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Video Discusses Impacts and Sources of Soil Acidification

A new nine-minute video from Montana State University Extension shows the impact and causes of soil acidification and offers Montana farmers management options to prevent, adapt to, or correct acidic soil, which can lead to heavy yield losses. When pH drops below 6, legumes have trouble fixing nitrogen, and when pH goes below 5, aluminum that exists naturally in soil is released and can be taken up by plants, damaging crops. Research shows that ammonium fertilizers, including urea, are the major cause of soil acidification in agricultural soils. Liming and manure applications are the primary long-term fixes for acidic soil, although some crops that are more tolerant of low pH will gradually help raise the pH of the soil.