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2018 Soil Acidity Workshop

January 4, 2018

Soil Acidity on the Palouse – Digging Deeper Soil’s Workshop

January 4, 2018, Banyans on the Ridge at the Pavilion (registration and a continental breakfast starts at 8:00 am)

The workshop will feature local experts presenting the most current research on soil acidity for the Palouse region, and will provide a forum to ask and answer questions. The workshop is approved for 8 CCA credits and includes lunch and refreshments.

Soil Acidity Beyond Lime and Aluminum Toxicity: Soil Phosphorus and Soil Health – Dr. Tabitha Brown of the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District and WSU
Tabitha Brown, in collaboration with the University of Idaho and Latah County growers, has been conducting on-farm research with liming acidic soils. She will discuss her findings on how liming affects soil aggregate stability and extractable soil phosphorous. She will compare soil P extraction methods, traditionally used for Palouse soils, with the Haney extraction method, promoted by NRCS. The Haney method was thought to be a better estimation of P sufficiency level because the test mimics root zone P chemistry. Tabitha will also introduce the causes of soil acidity in Palouse soils and lime management strategies

Soil Acidity in the Palouse: What, Why, and How – Dr. Paul Carter, Extension Specialist for Columbia County
The presentation will include survey data collected in Columbia County and various other locations in the Palouse, why we have an acidity problem, and how we are going to continue farming in the future. Research results will be presented that include the use of lime applications and additional micronutrients based on the soil test results. These will include evidence of soil pH changes and wheat yield responses.

Soil and Crop Response to Liming in Northern Idaho On-farm Testing – Doug Finkelnburg, Extension Specialist for Nez Perce County & Assistant Professor at UI
Soil and agronomic responses to liming a direct seeded field in an annually cropped dryland system will be discussed. Implications for increased broadleaf and grassy weed herbicide options and crop rotation choices in the treatments with strong pH corrections vs the untreated soils will be explored.

Management Strategies Can Alleviate the Acceleration of Soil Acidification – Dr. Haiying Tao, WSU Crop and Soil Sciences Associate Professor and Nutrient Management Specialist
Nitrogen-induced soil acidification is a growing concern in wheat producing states. The impact of acidification by N fertilization is related to application rate and form of N fertilizer. Although liming and soil amendments can be used to alleviate soil acidity. Applying N at the right rate, right form, right timing, and right location is key to reducing the rate of acidification.

Using Soil Buffer Tests to Predict Lime Requirement – Carol McFarland, WSU Crop and Soil Sciences Department
Different soils can require very different quantities of lime to raise soil pH. Buffer Tests are a quick method that soil test labs can use to determine a recommendation for how much lime to apply. This presentation will provide an overview of how buffer tests work, and how the different types of these tests perform on Palouse soils. The audience will come away with an increased understanding of how to use this information on their soil test reports to better understand lime requirements on their soils.


Lime Calculator: In this hands-on mini-workshop, we will provide an overview of how to use the online lime calculator provided by WSU Extension as a decision support tool (attendees are encouraged to bring tablets, laptops, or smartphones to fully participate in this workshop).

Lime Materials and Application – Dr. Dave Huggings, USDA-ARS
In an interactive format, Dr. Huggins will discuss options for choosing lime materials with Palouse soils. Material selection, not only accounts for price but for considerations such as particle size and percent calcium carbonate to make sure the investment goes the farthest. The discussion will also include methods of application in no-till systems.

Panel Discussion of the Effects & Management of Soil Acidity:

Dr. Tara Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Soil Microbiology at WSU
Her Research Focuses on microbial communities in low pH, high aluminum in the Palouse.

Dr. Kurt Schroeder, Assistant Professor of Cropping Systems from the University of Idaho
His work and expertise covers the agronomy of soil acidity, including liming, crop performance in low pH soils, and how low soil pH affects soil born diseases.

Dr. Drew Lyon, Professor and Endowed Chair of Small Grains Extension and Research, Weed Scientist at WSU
He has in-depth knowledge of the effects of soil pH on herbicide resistance and efficacy.

The Economics of Low pH Soils – Dr. Kate Painter, Extension Educator for the University of Idaho in Bonner’s Ferry
Dr. Painter will use data from the research of Dr. Paul Carter and Dr. Kurt Schroeder to unpack the economic landscape of soil acidity on the Palouse. The talk will discuss the trade-offs between liming or not, as well as material choice, application rate, and how to frame the investment for liming in terms of farm capital.


View the Soil pH Workshop page in PDF format (pdf).

View registration and agenda details.


January 4, 2018


Haiying Tao


Banyans on the Ridge – Pavilion
1260 Palouse Ridge Dr
Pullman, WA 99163 United States
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