Soil acidity has become a problem for many dryland producers in Montana and elsewhere in the western U.S., impacting crop production and land sustainability. Without remediation, cereal grains, pulses, and other crops can no longer be grown in some areas. This problem can be traced primarily to the rise in fertilizer N use that grown 3-fold since the mid-1980’s. Also, the popularity of no-till cropping systems has resulted in the stratification of soil pH profile with the most acidic layers now appearing in the surface layers (0-2″ depth) and thus affecting young developing crops. This project was established to address the emerging problem of soil acidification by engaging with growers in northern and central Montana who are currently experiencing lost production and reduced sustainability and are now experimenting with remediation strategies, including sugar beet lime applications, crop diversification, and intensification with cover crops. On‐farm sugar beet lime strip‐trials (15 to 25 ac) have demonstrated this product is effective at raising soil pH and remediating soil acidity problems within one year if incorporated with tillage (4-6″ depth) after application. Without tillage, application of sugar beet lime and/or other lime products will likely have little impact on soil pH remediation. A partial economic analysis of lime application costs indicates that remediating acid soils may require a $100/ac investment or more to raise soil pH from 4.7 to a target level of pH 6.0. Though an expensive input, these costs need to be amortized over a long-time duration (>20 years) as our analysis of fertilizer N legacy effects on soil pH indicate Montana soils are well-buffered again acidifying effects of ammonium-based fertilizer. For example, results from a long-term cropping system on an Amersterdam silt loam soil found 2300 lb/ac cumulative urea-N inputs over 14 years were required to drop soil pH one unit. Under this scenario, a soil limed to a target pH 6.0 would require 25 years to fall to a pH 5.0 if urea-N equaled 92 lb N/ac/yr. Field observations from our sugar beet lime strip trials have revealed that pulse crops, e.g. lentil (Lens culinaris) and yellow pea (Lathyrus aphaca), are particularly sensitive to soil acidity likely as a result of inhibited nodulation by rhizobia that are sensitive to low pH. Our crop species – cultivar trials have revealed that among crops tested barley is particularly sensitive to acidic soil conditions relative to spring wheat. Fertilizer trials have revealed that seeded-placed P, particularly high rates (i.e. ≥ 60 lb P2O5/ac), can mitigate toxicity effects from soil acidity-Al toxicity and elevated durum (Triticum durum) grain yield by 2-fold (22.2 bu/ac) over durum that has not received P. To date our analysis of soil buffer test methods for estimating lime requirements have been unable to identify a method that will accurately predict lime requirements to correct soil pH. Education and outreach activities conducted this project inception have been extensive. We have given oral presentations at 33 events including conferences, workshops, and field days; plus a television broadcast (MTAglive), youtube, and Yellowstone Public Radio. We have also circulated the results of our work in print media, including popular press articles, MSU Extension publications, and Crops and Soils Magazine. Currently, farmer surveys are being conducted to quantify the impact of this study on knowledge of the soil acidification process and soil acidity remediation.
1). To develop and execute an on-farm soil acidity remediation and prevention program in central and northern Montana (April 2017-October 2019).
2). Identify soil buffer test methods that provide the best estimate of lime requirements for soils in central and northern Montana (July 2017- October 2019).
3). Identify canola, pea, barley, and wheat cultivars along with crop species grown in cover crop polycultures or cocktails that are best adapted to low pH environments (July 2017-April 2020).
4). Provide agricultural stakeholders with the research results they need to make informed decisions on acid soil mitigation and prevention with both direct engagement, through Field Days, workshops, one-on-one, and indirect contacts including press releases, webpage, radio interviews, and a video, and evaluate the impact of this outreach and engagement effort. Our goal is to reach >500 people directly and have another >5,000 indirect contacts (April 2018– April 2020).
Hypothesis 1 – Soil applications of sugarbeet lime will be effective at remediating acidity and preventing aluminum toxicity in crops.
Hypothesis 2 – Soil testing protocols using buffered solutions will be effective at quantifying lime requirements necessary to remediate acid affected soils in Montana.
