BACKGROUND: Globally, large amounts of phosphogypsum (PG), which is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer production, is deposited in open areas. As PG contains calcium, phosphate, and sulphate, it can be used as a soil amendment in farmlands. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of PG application on properties of field soil and yield and quality of garlic (Allium sativum L.) and to seek appropriate level of PG application into the field.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This experiment was conducted by applying PG at four different levels that were adjusted based on 65% calcium base saturation in the field soil: 0% (control), 50% (PG50, 100 kg/10a), 100% (PG100, 200 kg/10a), and 150% (PG150, 300 kg/10a). Following cultivation, soil electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, available P and exchangeable Ca increased whilst soil pH decreased. With increase in PG application level, soil EC and exchangeable Ca increased. PG application increased concentrations of water soluble Ca and SO4 across the soil profile, especially in PG150. The highest yield of garlic was found in PG100 treatment. The plant’s uptake for N, P, Ca, and S increased by PG applications, but that for K decreased. Moreover, concentrations of S-related amino acids such as cysteine and methionine in garlic increased by PG applications. The increased content of nutrients and amino acids with PG supply might improve yield, quality, and favor of the crop.
CONCLUSION: Overall, PG application at 200 kg/10a into a field had the best effect on improving soil fertility as well as yield and quality of garlic. Further studies are required to maximize efficiencies of PG supply in soil management and production of various crops.