By measuring and managing soil pH, retailers can help growers set up their crops for high-yielding results, notes Andrew Hoiberg, vice president of research and development for Calcium Products.

Hoiberg explains that pH is a master variable in soil. “It governs a lot of different processes in soil, and helps make nutrients readily available for crop uptake,” he says.

Hoiberg addressed the topic of precision pH management during two Nutrient Masters programs this week in Lincoln, Neb., and Altoona, Iowa. The retailer-focused events were sponsored by Calcium Products and New Leader.

Hoiberg says that traditionally farmers have targeted a soil pH of between 6.5 and 7.0, based on the fact that the majority of nutrients that plants need are most readily available in that range.

In recent years, however, university research and Hoiberg’s as well indicate that a pH of 6.0 is a better target as it helps growers capture a better return-on-investment.

“What we’ve determined is that you need to take a more measured approach to soil pH,” Hoiberg says. “With technology today, variable rate systems can tell you right where you need to put product and at what rate so you’re using resources most efficiently.”

Hoiberg shares more of his insights on soil pH in the following audio interview with AgPro staff.