International Sugar Journal

Soil organic matter under sugarcane: Levels, composition and dynamics* [Full subscriber]

Abstract Soil organic matter influences numerous soil properties and processes, including bulk density, structure, temperature, water relations, nutrient availability and biological activity. This paper presents information on soil organic matter levels, composition and dynamics in sugarcane topsoils in the South African sugar industry. Major factors accounting for variations in soil organic matter levels are climate, management practices and soil texture. Soils in the hot, dry areas of the industry were found to have the lowest organic matter levels, with there being a strong positive relationship (R2=0.81) between rainfall and organic matter content. The close relationships between total carbon (C) and…

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