Hypothesis 3 – Cultivars will vary in their acid tolerance allowing farmers to better select higher yielding cultivars on acid soils.
Hypothesis 4 – Our outreach and engagement strategy will improve economic outcomes for producers who have acid soils.
Objective 1 – On-farm soil acidity remediation and prevention program
We conducted on-farm sugar beet lime strip-trials at three locations in Chouteau County, northwest (7.4 mile) of Big Sandy, south (6.3 mile) of Fort Benton and north (9.8 mile) of Geraldine. Fort Benton and Geraldine were under a continuous crop management program and Big Sandy was under a fallow-crop system. The sugar beet lime was obtained from Western Sugar Co-op in Billings, Montana and transported to the field sites via semi-trailer truck.
Figure 1. Sugar beet lime was hauled to our field sites by a private hauler in semi-trailer trucks
Each trial consisted of eight strips with three sugar beet lime rates, i.e., 0, 1, 2- and 4-ton material/ac at Big Sandy and Geraldine, and 0, 2, 4, and 6-ton material/ac at Fort Benton. The 0 and 4 ton/ac rates were replicated three times in a randomized complete block design (Figure 2). Individual strips had a long and narrow configuration to incorporate natural variances in terrain and/or background soil pH that occurred across the field sites. Sugar beet lime was applied to each field site in the fall of 2017 using a Stolzfus wet lime applicator provided by Marcus Roddy (producer-advisor representative). A video of the beet lime application is provided below. The beet lime was incorporated with tillage at Fort Benton and Geraldine, but not Big Sandy (left on surface). Chemical analysis of the beet lime indicated it contained 30% moisture and 55% CaCO3e (wet-weight basis). I In 2018, the Big Sandy, Fort Benton and Geraldine locations were seeded by cooperating farmers to safflower, lentil and durum, respectively. In 2019, the Fort Benton and Geraldine the field sites were seed to spring wheat and yellow pea, respectively, and the Big Sandy site was in fallow. The dominant soil series at Big Sandy was a Telstad loam and Bearpaw-Vida clay at Fort Benton and Geraldine. Soil pH (0-4”) at Big Sandy, Fort Benton and Geraldine prior to lime application averaged 4.87, 4.6, and 4.8, respectively, but exhibited considerable variance across the field locations. Five soil cores (0-8”) were collected at georeferenced locations in the fall 2017 (prior to beet lime application), 2018 (1-yr post, and 2019 (2-yr post), and composited by depth increments of 0-2”, 2-4”, 4-6” and 6-8”.
Figure 2. On-farm sugar beet lime strip-trial plot design used in Chouteau County. Plots were 0.5 mile long at Geraldine and Big Sandy, and 0.3 mile at Fort Benton, Individual plots were 60’ feet wide. Soil cores were collected at georeferenced locations along a transect that ran parallel to the length of each plot with 8 locations per strip and Geraldine and Big Sandy, and 6 locations at Fort Benton.
Previous research from Great Plains has shown that boosting P fertilizer rates, particularly as band applications with, or near the seed, provides a short-term approach for mitigating developing soil acidity problems. Therefore, we conducted on-farm small plot replicated trials at two locations to evaluate the impact of P fertilizer management on crop tolerance to acidity. These trials were integrated with our cultivar-crop species trials discussed under Objective 3, and included two lime management levels and four P rates (0, 15, 30, 60 and 90 lb P2O5/ac). Grain yield, protein, and quality data were collected from all plots, as well as early-season biomass samples. Treatments were compared using ANOVA and Fisher’s least significant difference test (LSD).
