What is pH?

Why is pH important in agriculture?

pH is one of the most important parameters in the solution that delivers water to crops, either through irrigation or through the moisture present in the soil. This matters a lot when defining what type of crops are capable of growing efficiently in a given medium if the pH is not adequate, it is important to change it, either lowering it (acidifying) or raising it (alkalizing), and the most common way is changing the pH of the irrigation water, which in turn will make it easier for the soil, not immediately, to also change the pH (mostly the zone of moisture in contact with the plant roots), making it possible to grow plants where it previously would not have been possible.

pH is a key element in the absorption of nutrients by the plant, if the pH is not adequate, the roots will not absorb the nutrients, even if they are present in the solution, if the pH is not correct, the nutrients will leach more easily, Leached fertilizer means lost dollars. This is reflected very well in the ¨Law of the minimum¨, where the barrel can only be filled with water up to the shortest duel, no matter if the others are long, the water will be emptied by the shortest.

Therefore, by improving the most critical factor, the productivity of the plant is improved, without the need to incur greater expenses with the elements that are in sufficient quantity. That is why it is very important to pay close attention to the pH of the water with which we irrigate our crops.

The following graph shows how the availability of different nutrients changes according to pH, with 6.5 being the ideal pH for almost all nutrients according to their importance (macro and micro).

Therefore, we can conclude that, from the nutritional point of view of our crops, we must always try to deliver the water nutrient solution with the appropriate pH, and for this, it is necessary to find the best method to achieve it.

In our next chapter, we will talk more about the different pH control methods that are in the agricultural market.