Measuring and Interpreting Soil pH | pH and Nutrients
The acidification of agricultural soils is a common problem. Agriculture often decreases the pH of soil through everyday practices such as harvesting hay and grain, applying fertilisers, and cropping with legumes.
It is important that soil pH is regularly measured and monitored to ensure remedial action is taken to prevent strongly acidic soils from developing.
If left unchecked, soil can acidify beyond the point where amelioration by liming the soil is a practical solution. In some instances, soil acidification has affected the subsoil as well as the surface soil. This presents further difficulties for farmers as it is not easy to ameliorate acidified subsoils. Lime does not readily move down the profile.
The following animation provides a simple illustration of the complex process of acidification in an agricultural context.
Click on the animation of acidification to start.