Objective 2 – Buffer test and lime requirements
The primary goal was to identify soil chemical buffer tests among a number of published protocols that provide the best estimate of lime-requirement for acid-affected soils of central and northern Montana. This objective was approached by collecting of surface soil samples (0-4″) from ten agricultural fields/locations from central and northern Montana, and including the field sites where our strip lime applications trials were run under Objective 1. The soils were be dried and processed for 1) a laboratory incubation with calcium carbonate to determine the theoretical lime requirement necessary to achieve a targeted soil pH (e.g. pH 6.0); and 2) analysis of lime requirements utilizing four established soil buffer protocols including the Adams and Evans test (Adams and Evans, 1962), Woodruff 6 test (Gavlak et al., 2005, modified Mehlich test (Hoskins, 2008), and Sikora test (Sikora 2006). Agricultural fields targeted for sample collection all had soil pH <5.2, and represented different soil series (defined from USDA-NRCS soil surveys) that are common to Montana and representative of soils under crop production. The laboratory incubation with calcium carbonate was performed over 90 days using 0, 1, 2, 3, 4.5, 6, and 7.5 tons CaCO3/ac equivalent addition to each soil. Regression analysis was used to determine the theoretical lime requirement for each soil to achieve the target pH 6.0 value. The predicted lime requirement to achieve the target pH 6.0 was then estimated using each of the four soil buffer protocols. Regression and correlation analysis were then used to compare predicted lime requirements (buffer tests) with theoretical lime requirements (incubation test).
Objective 3 – Canola, pea, barley, and wheat cultivars trials screening for pH tolerance /susceptibility.
We screened canola, pea, barley and spring wheat cultivars adapted to Montana’s dryland agriculture for susceptibility and resistance to low pH and/or aluminum toxicity. Our approach was to embed replicated small plot trials inside of fields that were identified as having production-related problems due to soil acidity. Two locations were identified with pH ≤5.2 on private farms in central Montana. The study ran for two growing seasons (2018 and 2019) and consisted of up to nine entries per crop species and two pH management levels (-lime, +lime). Treatments were replicated four times in a strip-split-plot design with pH management as main-plots, crop species as sub-plots and cultivar selection as sub-sub-plots. The four individual crop species were seeded in separate areas. Individual plots (1.5 x 6.2 m) were seeded with a small-plot cone seeder. The lime material was fine-grind agricultural limestone (i.e. dolomitic limestone, 99.2% passing through a #100 sieve). This material was purchased in fall 2017, hauled to our field sites in sacks (Figure 3), and spread to the +lime strips at 5 ton/ac using the Stoltzfus wet-lime applicator (Figure 4) and with the participation of our cooperating farmers.
Figure 3. Fine-grind and reactive agricultural limestone was transported to our field sites in 1-Ton (short) sacks.
Figure 4. Lime application with the Stoltzfus wet-lime applicator. Lime material was incorporated with the surface soil shortly after application.
Objective 4 – Outreach to agricultural stakeholders, including evaluation
We will provide agricultural stakeholders with the research results they need to make informed decisions on acid soil mitigation and prevention by direct engagement at Field Days, workshops, one-on-one contact, and through indirect contacts achieved through press releases, webpage, radio interviews, and video production. Our goal will be to achieve >500 direct people contacts and >5,000 indirect contacts. To achieve our outreach goals, we will partner with the Choteau Conservation District, NRCS, Choteau County Extension (Tyler Lane Extension Agent), and the Montana Salinity Control Association (Jane Holzer Program Director) to maximize turn-out at project sponsored field days. Field days will be planned in 2018 and 2019 at our Research and or strip-trial locations (Objective 1 and 3). Dr. Jones will personally invite Extension Agents from neighboring counties, and as chair of the Rocky Mountain Certified Crop Adviser program will invite CCAs from Choteau County and surrounding counties to these Field Days. In late fall or early winter of 2019/20, we will lead a workshop in Choteau County summarizing the results of our study, and again invite producers (through local contacts) and ag professionals. Most importantly, at Field Days and at this workshop, we will ask the farmer-collaborators to discuss their observations given that farmer-farmer education is often the most impactful.
