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Acid soils are characterised by high saturation of the exchange complex with hydrogen and aluminium. Crops grown in such soils suffer due to unavailability of most plant nutrients, especially calcium. Application of liming materials increases the availability of nutrients and alleviates Ca deficiency.

Liming materials

Burnt lime [CaO], slaked lime [Ca(OH)2], powdered limestone [CaCO3] and dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] are some of the materials used as sources of calcium.


1. In acidic submerged soils, flooding brings about rise in soil pH and hence response to lime is less marked.

2. Legumes are benefited most by liming.

3. For better results, liming materials should be incorporated into the soil.

4. For seasonal crops and in situations where immediate results are required, burnt lime or slaked lime may be used. For perennial crops, powdered limestone or dolomite is sufficient.

5. Extreme care should be taken while broadcasting burnt lime and slaked lime as they can cause scorching of leaves.

6. In case of wetland rice, drain the field prior to lime application and re-flood after 24 hours. Flushing the soil by sequential flooding and draining will help to wash out the displaced acid from the soil.

7. In extreme case of calcium deficiency, a 1% solution of calcium chloride may be applied by foliar spraying.


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