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Cattle in Pasture

Impact of soil amendments on root-borne diseases, N uptake, soil health, and field crops productivity in four soil zones of Alberta

Funded by: 


Canadian Agriculture Partnership Program

Khalil Ahmed PhD., P. Ag.


Over 90 percent of the acid soils in western Canada occur in Alberta (Agrifacts, 2002). Soil Acidification adversely affects soil health, nutrient availability, and the composition of the root exudates, which attract soilborne pathogens and caused root-borne diseases such as root rots in different crops (Fukui et al. 1994). It has been estimated that soil pH may be costing producers $100/ac due to lost production and fertilizer inefficiencies. This problem may affect up to 20 million acres in western Canada (Elston Solberg, 2015). Soil acidity can be improved by applying lime or other acid‐neutralizing materials. However, the efficiency of any soil amendments involves soil type, climate, and amendment properties. Most of the time, soil amendments need to be applied in large amounts to correct soil acidification. Applications of these amendments without knowing their suitability are not cost-effective for large-scale farmers


The specific objective of this proposal is to assess and compare the impacts of four commonly known soil amendments applications on root-borne disease, N availability, crop productivity, and economic feasibility. This project will generate soil zone-specific information about the efficacy of each soil amendment critical to farmers. The research outcome will help producers make informed decisions about disease prevention, optimize N fertilizer rates, soil conservation, and enhance crop production.



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