Lime Vs. Soil Acidity Presented At Irrigated Field Day Tour, July 14

Chris Augustin, Dickinson Research Extension Center (DREC) soil scientist and director, will be presenting information on the DREC’s soil acidity study at the Irrigated Field Day Tour, July 14.

Augustin along with staff at the DREC conduct the soil acidity study on small sections of North Dakota farmer’s fields. The study entails applying lime on acidic soil and analyzing the effect it has on the soil pH.

The study starts once a participating farmer seeds an acidic field. DREC staff then go to the field and place hoops on certain areas and collect soil samples outside of the hoop and apply varying amounts of lime to the inside of the hoop.

When the crop is ready to be harvested, the research crew goes back out to the field to hand harvest the hoola hoop section. The following fall, the team goes back and samples soil within the hoop to see what the lime did to that soil.

In 2021, the team performed the experiment with 0, 1, 2, 4, and 8 tons of lime.

They worked with 11 North Dakota producers that had farmland south and west of the Missouri River and even as far east as Williston and Steele.

Performing the study around the state allows the team to account for a huge variable of soils and climate.

“I am actually analyzing 1,200 soil samples that we have been doing research trials on for the past year,” he added. 

The team will be doing the study a little differently this year, applying .5, 1, 2, 4, 8. ton of lime. 

“We are doing this to account for some of those lower application rates. What we are seeing is a pretty good response with how much is applied and how that affects soil pH.”

Farmers who deal a lot of with soil acidity are encouraged to attend Augustin’s talk at the Nesson Valley Irrigation Tour.

“Soil acidity is a big soil health issue that has come to the forefront in the past 4-5 years, and we are trying to figure out how much lime is needed to remediate these soils.”


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