Digging up a major soil issue

11-07-2018 by admin

ADDRESSING PROBLEM: Soil and land management consultant Brett Masters discussed lime applications at a recent Managing Acid Soils Champions workshop.
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SOIL acidity is the topic of conversation among farmers on the Lower Eyre Peninsulawho are looking to improve their soil health and crop productivity.

TESTING TIME: Field kits helped to determine soil pH at a Managing Acid Soils Champions workshop held on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. Photos: MARY CRAWFORD

Togetherwith Natural Resources EP and PIRSA,growersare researching ways to improve theirironstone and sandy soils, which are inherently prone to acidification.

PIRSA soil and land management consultant Brett Masters said about 170,000 hectares of the region’s farming land wassubjectto the problem, which was increasing.

“Soil sampling by NREP on 30 paddocks across the region – first in 2010 and again in 2014-15 – indicates that acidification is happening faster than historically estimated, due to modern farming practices and recent seasonal conditions,” he said.

“Lime applications are the most cost-effective way to treat acid soils, but lime sales figures suggest that while there has been an increase in the amount of lime applied by landholders in the past two years to address the issue, this is still only 40 per cent of the total amount required to address annual acidification in the region.”

Mr Masters said surface pH values below 5.5 CaCl2 needed to have lime appliedto increase thatvalue.

BRETT MASTERSThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.

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