South African Journal of Plant and Soil | National Inquiry Services Centre

South African Journal of Plant and Soil

ISSN: 0257-1862 (Print)
            2167-034X (Online)
Publication frequency: 5 issues per year

0.9 (2022) Impact Factor 
2.1 (2022) CiteScore (Scopus)
0.563 (2022) SNIP
0.302 (2022) SJR

Accredited with the DHET (SAPSE)

Official publication of SSSSA, SASCP, SASHS and SAWSS

Co-published with Taylor & FrancisClick here for Open Access options on this journal

Aims & Scope

The South African Journal of Plant and Soil publishes original articles and commentaries on research on fundamental and applied soil and plant sciences. The journal has a geographical focus on the African continent but welcomes contributions from other parts of the world if these are of wider international significance. Original research papers, short communications, review articles, and commentaries on papers recently published will be considered for publication in the Journal. 
Manuscripts considered should address aspects of: 
Agronomic or horticultural research including breeding and genetics, production and management, physiology, and product quality;
Soil science including biology, chemistry and physics, classification, fertility, mineralogy, (hydro-)pedology, and soil and land evaluation;
Weed science;
Forage, pasture and turfgrass science;
Plant-soil systems modelling;
Plant–microbe interactions;
Plant–pest interactions; or
Plant–soil relationships.
Full research articles, short communications and review articles should provide new knowledge or insights into mechanisms. Findings of a purely descriptive nature or review articles merely summarising established knowledge are not considered. Field experiments and experiments under controlled conditions presented in original research articles should include at least two sets or seasons of data, or data from multiple sites, unless unusual conditions apply. Review articles are only considered if they are based on clear research questions and/or objectives, and on a systematic methodology. Quantitative meta-analysis of data retrieved through reviewing is encouraged.



Professor Michael Savage 
University of the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Associate Editors

John Bower, Consultant, Agassiz, BC, Canada 
Gert van Coller, Western Cape Provincial Government, South Africa
Nebo Jovanovic, CSIR, Stellenbosch, South Africa 
Sunette Laurie, ARC–Vegetable and Ornamental Plants, Pretoria, South Africa
Daniel Leskovar, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centre, Texas, USA 
Simeon Materechera, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa 
Albert Modi, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa  
Justice Nyamangara, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe 
Christopher Preston, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Hussein Shimelis, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Kylie Swisher-Grimm, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, USA 
Johan van Tol, University of Free State, South Africa 

Advisory Board

Johan Bouma, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Anton Haverkort, Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Jules Janick, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
Zakkie Pretorius, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Journal Management Board

Rianto van Antwerpen, SSSSA, South African Sugar Research Institute, South Africa
Isa Bertling, SASHS, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Cobus Botha, SSSSA, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
Riana Kleinhans SASHS, Tshwane University Technology South Africa
Juan Vorster, SASCP, University of Pretoria, South Africa [chair]

Manuscript Submission

All manuscripts presented in accordance with instructions to authors (printed in the back of each issue) should be submitted online at the South African Journal of Plant and Soil ScholarOne Manuscripts site (

Publishing Manager

Contact regarding all aspects relating to the production of the journal, including scheduling and copyright issues:

Dr Kelly-Anne Frith
NISC (Pty) Ltd
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Makhanda 6140
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)46 622 9698
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 9550

