Improve nutrient availability
Soil pH is the foundation of soil fertility. A nutrient’s availability to a plant is affected by soil pH, which is why correcting and maintaining pH at adequate levels is important. Phosphorus is the nutrient most affected by soil pH. When pH is less than 5.5, the solubility of aluminum increases allowing it to combine with phosphorus, forming insoluble compounds impacting its availability to the plant.
With substantial investments made to N, P and K fertility programs, it is easy to see why maintaining appropriate pH is paramount to protecting your investment. Crops need sufficient access to these nutrients in order to attain maximum yield and profitability.
Correct and maintain soil pH
Every time nitrogen is applied, there is some acidification of the soil. As ammonium is converted to nitrate, free hydrogen ions are released causing acidification. It is likely for pH levels near the surface (0-3 inches) to be more acidic compared to deeper in the profile, especially if manure or surface nitrogen applications have been recently applied. Neutralizing this acidification zone is an effective way to offset the most problematic region of the soil.
We encourage growers to think about soil pH through a correct and maintain mindset. If soil pH is less than 6.0, you may look at correcting that soil pH back to a proper level, generally 6.0. If pH is already where it needs to be, a maintenance rate of 98G pelletized limestone should be used to offset fertilizer acidity in the seed germination zone so plants have every chance to reach their yield potential.