Submitted to: WSU Dryland Field Day Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2014
Publication Date: 6/20/2014
Citation: Mcfarland, C., Huggins, D.R., Brown, T., Schroeder, K., Koenig, R., Blackburn, J., Carpenter-Boggs, L., Paulitz, T.C. 2014. Remediation of Stratified Soil Acidity Through Surface Application of Lime in No-Till Cropping Systems. WSU Dryland Field Day Abstracts. 14-1. Pg. 34. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Yield reduction and reduced crop vigor, resulting from soil acidification, are of increasing concern in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. In this region, soil pH has been decreasing at an accelerated rate, primarily due to the long-term use of ammonium based fertilizers. In no-till systems, the acidification is stratified and a zone of much lower soil pH is often measured at the depth where fertilizer is applied. It is well known that liming raises soil pH. At the same time, the properties of soils in the Palouse region, which include cut-over timber soils as well as those which were natively prairie, are unique and not typical of “acid” soils. The unique properties of Palouse soils means that they will have different requirements and responses to liming than characteristically acid soils. The research focus is on understanding the response of crops and soils in the Palouse to liming. At two sites under no-till management, one at Freeman, WA and representative of cut-over timber soil, and the other at the Palouse Conservation Field Station (PCFS) which was natively prairie, soil pH stratification has been measured. Fluid lime and sugar lime were surface-applied at the two sites and soil and crop response to the treatments will be compared. The fluid lime is a product which has recently become commercially available, and is a highly-reactive, ultra-fine particle size calcium carbonate. The depth and magnitude of surficial lime treatment effects on soil are being measured to assess their effectiveness in remediating acidic zones in no-tilled soils. Parallel studies are underway to update soil pH buffer tests and corresponding lime requirement recommendations for the region and to assess how different liming materials react in the soil over time.