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Title: Ameliorating soil acidity of tropical Oxisols by liming for sustainable crop production

item Baligar, Virupax

Submitted to: Advances in Agronomy
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/18/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Fageria, N.K., Baligar, V.C. 2008. Ameliorating soil acidity of tropical oxisols by liming for sustainable crop production. Advances in Agronomy. 99:345-399.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The greatest potential for expanding the world’s agricultural frontier lies in the savanna regions of the tropics, which are dominated by Oxisols. Soil acidity and low native fertility, however, are major constraints for crop production on tropical Oxisols. Soil acidification is an ongoing natural process, which can be enhanced by human activities or it can be controlled by appropriate soil management practices. Acidity produces complex interactions of plant growth-limiting factors involving physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. Soil erosion and low water holding capacity are major physical constraints for crops on tropical Oxisols. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorous deficiencies or unavailability’s and aluminum toxicity are considered major chemical constraints that limit plant growth on Oxisols. Among biological properties, activities of beneficial microorganisms are adversely affected by soil acidity which has profound effects on decomposition of organic matter, nutrient mineralization, immobilization, uptake and utilization by plants and consequently on crop yields. Liming is a dominant and effective practice to overcome these constraints and improve crop production on acid soils. Lime is called the foundation of crop production or “workhorse” in acid soils. Lime requirement for crops grown on acid soils is determined by quality of liming material, status of soil fertility, crop species and cultivar within species, crop management practices and economic considerations. Soil pH, base saturation, aluminum saturation are important acidity indices which are used as a basis for determination of liming rates for reducing plant constraints on acid soils. In addition, crop responses to lime rate are vital tools for making liming recommendations for crops grown on acid soils. The objective of this article is to provide a comprehensive and updated review of lime requirements for improved annual crop production on Oxisols. Experimental data are provided, especially for Brazilian Oxisols to make this review as practical as possible for improving crop production.