Project Details:

Liming Impacts on Soybean and Soils in Western North Dakota

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:North Dakota Soybean Council
Categories:Soil fertility, Agronomy
Organization Project Code:NDSC 2023 Agr 19
Project Year:2023
Lead Principal Investigator:Chris Augustin (North Dakota State University-North Central Research Extension Center)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

Many fields in western North Dakota are decreasing in yield due to acidic soils. Historically, North Dakota has not had soil acidity issues. However, decades of nitrogen fertilizers paired with slightly acidic soil parent materials and poorly buffered soils has lowered soil pH below 5.5 on many farmable acres. These areas of strong acidity are adversely impacted by reduced nutrient availability, soil microbial activity, stunted roots from aluminum (Al) toxicity, and reduced herbicide efficacy. These areas can be improved from surface liming. Lime recommendations are common in other states. However, there is little North Dakota data to guide soybean producers on acidic soil management. This data will be used to generate recommendations for liming acidic soils in North Dakota as welI as provide opportunities to educate county-based Extension agriculture agents on soybean production and soil acidity. All crops are impacted by soil pH. This project proposal will be submitted to other commodity groups. This funding will be for research on soybean only.

Project Objectives

1. Evaluate impact of lime rates on North Dakota soils and use data to build liming recommendations for North Dakota
2. Evaluate soybean growth yield and quality differences among lime treatments
3. Increase the knowledge base of acidic soil management in western North Dakota
a. Create a bulletin on acidic soil management
b. Host workshops to present data and answer production questions
c. Host in-service training to county extension agents
d. Use social media and other media outlets to distribute information to growers and the general public

Project Deliverables

Data to assist in management decisions in acidic soils.

Progress of Work

Updated June 30, 2023:
Fourteen acid sites across North Dakota were evaluated for this project. Five of the sites were planted with soybeans. Experimental sites were established during May of 2023. Initial and final soils have been collected and sent to a soil testing lab for analysis.

Many NDSU Extension agents have had hands-on training in soil acidity management. Two producer workshops and many presentations have been given at other Extension outreach events to educate the public on acid soil issues and management. Many articles in the weekly Dickinson Research Extension Center Updates email have focused on soil acidity management. The local NBC news station (KFYR) conducted a news report on this research. First year results were shared at the National Association of County Agricultural Agent annual meeting.

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Final Project Results

Updated June 30, 2023:
Findings as of February 2023 were shared in Winnipeg Manitoba at the Manitoba Soil Science Society annual meeting. Final soil test results were received in late June 2023. Attached are initial findings. More data analysis will occur and this work will be submitted for publication. This data will be reported at the annual Soil Science Society of America conference in November of 2023. Data from this work was used to write a manuscript titled, Soil Sampling Depth in No-till Acid Soils and was submitted to the journal Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis in February 2023.

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Surface applied sugar beet waste lime can improve soil acidity. Lime recommendations need further data analysis, but these preliminary results are promising. Many workshops, articles, and other outreach efforts have been conducted to help soybean producers better manage acid soils.

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Soybean acreage continues to spread into western North Dakota. This area is starting to have widespread acidity issues that adversely impacts all crops. This project will produce the science and outreach needed to better manage acidic North Dakota soils, with North Dakota data.

Performance Metrics

Project Years