Issues with the Amendment of Post-mined Reconstituted Soil with Organic Matter for Production of Sugarcane
- 129 Downloads
The mining of heavy minerals from sand dunes along the east coast of South Africa is a controversial issue. We report a field experiment that was conducted on backfilled land at the Hillendale mine in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to test the effect of filtercake (FC), a locally available source of organic matter, to soil and its ability to support sugarcane growth. Five treatments were evaluated including FC applied at 10, 30 and 100 Mg ha−1. In two other treatments, inorganic fertilizer (IF) was applied alone (without FC) to the reconstituted soil at the recommended rate and at three times the recommended rate, as based on the fertility status of the reconstituted soil. Sugarcane was also grown in an adjacent unmined area in disturbed soil used for cropping. In agreement with fractional light interception, yield of the plant crop on the unmined area (77 Mg ha−1 year−1) was better than on the reconstituted soil treated with IF (59–67 Mg ha−1 year−1) and FC (22–39 Mg ha−1 year−1). Stalk length, rather than tiller number and stalk diameter, was the most important contributor to these yield differences. Based on foliar nutrient content, poor yields in all treatments could be attributed to Fe toxicity caused by oxygen deprivation in the reconstituted soil. In the FC treatments, yields were worsened by N deficiency resulted from immobilization of N. These unexpected outcomes clearly have implications for the efficient rehabilitation of formerly productive agriculture land in the wake of mining locally and worldwide.
KeywordsCane yield Filtercake Nitrogen immobilization Waterlogging Iron toxicity
We thank Tronox KZN Sands for providing the funds and technical support to conduct this study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
- Beater, B.A. 1962. The sampling and analysis of field sites. Mt Edgecombe: South African Sugar Association Experiment Station.Google Scholar
- Daniels, W.L., Orndorff, Z.W., Alley, M.M., Zelazny, L.W., and C. Teutsch. 2007. Sustainable indicators for mineral sands mining in Virginia, USA. ‘3rd International conference on Sustainable Development Indicators in the Mineral Industry’, June 2007, Milos Island, Greece.Google Scholar
- Dee, B.M., R.J. Haynes, and J.H. Meyer. 2002. Sugar mill wastes can be important soil amendments. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 76: 51–59.Google Scholar
- Erasmus, J. 2013. Amakhosi and conservationists in KZN face off over dune mining. Mail and Guardian http://mg.co.za/article/2013-02-07-amakhosi-and-conservationists-in-kzn-face-off-over-dune-mining. Accessed 7 Nov 2013.
- Fenton, G., and M. Conyers. 2002. Interpreting soil tests for calcium, magnesium and Ca:Mg ratios. Leaflet no 7. (NSW Agriculture: Orange) http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au. Accessed on 28 Feb 2008.
- Golder Associates. 2004. Hillendale soil baseline assessment for rehabilitation purposes, 1–49 Tronox KZN Sands Report: Empangeni.Google Scholar
- Haigh, M., Reed, H., D’Aucourt, M., Plamping, K., Cullis, M., Woodruffe, P., Sawyer, S., Panhuis, W., Wilding, G., Farrugia, F., and S. Powell. 2013. Effect of planting method on the growth of Alnus glutinosa and Quercus peracea in compacted open-cast coal-mine spoils, South Wales. Land Degradation and Development. doi: 10.1002/Idr.2201.
- Henry, P.C., and W. Rhebergen. 1994. A review of the effectiveness of gypsum, filtercake and deep ploughing for ameliorating irrigated duplex soils in Swaziland. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 68: 59–64.Google Scholar
- Hillel, D. 1982. Introduction to soil physics, 224–226. San-Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Kutilek, M., and D.R. Nielsen. 1994. Soil hydrology, 130–218. Cremlingen-Destedt: Catena Verlag.Google Scholar
- Mengel, K., and E.A. Kirkby. 1987. Principles of plant nutrition, 687. Worblaufen-Bern: International Potash Institute.Google Scholar
- Meyer, J.H., A.B. Tucker, and R.A. Wood. 1997. The SASEX Fertilizer advisory service: Over 40 years’ service to the South African sugar industry. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 71: 42–49.Google Scholar
- Meyer, J.H., R. Van Antwerpen, P.C. Henry, and N. Leibbrandt. 1992. Improved cane yields from vertical mulching under rainfed and irrigated cane conditions. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 66: 89–94.Google Scholar
- Meyer, J.H., R.A. Wood, D.J. Nixon, A.L. Rampersad, B.L. Schroeder, and A.W. Schumann. 2004. The SASEX fertilizer advisory service: A review of 50 years of service to the South African Sugar Industry. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 78: 359–371.Google Scholar
- Moberly, P.K., and J.H. Meyer. 1978. Filter cake—A field and glasshouse evaluation. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 52: 131–136.Google Scholar
- Moore, P. 2011. Heavy minerals. International mining. pp. 60–68. http://www.infomine.com/library/publications/docs/InternationalMining/Moore2011b.pdf. Accessed 7 Nov 2013.
- Odendaal, N. 2011. Exxaro takes in rehabilitation lessons from Hillendale as mines closure nears. http://www.miningweekly.com/article/exxaro-takes-in-rehabilitation-lessons-from-hillendale-as-mines-closure-nears-2011-11-25. Accessed 3 Nov 2013.
- Orndorff, Z.W., Daniels, W.L., and J.M. Galbraith. 2005. Properties and classification of minerals sands mine soils in southeastern Virginia. ‘National Meeting of American Society of Mining Reclamation.’ June 19–23, Breckenridge, USA.Google Scholar
- Ridge, R. 2013. Fertilizing for high yield and quality sugarcane. International Potash Institute: Horgen http://www.ipipotash.org/udocs/414-ipi-bulletin-no21-sugarcane-2013.pdf. Accesses 15 Nov 2013.
- Roth, G. 1971. The effects of filter cake on fertility and yield of sugarcane. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 45: 142–148.Google Scholar
- Rowell, D.L. 1988. Flooded and poorly drained soils. In Russell’s soil conditions and plant growth, 11th ed, ed. A. Wild, 899–927. Harlow: Longman Scientific and Technical.Google Scholar
- SASRI (South African Sugarcane Research Institute Association). 2010. Information sheet. Variety N41. SASRI, Mt Edgecombe. pp. 1–2. http://www.sasa.org.za/Libraries/Variety_Information/N41.sflb.ashx. Accessed 7 Nov 2013.
- SAWS (South African Weather Service). 2013. Climate data base. Pretoria: SAWS.Google Scholar
- Shainberg, I., M.E. Sumner, W.P. Miller, M.P.W. Farina, M.A. Pavan, and M.V. Fey. 1989. Use of gypsum on soils: A review. Advances in Soil Science 9: 2–101.Google Scholar
- Tyler, R.M., and R.C.A. Minnit. 2004. A review of sub-Saharan heavy mineral sand deposits: Implications for new projects in southern Africa. The Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 104: 89–99.Google Scholar
- Van Antwerpen, R., R.J. Haynes, J.H. Meyer, and D. Hlanze. 2003. Assessing organic amendments used by sugarcane growers for improving soil chemical and biological properties. Proceedings of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association 77: 293–304.Google Scholar
- VSN International. 2009. GenStat for Windows, 12th ed. Hemel Hempstead: VSN International.Google Scholar
- Wang, J.J., C.W. Kennedy, H.P. Victor, A.E. Arceneax, and A.T. Guidry. 2005. Zinc fertilization of sugarcane in acid and calcareous soils. Journal of American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 25: 49–61.Google Scholar