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Book: Soil Science Step-by-Step Field Analysis
Published by: Soil Science Society of America

 

This chapter in SOIL SCIENCE STEP-BY-STEP FIELD ANALYSIS

  1.  p. 147-158
     
    Soil Science Step-by-Step Field Analysis

    Sally Logsdon, Dave Clay, Demie Moore and Teferi Tsegaye (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-856-8

     
    Published: 2008


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doi:10.2136/2008.soilsciencestepbystep.c12

Measuring and Managing Soil pH

  1. Eric D. Lund
  1. Veris Technologies, Inc. 601 N. Broadway Salina, KS 67401(lunde@veristech.com)

Summary

Summary

Nutrient usage, crop growth, and herbicide activity are all affected by the pH of the soil. For each crop, there is an optimal pH range. To adjust pH, growers apply amendments such as lime and gypsum to raise and lower pH. These rates are typically based on soil sampling and lab analysis. Within a field, there can be a wide range of pH values, with soils that are both below and above the optimal pH. Due to the cost of lime and the possible negative effects of erroneous adjustments to soil pH, many growers use site-specific technology to fine-tune applications. These technologies allow samples to be collected with GPS, and lime to be spread according to a prescription, but the variability within a field poses a challenge for using them effectively. An understanding of the nature of soil variability and the results of averaging and interpolating are needed to manage pH effectively, whether by conventional single rate application or using site-specific management.

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