Liming changes more than the pH – A field study on wheat and pasture species

Daniel Kidd1,

1 University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Perth, W.A, 6009,


This experiment was conducted to investigate the enduring effects of prior liming of an acidic duplex soil. In 2018, the response of cereal crops (wheat and cereal rye) and pasture legumes (serradella, subterranean clover and lucerne) spanning a range of susceptibility to acid soil was assessed. Despite the site having uniform nutrient additions and crop management over a number of years, nutrient availability (particularly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) was still significantly lower in the unlimed strips compared with the limed strips. Of the root diseases assessed, most were more prevalent under cereals and had a greater disease risk rating in limed plots. There was no effect of lime on shoot and root DM of acid soil tolerant varieties (i.e yellow serradella and cereal rye). Acid soil tolerant varieties are a good option in these soil types but the potential use of higher yielding, acid soil sensitive varieties combined with the longevity of the liming effects in low rainfall environments should be taken into account when considering the economics of soil amelioration by liming.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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