For more than 40 years, farmers in Germany have used the fertilization recommendation schema provided by the Association of German Agricultural Investigation and Research Institutions (VDLUFA) to quantify the required lime (CaO) demand of arable mineral soils. To be applicable as guidelines in practice, the results of 30 years of fertilization experiments that studied the correlation between crop yields and the actual soil pH, the soil texture, and the soil organic matter (SOM) content were finally condensed into a look-up table system. However, because the original experimental data are no longer accessible, the purpose of this study is to reconstruct the interaction between the three soil parameters and their appropriate lime demands. Therefore, the class-based, stepwise approach of the look-up table system is transferred into a continuous, stepless approach using mathematical models. Under the precondition to preserve the pH-, texture- and SOM-dependent CaO amounts recommended in the look-up system (n = 317) to the greatest extent possible, the algorithm was successful; more than 99% of their variability could be explained by the models. This adaptation helps to meet the accuracy of present-day requirements of precision farming.
Predicting the Lime Demand of Arable Soils from pH Value, Soil Texture and Soil Organic Matter Content
Rühlmann, J.; Bönecke, E.; Meyer, S. (2021). Predicting the Lime Demand of Arable Soils from pH Value, Soil Texture and Soil Organic Matter Content. Agronomy 2021, 11, 785. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11040785