Latest Issue

Volume 40, Issue 4-5, 2023

Research Papers

Nutrient uptake and yield response of wheat (Triticum spp.) to different fertiliser applications in Ethiopia
Author(s): Shimbahri Mesfin Land Resource Management and Environmental Protection, Mekelle University, Ethiopia , Mitiku Haile Land Resource Management and Environmental Protection, Mekelle University, Ethiopia , Girmay Gebresamuel Land Resource Management and Environmental Protection, Mekelle University, Ethiopia , Amanuel Zenebe Land Resource Management and Environmental Protection, Mekelle University, Ethiopia , Abera Gebre Soil Resource and Watershed Management, Aksum University, Ethiopia , Christy van Beek Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands
Pages: 187–196
Nitrogen fertiliser demand of canola is low when produced in conservation agriculture systems in South Africa
Author(s): Izané Riana Crous Stellenbosch University, South Africa , Johan Labuschagne Stellenbosch University, South Africa , Pieter Andreas Swanepoel Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Pages: 197–207
Digital soil mapping enables informed decision-making to conserve soils within protected areas
Author(s): George M van Zijl North-West University, South Africa , Johan van Tol University of the Free State, South Africa
Pages: 216–226
A bioassay of mine-affected soils and ameliorants in semi-arid rehabilitation
Author(s): Chrizette D Neethling University of the Free State, South Africa , Suzanne J Milton South African Environmental Observation Network, South Africa , Falko T Buschke University of the Free State, South Africa , Joh R Henschel University of the Free State, South Africa , Pieter W van Deventer North-West University, South Africa , Surina Esterhuyse University of the Free State, South Africa
Pages: 227–239
Comparison of the effectiveness of mined and by-product South African gypsums and other calcium sources for soil sodicity remediation
Author(s): Marina du Plessis Stellenbosch University, South Africa , Pieter A Swanepoel Stellenbosch University, South Africa , Ailsa G Hardie Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Pages: 240–247

Short communications

Transpiration efficiency of lucerne under unlimited soil water conditions during the first growing season
Author(s): CM Tfwala University of the Free State, South Africa , G Mengistu University of the Free State, South Africa , IB Ukoh Haka University of the Free State, South Africa , LD van Rensburg University of the Free State, South Africa , CC du Preez University of the Free State, South Africa
Pages: 248–253
The effect of crop rotation on soil health in the north-western Free State region, South Africa
Author(s): Melanie de Bruyn University of the Free State, South Africa , Andre Nel University of the Free State, South Africa , Johan van Niekerk Independent research agronomist,
Pages: 254–261


Instructions for Authors

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Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors 

Editorial policy: Original papers, short communications including germplasm registrations, book reviews, comments on papers recently published and reviews on research in fields of soil science and applied plant science will be considered for publication in this journal. Authors should view the full scope of the journal here. Contributions must conform to the principles outlined in Ethical Considerations in Research Publication available for download below. The language medium is English and four volumes are published per year. All papers will be refereed, by at least two referees. Authors bear sole responsibility for the factual accuracy of their publications.

Copyright: This journal uses the Electronic Copyright System ECS and emails with the link to confirm the authors copyright requirements will be sent separately when their article enters production. Copyright for all published material is vested in the Southern African Plant and Soil Sciences Committee. All papers are subject to page charges of R300 (society members) and R600 (non-members) per page (VAT inclusive).The membership status of the first author at the time of article acceptance determines eligibility to discounted page charges.

Authors may consider to make their final published article open access, with limited restrictions on reuse, once an article has been accepted in peer review. This is available for authors, their research sponsors or their funders. An article publishing charge (APC) is applicable, but authors based in sub-Saharan Africa may be eligible for a discounted regional rate. Read more information about our Open Select programme here.  

All submissions much be uploaded online at the South African Journal of Plant and Soil ScholarOne Manuscripts site and include a covering letter with the following information:

• Title of the article.
• A statement that all authors have reviewed the manuscript and approved its submission to South African Journal of Plant and Soil.
• A statement that the manuscript is not being submitted elsewhere.
• A statement indicating why the journal should consider publishing the work and outlining the importance of the research.

All manuscripts should be double-spaced in A4 format with 2.5 cm margins and Arial font of 12 pt. As a general guide to manuscript preparation, refer to the sample copy available here. The editor will acknowledge receipt of your manuscript. If an acknowledgement is not received within 14 days, the corresponding author should contact the Editor-in-Chief.

