken after the cane was harvested. Chemical analyses of the water supplies are also presented. No significant results in crop yields due to treatments were obtained. Covariance statistical analyses were made to find whether the salt content of the first 9-inch soil layer, or the salts in the cane juices had significant effects on the yields of cane. Results obtained were not significant. Reclamation of salty Aguirre clay with sulphur and gypsum was not successful. It was found that the irrigation water used was high in magnesium salt. These high magnesium waters might be a cause for the negative results.


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