By Dave Nanda, Director of Genetics and Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.
Soil pH, and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) — how are they related and do they affect fertilizer inputs? Some of the facts below should clarify their relationship.
• Soils are made up of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. The CEC of a soil tells us about the texture of the soil. Soils with higher clay and organic matter content have higher CEC values. The CEC value of the soil in a field is fairly constant but can be changed over time with the addition of organic matter, through the use of cover crops and manure, for example.
• Positively charged particles are called cations and negatively charged particles are called anions. The CEC is the measure of how many negatively charged sites are available in the soil.
• According to David Mengel of Purdue University, most common soil cations are calcium, magnesium, potassium, ammonium, hydrogen and sodium.… Continue readingRead More »