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Competency Area 5: Soil pH and Liming


pH is a soil characteristic that is affected by management, and is essential for optimal uptake of nutrients by plants.  While the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) is what determines a soil's pH, other factors such as soil type, fertilization, etc. influence the concentration of H+, and thus the pH.  Liming soils to increase soil pH allows the plants to take up the proper nutrients.

Many liming materials are available commercially, the speed and strength of which can be calculated using Fineness Values, Calcium Carbonate Equivalents, and Effective Neutralizing Value.  These calculations are also essential to determining the rate of application.