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Progress Report on Soil pH and Nutrient Improvement with Forage Brassicas and Buckwheat

Trial Site: Fairview Research Farm

Research Coordinator: Dr. Akim Omokanye

From: Peace Country Beef & Forage Association 2017 Annual Report

Soil acidity is identified by the measurement of soil reaction (pH). The reaction is alkaline when the pH value is above 7.0; neutral at 7.0; and acidic below 7.0. In practical terms, soils between pH 6.5 and 7.5 are considered neutral. Soils in the range of 5.6 to 6.0 are moderately acidic and below 5.5 are strongly acidic. The distribution of acidic soils in Alberta according to Alberta Agriculture & Forestry ( $department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex3684/$file/534-1.pdf?OpenElement), indicates that acidic soils occur most frequently in central Alberta and in the Peace River region. Recent data from PCBFA’s on-farm studies seems to show the potential for pH in the sub-surface soil (6-24”) to be slightly higher than in the surface soil. If this holds true, then we may be able to use some cover crops with deep rooting systems, and those with potential to scavenge nutrients (such as purple top turnip, tillage radish, daikon radish & barkant turnip) as options to improve surface soil pH, instead of liming.


  1. To examine the potential of a variety of annual cover crops for improving surface soil nutrients and pH

  2. To determine forage dry matter and quality for beef cattle production