The soil reaction (pH) is one of the most important parameters determining soil fertility and plant yield. The Polish climate and soil cover favour the process of calcium and magnesium leaching, which results in lowering of the pH, i.e. soil acidification.
Apart from natural processes, the acidifying effect of mineral fertilisers, particularly ammonium nitrate and sulphate fertilisers, is also of considerable significance.
Acidification of soils inhibits the development of the root system of plants, which limits the uptake of nutrients. The results of above is poor plant growth and yield, low fertilisation efficiency and high nutrient losses from fertilisers.
Acidification is currently the most important factor limiting plant yields in Poland, as approximately 50% of soils are acidic or very acidic (map).
The only way to increase the pH of soils is by liming. However, the consumption of lime fertilisers is very low in relation to needs. In recent years it amounts to less than 40 kg CaO∙ha-1∙rok-1 and
does not even cover the loss of calcium taken up by crops.
The supply of various liming materials is large. Both lime fertilizers from primary production and various by-products with deacidification properties are available.
The first principle of good fertilisation practice is therefore to regulate the pH of soils requiring liming.
Liming saves soils (in polish)
Liming step by step (in polish)
Liming to benefit the environment (in polish)