We also will write one press release per year, be interviewed on the Northern Ag Network in 2018 and 2019, develop a soil acidification webpage (in 2018), produce a Montguide on soil acidification, mitigation, and prevention (in 2019), write an article in the Montana Conservationist (in 2019), and produce a video (with help from MSU Film School) to be uploaded to YouTube on soil acidification, including mitigation strategies (in 2019 or 2020). Dr. Jones will request time at the Montana Grain Growers Association and the Montana AgriBusiness Association annual meetings to present findings from our studies (in 2019 and 2020). In addition, Dr. Jones will send emails to MSU agricultural extension agents, NRCS personnel, and RM CCAs annually on project results, and will share results of this study with colleagues in the western region at the Western Nutrient Management Conference in 2019.
Each field day and workshop will be evaluated using the WSARE-approved Research and Education Outreach Survey with the added question: “What would have made this program more useful to you?” We will use the survey results from the first Field Day and first workshop to adjust our outreach approach for future efforts. To assess project impact, we will conduct a survey in January 2020 through the USPS of ~1/3 of Choteau County producers (selected randomly from FSA lists). In this survey, it will be critical to ask if the farmer had experienced soil acidification on his/her fields and had heard about the project, to assist with survey result analysis. Dr. Jones has considerable experience with surveys; for example, he led a state-wide randomized survey in 2015 from a previously funded cover crop WSARE study (501 surveys; 40% response) and assisted with two county-focused surveys for a USDA-National Integrated Water Quality Program study in 2012 and 2015 (280 – 400 surveys each; ~55% response rate). He received his training in survey approach and analysis from rural sociologist, Douglas Jackson -Smith (at that time with USU). The major goals of the survey will be to determine 1) if producer knowledge and understanding of the acidification process and mitigation options have improved, and 2) if producer practices have changed or are more likely to change because of this study.
A brief summary of activities, progress and highlights is provided for each Objective below.
Under Objective 1
We found sugar beet lime applications (applied Fall 2017) at Fort Benton and Geraldine raised soil pH (0-4”) over a 1-year and 2-year time window according to the curvilinear relationship of Figure 5. The dominant soil series at both field sites was Bearpaw-Vida clay loam and so it was not surprising then the pH change with lime was similar at the two locations. Overall, the relationships demonstrated beet lime was effective at ameliorating soil acidity, and that most of the pH changes occurred over a 1-year time window if the lime material was incorporated with tillage. Sugar beet lime requirements necessary to raise soil pH by 1.3 units to a target pH of 6 was approximately 2.5 tons/ac, or 2750 lb CaCO3/ac. This application rate equates to a $100/ac investment for transport and field application with tillage incorporation (estimates assume transport cost of beet lime to the farm are $35/ ton, plus field applications cost equivalent are estimated at $12/ac). While this is a considerable cost input, we believe the costs are modest when viewed over a long-term time horizon (e.g. 20 years – discussed below)..Figure 5. Soil pH change from 2017 after application of sugar beet lime or differential between fall 2017 and fall 2018 as affected by sugar beet lime rates.
Soil pH depth-profile relationships at the 4 ton/ac beet lime application rate revealed that pH was affected in the 0-2” and 2-4” depth layers at Geraldine and Fort Benton trial, and only the 0-2” layer at Big Sandy (Figure 6). This response was not surprising as sugar beet lime was incorporated with tillage to a depth of 4” at Geraldine and Fort Benton, while at Big Sandy it was left on the soil surface without incorporation. These results demonstrated for the benefit of area farmers that beet lime does not wash into the soil if left on the surface, and that incorporation will be necessary to correct soil acidity to eliminate pH stratification.
Figure 6. Soil pH depth-profile in fall 2017 and 2019, or before and after sugar beet lime application (4 tons/ac) at Fort Benton (till), Geraldine (till), and Big Sandy (no-till).
To date, significant grain yield responses to have sugar beet lime have not been observed in cereal grains and safflower. However, we have found visually obvious differences in lentil and yellow pea growth to beet lime applications. In 2018, lentil top growth was greener, and biomass was 50% greater in areas receiving lime compared to the non-limed area at Fort Benton (Fig. 4A). Similarly, in 2019 we observed yellow pea growth at N Geraldine was more robust where lime was applied (Fig. 4B) and pea seed yield was significantly greater (-lime = 23.3 bu/ac vs. +lime =30.0 bu/ac) compared to areas without lime. The benefit to liming was believed to a result improved rhizobia activity, nodulation and N-nutrition of these pulse crops.
