Determine “A Deal” on Liming Material

by Bruce Clevenger, OSU Extension Defiance County

Soil pH is an important consideration when producing any crop, and soil pH should be the first soil consideration when attempting to grow a plant. Soil pH affects soil microbial activity and populations, many soil chemical reactions, and nutrient availability; thus it is an important soil property to consider for maximum productivity. High yielding crops, applications of certain forms of nitrogen, and other agricultural practices also contribute to soil acidity. Roots of high-yielding grain and forage crops remove basic cations from the soil and release hydrogen into soil solution to maintain an ionic charge balance within the tissue. Ammonium-based fertilizers release hydrogen when oxidized to form nitrate, contributing to soil acidity. The amount of lime required to neutralize the acidity created by various nitrogen fertilizer materials can be estimated. Even though liming materials are not the same, they all follow the same process to neutralize soil acidity. Lime supplies a surplus of the basic cations in a carbonated, hydroxide, or oxide form. Any legitimate liming material (based on Ohio Department of Agriculture standards (2005) works the same way. However, quality and cost do differ among lime sources. For more information read OSU Extension fact sheet Soil Acidity and Liming for Agronomic Production AGF-505 found at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/agf-fact/pdf/0505.pdf


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