Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Soil acidity, Western Australia

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In Western Australia parts of the sandplain of the eastern wheatbelt are very acid and produce poor crops, It was not until the late 1970s that the effect of soil acidity on the productivity of the sandplain soils was examined in any detail.

Since then researchers have learnt a great deal about the nature of soil acidity in the eastern wheatbelt sandplain soils and can suggest management options for farmers.

This article discisses the problem of the very acid soils. It does not deal with the moderately acid, medium textured soils of the eastern wheatbelt. Although the acidity of these soils is mild for most plants, some medics cannot persist on them because the bacteria which form nitrogen-fixing nodules on the plant's roots are extremely sensitive to soil acidity.