Potential effect of wetting agents added to agricultural sprays on the stability of soil aggregates
MetadataShow full item record
A potential effect of adjuvants/wetting agents added to the spray mixture on the water stability of soil aggregates (WSA) in agricultural soil was studied. Nine sites were chosen in the Czech Republic. Each site was mapped using representative soil pits (depth min. 1.3 m). A total of 54 mixed samples were collected from topsoil horizons on the selected sites. The samples were exposed to the action of four different types of wetting agents (organosilicone wetting agent; methyl ester of rapeseed oil; mixture of methyl ester palmitic and oleic acids; isodecyl alcohol ethoxylate), which are the most common wetting agents used in agriculture in the Czech Republic. WSA was determined before and after the addition of wetting agents (WA). Initial WSA values were at the same level in a majority of sampling points. Two sites were an exception, on which Haplic Luvisols and Relictistagnic Fluvisols occurred. These soil types featured the lowest WSA values. After the addition of WA across the sampling points, average WSA values exhibited a demonstrable trend: WSA of control sample (without the WA application) was at all times higher than in samples with the addition of WA. If the measured WSA values are compared in terms of overall means, it is evident that the control variant always exhibited the highest WSA value (on average 44.04 %) and the variants with the application of WA showed always WSA values lower by min 16 %. The worst effect on WSA was that of wetting agents whose basic component was methyl ester of rapeseed. These wetting agents caused a decrease in WSA by more than 50 %. All soil samples were also analysed for basic soil parameters (glomalin, oxidizable carbon - C-ox, pH, Na, P, Ca, K, Mg) in order to determine their potential influence on aggregate stability and to possibly eliminate the negative impact of WA. In this respect, only a significant influence of C-ox content on WSA was recorded, which positively correlated with the stability of soil aggregates.