A soil test for determining available copper in acidic soils of Venezuela
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AbstractCopper deficiency can become a limiting factor in crop production in Venezuela due to the adoption of more intensive cropping systems by farmers. In spite of this, there is no calibrated test for proper soil Cu determination. The purpose of this study was to evaluate five chemical methods used to estimate plant available Cu in acidic soils. Five Cu extractants: DTPA, DTPA-HCl, EDTA, HCl, and Mehlich 1 were used in a greenhouse experiment using corn as a test crop. Cu extracted by DTPA, DTPA-HCl and EDTA was well correlated with soil clay, organic matter (OM), pH and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Determination coefficients were used to measure the prediction power of Cu extractants. DTPA-HCl and DTPA prediction capacity for separating responsive soils to Cu from non-responsive soils was 69%, followed by HCL with 56%, EDTA with 55% and Mehlich 1 with 51%. This suggests that DTPA-HCl and DTPA extractants could be a useful index for predicting Cu deficiency in acidic soils.