Full-length original papers: Contributions submitted should be written concisely and, generally, should not be more than 6 000 words in length, unless special conditions apply. Typescripts that are not concise or do not conform to the conventions of the Journal will be returned to the authors for revision.

Short communications: Short communications should not exceed 2 500 words including a brief abstract, tables, text, figures and references. No subheadings are to be included and the discussion should be as brief as possible.

Authors are requested to adhere strictly to the following directives. The contents must be arranged in an orderly way with suitable headings (not for short communications) for each subsection. The text and all tables should be prepared in a single MS Word file.

Title, authors and institutional affiliations. The title must be informative and brief. Provide the preferred name and initials of the author(s), the institution where the work was done and an email address for the corresponding author.

The Abstract should convey essential information such as rationale, objectives, methods, results and conclusions. It should not exceed 200 words. A maximum of five keywords must be provided in English in alphabetical order. The following subdivision of the body text is recommended: Introduction, Materials and methods, Results or Results and discussion, Discussion and/or Conclusions, Acknowledgements, References, Tables and Figures. Figure legends must be directly below each relevant figure.

Footnotes in the text should be avoided. The common name, followed by Latin binomials with the relevant authority in parentheses, must be shown for plants, insects and pathogens when first used in the abstract and text. At the first mention of a pesticide, except in the title and body of the abstract, give its approved common name first and follow it with the full chemical name. Use only the common name thereafter.

For units of measurements, use the SI system. Authors are referred to, and encouraged to make use of, the Publications Handbook and Style Manual (Ch.7) of the American Society of Agronomy for detailed guidelines on preferred units and their acceptable alternatives. The decimal point must be used instead of the decimal comma. For stylistic conventions, please refer to Presentation of Mathematical and Statistical Data available to download below.

Tables: Tables are numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals (Table 1) and should bear a short yet adequate descriptive caption. Units are to be clearly shown. Footnotes to tables are designated by lowercase letters. Tables should be presented on separate pages at the end of the manuscript.

Figures: Conform to the journal style paying particular attention to line thickness, font and figure proportions, taking into account the journals printed page size. Costs of redrawing figures may be charged. Please refer to Figure Guidelines for Authors: format, style and technical considerations available for download below. For digital photographs or scanned images the resolution should be at least 300 dpi for colour or greyscale artwork and a minimum of 600 dpi for black line drawings. MS Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) files are acceptable, but DO NOT EMBED Excel graphs or Powerpoint slides in a MS Word document, rather send the original files. Illustrations can be reproduced in colour, but only when essential, and subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Non-essential use of colour will be charged at ZAR900 (excl. VAT) per page for African contributors and USD75 per page for contributors from elsewhere.

Geolocation information: Add a Geolocation Information section in a separate paragraph before the Acknowledgements. This will be used for indexing the study area accurately in JournalMap’s geographic literature database. View more information here.

References: Cite references in the text in chronological order (Patrick 1974; Allen et al. 1986). Use the abbreviation et al. for more than two authors. The reference list should comprise only published material and theses or reports normally available in libraries. References should be listed alphabetically by authors’ surnames. Journal names must be cited in full and italicised. References to conference abstracts are not permitted.

Examples of reference formats:

Allen SG, Taylor GA, Martin JM. 1986. Agronomic characterization of ‘Yogo’ hard red winter wheat plant height isolines. Agronomy Journal 178: 63–66.

Brommett JM. 1975. Isotope-ratio analysis in tracer investigations. In: White JB (ed.), Methods of soil analyses. Madison: American Society of Agronomy. pp 225–230.

Patrick AC. 1974. Root growth and development (2nd edn). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Refer to Reference Exemplars for Authors available for download below for additional examples of reference formats.

Final proofs will be emailed to authors as a PDF file to check and the Publishing Editor should be advised of any corrections within three days of receipt. A careful check should be made of the references, numbers of tables and figures.

Electronic reprints: Authors will be notified by email when their article is available for download from the journal website. 


Figure Guidelines for Authors

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Figure FAQs

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