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Soil acidity can reduce crop production by directly affecting roots and changing the availability of essential nutrients and toxic elements. Liming can neutralize soil acidity, but several factors can affect the economic benefits of liming.
With continuous cropping, soil pH can decrease (i.e., increase in acidity) because of various factors, including crop removal and leaching of basic cations, application of ammoniabased nitrogen fertilizers, and organic matter decomposition. Adding lime or other materials can raise soil pH to the ideal range for crop production, create an environment for a healthy function of microbes, and increase the levels of calcium or magnesium ions.