Lime strip trials were established in October 2017 at three farms in Chouteau County with the application of sugar beet lime that was transported to the field sites from the Western Sugar Cooperative in Billings. In fall 2018, we collected soil samples at all field locations to determine the impact of beet lime applications on soil pH. At two of the three locations (N. Geraldine and Fort Benton), the cooperating farmer incorporated beet lime with tillage after its application. For these locations, sugar beet lime raised soil pH (0-10 cm) over a 1-year time window according to the curvilinear relationship of Figure 4. The relationships demonstrated beet lime is effective at ameliorating soil acidity and validating Hypothesis 1. However, the cost of acidity amelioration provides an example of “bad news and good news” story-line. The “bad news” is that the initial cost input to correct soil pH is substantial. For example, raising soil pH by 1.2 units at N. Geraldine or 1.4 units at Fort Benton to a target soil pH of 6.0 requires approximately 7 MT ha-1 of sugar beet lime (30% moisture). This application equates to a $270 ha-1 (or $105 ac-1) investment for transport of the lime material to the field from Billings. In addition, there are additional costs associated with field application and tillage for incorporation. The “good news” is that soil pH amelioration may last many years, e.g. >15 years, if our current models of soil pH change with cumulative fertilizer N inputs are accurate for our climate/region. Sugar beet lime applications were not incorporated at one of the three locations, i.e. Big Sandy by the cooperating farmer. The soil pH vs. depth profile measurements collected at this location in fall 2018 revealed little effect from the lime applications on soil pH. These results confirmed our belief that incorporation of liming material is essential to realize soil remediation of acidic pH.
In 2018, we observed visually obvious differences in growth of lentil at our sugar beet lime strip-trial near Fort Benton. Lentil top growth was greener, and biomass was greater in areas receiving lime compared to the non-limed area (Figure 5). Also, an aerial drone flight on June 24 revealed the +lime strips were visible from the air, though differences in growth between adjacent lime and non-lime areas were not apparent along the entire field transect (Figure 6). The benefits to lentil growth, biomass and coloration were believed to reflect greater rhizobium activity that translated to improved nitrogen nutrition. Surprisingly, these early season growth differences did not translate to greater seed yield at harvest.
Figure 5. Visual differences in lentil growth were apparent from the sugar beet lime applications at Fort Benton with the green strips receiving lime vs. the chlorotic, non-limed areas. Spring soil pH (0-10 cm depth) was 4.7 in the -limed strips and 5.9 in the +lime (4 ton sugar beet lime/ac) strips. The photograph was taken June 14, 2018.
Figure 6. Aerial drone imagery of the lentil field on June 24, 2018, revealed darker magenta coloration in strips receiving sugar beet lime relative to strips without lime.
Similarly, in 2019 we observed yellow pea growth at Geraldine was more robust where lime was applied (Figure 7). Unlike lentil, seed yield was significantly improved by lime to areas without lime (-lime = 23.3 bu/ac vs. +lime =30.0 bu/ac). The benefit of liming was believed to result from improved rhizobia activity, nodulation, and N-nutrition of these pulse crops.
