Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Paul E. Fixen


Although Chloride (Cl) is an essential plant nutrient, it has, in the past, not usually been considered as limiting to crop growth. However, crop yield responses, particularly with small grains, have been documented in the United States. In South Dakota grain yield increases ranging from 200 to 500 kg ha-l have been noted for spring wheat. Chloride fertilization has been shown to be profitable if responsive situations can be identified. Although Cl is known to rapidly leach through the soil in humid areas, little is known how it moves through the soil with time in subhumid areas. There is a need to evaluate the effects of Cl applications on soil Cl levels over time. In addition, there is the need to evaluate the effects that soil Cl levels have on plant Cl concentrations. In order to develop the potential that plant Cl tests have for identifying Cl responsive situations additional knowledge of the Cl uptake pattern in responsive crops, such as wheat is needed. In order to meet the above needs, a study was conducted in which the major objectives of this study were to i.) determine residual effects of Cl fertilization and ii.) to measure progressive Cl uptake and dry matter accumulation in spring wheat as influenced by residual Cl. Significant relationships have been noted between soil Chloride (Cl ), Cl uptake and yield response in spring wheat. However little information exists concerning the residual value of Cl in drier areas. Therefore, a study was conducted to determine residual effects of Cl fertilization in a subhumid climate and to measure the movement of Cl through soil with time. Six Cl levels ranging from 0 to 510 kg ha-1were applied as KCL (muriate of potash) to a soil (Udic Haploboroll) with an initial soil Cl content of 19 kg ha-l in the upper 60 cm. A corn (Zea mays L.)-spring wheat rotation was practiced between two adjacent sites. Soil Cl levels were measured after the first three seasons at five depth increments to a final depth of 120 cm. Maximum Cl concentrations following the first growing season occurred at approximately 50 cm. By the beginning of the third growing season most of the Cl had leached below 120 cm. Deep sampling to three meters after the third growing season indicated maximum Cl accumulation between and two meters. A positive response of spring wheat to added Cl was observed for the first two growing seasons. Factors contributing to the rapid removal of Cl from the upper 120 cm include above average precipitation, large precipitation events and saturation of soil macropores. Chloride soil testing is recommended prior to the establishment of a Cl responsive crop in regions where responses have been verified.

Library of Congress Subject Headings



Corn -- Fertilizers

Wheat -- Fertilizers



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University