CASE - STUDY : Improved agricultural soils
Farmers can improve the quality of their acid soils by spreading lime products. Lime adjusts the pH to optimized level for the crop to grow, resulting in an increase of the production potential. Lime products also offer many other advantages:
• It consolidates the soil structure and improves the flow of air and water. This allows roots to better develop and improves crop resistance to lack of water in draught periods.
• It optimizes the soil capacity, namely retaining fertilizers and making them available when needed by the crop.
• The effects of the fertilizers are enhanced. If the pH is close to neutral (pH7), fertilizers are better absorbed by the plants. This avoids wasting fertilizers that can be harmful to the environment by leaching into underground water and rivers.
With an acid soil (pH4,5) only 30% of the Nitrogen (N), 23% of the Phosphorus (P) and 33% of the Potassium (K) spread on the field are absorbed.
• A higher pH offers better conditions of aeration and humidity, thus fostering biological activity.
• Spreading lime on fields boosts the fertilizers naturally present in the soil.
• Plants that grow on an acid soil absorb toxic elements (Aluminum, Cadmium) more easily. This limits the production potential and the crop quality.
Concentration of Cadmium in rape leaves