Figure 7. Yellow pea growth and coloration was improved at Geraldine with the application of lime on June 05, 2019 (left) and June 19, 2019 (right)
Seed-placed P fertilizer trials
In 2018, we observed a large growth response to P fertilization in durum where the soil pH was not amended with Aglime application (Figure 8). Grain yield was affected by the interaction of lime and P fertilizer (Figure 9). Briefly, seed-placed P fertilizer mitigated Al toxicity symptoms and improved grain yield 20 bu/ac over unfertilized controls where lime was not applied. Conversely, durum was unresponsive to P fertilizer when lime was applied to correct soil acidity. In 2019, a similar response by durum to P fertilizer was evident early in the growing season at the Highwood Bench field site. However, two hailstorm events during the growing season reduced yield by approximately 50% and the mitigated the response to P fertilizer. Our results indicate that seed-placed P fertilizer provides a method for mitigating Al toxicity at field sites with acidic soils, and can occur even at field sites with very high soil P levels. The response to P fertilizer is not associated with a nutrition benefit as it occurs in soils that test very high in available P and which was the case in both 2018 and 2019. Rather, the mechanism results from a reduction in Al+3 concentration in the root tips as a result of Al-P precipitation. The fertilizer strategy of placing P with the seed to mitigate Al toxicity in crops should be viewed as a short-term approach to manage acidic soils as soil pH is not remediated. In Montana, this strategy might best be suited for a situation where a farmer is renting land under a short-term lease agreement.
Figure 8. Seed-placed P (right) resulted in more vegetative growth and higher durum yields than non-fertilized P areas (left) at our field site on the Highwood Bench. Soil pH was 4.4 in these plots that did not receive Ag-lime.
Figure 9. Durum grain yield on the Highwood Bench was improved with P fertilizer under acid soil conditions (-lime) but was not affected where soil acidity was mitigated with lime applications. Olsen soil P level = 50 ppm in 2018 and 83 ppm in 2019 (very high).
Under Objective 2
We collected soil samples for the lime-requirement incubation study in fall 2017 (Table 1). Results of our 90-day lime incubation experiment are provided in Figure 9. The measured lime requirement to correct or change each soil to a target pH of 6.0 was estimated from the curves in this figure. The final stage of this objective involved measuring soil pH in buffer solutions according to four established soil testing protocols. The buffer soil pH was then compared to the measured lime requirements from the incubation. To date, we have not identified a soil buffer test that estimates lime requirement with greater reliability than soil pH measure in water (result to be provided in the final report).
Under Objective 3
In 2018, we conducted Aglime (+,-) x cultivar selection trials with four crop species (pea, canola, spring wheat, and barley) at two farms (Geraldine and Highwood) to determine potential benefits to lime applications and to identify selections with tolerance to soil acidity. Yield and quality results are summarized in Tables 2-5 for the two location and 2 years. Visual benefits to crop growth were evident in barley and canola at the Geraldine and Highwood in 2018. However, only barley showed a small yield increase with Aglime (+Aglime = 46.2 bu/ac vs. – Aglime = 39.5 bu/ac) at harvest. At Highwood in 2018, early and mid-season differences in growth from lime applications were visually evident in barley, pea, and spring wheat with greater biomass occurring in areas receiving lime. However, the greater top growth likely created more drought-stress at grain-fill resulting in smaller mature kernel sizes and compromised yield. This phenomenon was particularly evident in barley, which actually showed a significantly lower yield with +Aglime vs. -Aglime control. However, certain cultivars of canola responded favorably to lime while others exhibited no statistical differences, suggesting a quantitative assessment of acid tolerance is possible with this data-set.
In 2019, we conducted Aglime (+,-) x cultivar selection trials with four crop species (pea, canola, spring wheat, and barley) at Highwood, and two crop species (spring wheat and barely) at Geraldine. Residual herbicide issue prevented the seeding of canola and pea at Geraldine. Yield and quality (seed quality results are still ongoing) are summarized in Tables 6-9. Significant yield response to Aglime were observed in wheat (7.1 bu/ac) and barley (17.8 bu/ac) at Geraldine. Cultivar-dependent yield responses to lime were observed in spring wheat. The spring wheat cultivar ‘Alum’, bred specifically for aluminum tolerance, was among the top yield and unsurprisingly, this cultivar exhibited no statistical yield response to lime. At Highwood, unfortunately two mid-season hailstorms severely damaged all crops, but in particular pea and canola. The loss of important yield data this location was particularly disappointing as large visual differences in growth were apparent early in the season.
Table 2. Spring wheat yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Geraldine and Highwood, Montana. 2018. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.1 with Aglime.
Table 3. Barley wheat yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Geraldine and Highwood, Montana. 2018. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.1 with Aglime.
