New inexpensive method developed to detect lime in soil

University of Adelaide scientists have developed a new simple, inexpensive and fast method to detect and measure very low concentrations of agricultural lime in soils, which is generally a time consuming and difficult exercise.

The research is published in leading soil science journal Geoderma.

PhD student and lead author of the study Ruby Hume, developed this method as part of a Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA)-led and Grains Research and Development Corporation-funded project, exploring novel approaches to address the issue of sub-surface soil acidification in South Australia’s cropping regions.

“Soil acidity can be very damaging to crop production. Approximately 20 per cent of agricultural land in South Australia is affected by the problem, and this number is expected to double over the next few decades,” said Ms Hume.

“While it is not a new problem in South Australia, we are now seeing acidity in regions where it has not been an issue previously, such as in the Mid-North and the Yorke Peninsula, and clay-rich soils in the South East.” Continue reading