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Utah State University Extension

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In semiarid soils of the Western U.S., altering soil pH is not easily accomplished nor straightforward. Utah’s soil pH range can be 1,000 times more acidic or alkaline than neutral (7.0) pH soils. In semiarid regions, typical high-pH soils are also calcareous, meaning there is a large amount of solid calcium carbonate (lime) in the soil. When soil-acidifying amendments are added to these soils, the lime dissolves and counteracts any of the applied soil-acidifying amendments. This fact sheet explains how to identify whether crop symptoms are related to soil pH, how to perform an in-field test for soil pH buffering capacity, and what can or cannot be done to alter soil pH in calcareous soils.

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