Table 4. Spring pea yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Geraldine and Highwood, Montana. 2018. Soil pH 4.4 without Aglime and soil pH 6.1 with Aglime.
Table 5. Canola yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Geraldine and Highwood, Montana. 2018. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.1 with Aglime.
Table 6. Spring yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Geraldine and Highwood, Montana. 2019. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.8 with Aglime.
Table 7. Barley yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Geraldine and Highwood, Montana. 2019. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.8 with Aglime.
Table 8. Spring pea yield and quality analysis as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Highwood, Montana. 2019. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.8 with Aglime.
Table 9. Canola yield as affected by cultivar selection and Aglime (5 ton/ac) at Highwood, Montana. 2019. Soil pH 4.4 wihout Aglime and soil pH 6.8 with Aglime.
Under Objective 4
Outreach activities are summarized in the Education and Outreach section. Briefly, our activities have included 33 oral presentations including talks to Montana Agbusiness people, growers, fertilizer dealers, private consultants, and scientists at international and regional meetings. Also, we have presented our research project on Youtube, Montana AgLive and Yellowstone Public Radio (https://www.ypradio.org/post/worm-november-6-2019#stream/0). Our research has been reported in print media including Montana Grain News, The Prairie Star, Crops and Soils Magazine, and Montana Fertilizer eFacts.
To be determined.
Education and outreach activities include field day and workshop presentations, video, a soil acidification webpage, short summaries in grain grower newsletters and magazines, and an Extension Bulletin on acidification mitigation and prevention. On-farm field scale research and demonstration trials have been conducted on farms in Chouteau County and havel serve as a backdrop for field day presentations and discussions. Workshops have been organized during the fall or winter that provide a forum for updating the ag-community on research results generated by this project as well current research information from the Pacific Northwest. Information from this project was also be presented in grain grower newsletter and magazines, and the American Society of Agronomy Crops and Soils magazine.
Educational & Outreach Activities
MSU Extension Fact Sheet – Soil acidification: An emerging problem in Montana. http://landresources.montana.edu/fertilizerfacts/documents/FF78SoilAcidifIntro.pdf
Published press popular press articles, newsletters
Montana Grain News – Soil Acidity: Emerging Issue That Requires Scouting – May 2018
- FARM 406. Soil Acidity: An Emerging Issue that Requires Scouting. Fall 2018 issue (https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1041839-farm406-fall-2018/17?m4=) see insert below
- Acid Soil: Prevention may be cheaper than cure – by Meryl Rygg McKenna in Montana Grain Growers Association newsletter and MT Salinity Control Association newsletter
- Beware: Soil acidity. May 2019. Montana Salinity Control Association Newsletter
The Prairie Star – Management solutions to low pH soils and yield loss – June 8, 2018
The Prairie Star – Yellowing leaves, club roots, yield loss may be low soil pH – June 8, 2018
Montana NRCS – https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/mt/newsroom/features/soil+acidification+a+growing+concern+for+montana+farmers/
- Jones, C., R. Engel, and K. Olson-Rutz. 2019. Soil Acidification in the Semi-arid Regions of the Northern Great Plains. Crop & Soils Magazine. March-April. p 28-30,56. – this article is being used by Dr. Jay Goos Introductory Soils Class at North Dakota State University
Indirect contacts are estimated to exceed 15,000 via publications and news media including MT AgLive, Yellowstone Public Radio, and American Society of Agronomy Crops and Soils Magazine.
- Knowledge of N fertilization impact on soil acidity
- Lime requirements to change soil pH
- Aluminum toxicity symptoms in crops.
- Soil pH and extractable Al relationships in soils
- Effect of P fertilizer on Al toxicity.
- Impact of liming and soil pH on growth of pulse crops.
Knowledge of N fertilization impact on soil acidity
Lime requirements to change soil pH
Aluminum toxicity symptoms in crops.
Soil pH and extractable Al relationships in soils
Effect of P fertilizer on Al toxicity.
Impact of liming and soil pH on growth of pulse crops.
To be determined.