Comparison of soil phosphorous extraction by Olsen and double acid methods in acid soils of Western Kenya
Maghanga, K. Justin
Kituyi, L. John
Segor, K Fred
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hosphorous is an essential nutrient in plants required for root establishment. In the soil, it is applied as DAP, TSP or phosphate rocks. In acid soils, aluminium and iron are dominant and tend to “fix” phosphorous, making it unavailable for plant uptake. Phosphorous deficiencies are monitored through soil chemical analysis. There are many methods for the extraction of available forms; however the choice is dependent on several factors among them soil pH. Forty soil samples were collected from three different acid soils in Western Kenya. The samples were air dried, sieved under 2.0 mm sieve and stored in sample bags for subsequent analysis. Phosphorous extraction of was carried out using a basic extractant (Olsen bicarbonate method) and acid extractant (double acid method). The extracts were measured colorimetricaly by the ascorbic acid method at 880 nm wavelength. The methods were compared in terms of extracting efficiency, correlations and soil critical levels. The soils had a pH range of between 4.5 – 6.1; phosphorous, 1.66 – 55.37 mg P/ kg by Olsen method and 3.01 – 158.17 mg P /kg by double acid method. The methods were linearly correlated (r = 0.95), however, double acid extracted more phosphorous than Olsen by a factor of 2.67.