Influence of humic acid applications on modulus of rupture, aggregate stability, electrical conductivity, carbon and nitrogen content of a crusting problem soil
Abstract. Soil structure is often said to be the key to soil productivity since a fertile soil, with desirable soil structure and adequate moisture supply, constitutes a productive soil. Soil structure influences soil water movement and retention, erosion, crusting, nutrient recycling, root penetration and crop yield. The objective of this work is to study humic acid (HA) application on some physical and chemical properties in weakly structured soils. The approach involved establishing a plot experiment in laboratory conditions. Different rates of HA (control, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 %) were applied to soil during three incubation periods (21, 42 and 62 days). At the end of the each incubation period, the changes in physicochemical properties were measured. Generally, HA addition increased electrical conductivity values during all incubation periods. HA applications decreased soil modulus of rupture. Application of HA at the rate of 4 % significantly increased soil organic carbon contents. HA applications at the rate of 4 % significantly increased both mean soil total nitrogen content and aggregate stability after three incubation periods (p < 0.05). Therefore, HA has the potential to improve the structure of soil in the short term.