A CONVENIENT LABORATORY TECHNIQUE FOR CONTINUOUS EXTRACTION OF IONS FROM SOIL

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Abstract

A laboratory technique was devised for continuous extraction of nutrient (and other) ions from soil. All ions are extracted simultaneously under carefully controlled and reasonably reproducible conditions. The technique is simple, inexpensive, and convenient and requires little or no care during the extraction process. The soil sample is automatically maintained under aerobic and unsaturated (with respect to moisture) conditions. The extracting solution imposes mildly acidic (with some chelating influence) conditions similar to those in the close proximity of a plant root. The solubilized ions move slowly from the sample to an ion sink under the influence of diffusion and mass flow of water in a manner not unlike that in a naturally occurring soil-plant system. Results reported indicated that the technique shows promise for assessing soil fertility.

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