If you’re not seeing the results you’d like in your crops, or if you supply manure to a crop producer, you should check the soil pH. It could be that low soil pH is cheating the plants out of nutrients they need.

In order to maximize the results from nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients applied, soil pH must first be at the proper levels.

Whenever soil pH drops below 6.5, phosphorus becomes less available, explains Jim Johnson, soil and crop specialist at the Noble Foundation. Nitrogen and potassium also become less available to plants once the pH dips below 6.0. If the soil pH drops to 5.0 or lower, nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium become so unavailable that they are of little use to the growing plant.

This can be useful information as you work to manage and maximize the fertilizer properties of your hogs’ manure.