Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Plant Science


Cation exchange is a property of the soil in which the soil colloids gain and lose cations to and from the soil solution. Cations commonly exchanged are calcium (Ca+2), magnesium (Mg+2), sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), hydrogen (H+), and ammonium (NH+). The relative importance of the mineral and organic components of cation exchange capacity (CEC) is useful in many areas of agronomy, such as soil genesis, soil fertility, and pesticide usage. The chemical reactions in soils that are important to the understanding of soil behavior occur at colloidal surfaces. These surfaces are electrostatically charged and surface reactivity is influenced and often governed by this charge. The measurement of negative surface charge has a certain prominence in soil science and is almost universally expressed as cation exchange capacity. Cation exchange capacity is often used as a parameter in pesticide recommendations but not as much in fertilizer recommendations because it is an expensive and time-consuming test to determine on a routine basis. For these reasons some scientists have developed regression equations to predict CEC from more easily determined properties. Clay and organic matter are the two most widely used independent variables, others include surface area, clay fractions, and pH. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to compare several methods used in determining CEC; and (2) to develop a regression equation using information from routine soil testing analyses to predict the CEC of normal agricultural land in eastern South Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cations -- Analysis
Soils -- Analysis



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State