Comparison of soil amendments to decrease high strength in SE USA Coastal Plain soils using fuzzy decision-making analyses
W. Busscher 1,   E. Krueger 2,   J. Novak 1,   D. Kurtener 3
 
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1
USDA-ARS, Coastal Plain Research Center, 2611 W Lucas St., Florence, SC, 29501, USA
2
Independent Researcher, 11706 Perry St., Westminster, CO, 80031, USA
3
Agrophysical Research Institute, Grazhdansky pr. 14, 195220 St. Petersburg, Russia
 
Int. Agrophys. 2007, 21(3): 225–231
 
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ABSTRACT
Cemented subsurface layers restrict root growth in many southeastern USA Coastal Plain soils. Though cementa- tion is usually reduced by tillage, soil amendments can offer a more permanent solution if they develop aggregation. To increase aggregation, we amended 450 g of a Norfolk soil blend of 90% E horizon (the hard layer) and 10% Ap horizon with 0 or 6.44 g kg-1 ground wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) residue and 0, 30, or 120 mg kg-1 polyacrylamide (PAM, 12 x 106 Da anionic, linear, and 35% charge density). During a 60-d incubation, parameters measured included water added to maintain 10% soil moisture, soil strength, bulk density, and aggregation. Data were analyzed using a cost-benefit approach with normalized fuzzy logic indicators. Analyses included building normalized decision matrices, calculating weighting vectors, ranking alternatives, and defining the best alternatives. When only physical parameters were analyzed using fuzzy logic indicators, addition of wheat residue with 30 mg kg-1 PAM proved to be the best alternative whereas wheat residue with 120 mg kg-1 PAM had been selected as the best alternative with analysis of variance because it did not simultaneously analyze all variables. When both physical and economic parameters were included, the best alternative was the treatment with wheat residue and 120 mg kg-1 PAM. When using fuzzy logic, judgment of the user was needed to determine which parameters to include and how to weight them.
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