Date of this Version



© 1992, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


The relationships among pH, soil type, and lime requirements are explained.

Accurate soil tests can be an excellent management tool. Misuse of soil tests leads to increased production costs, yield losses, or both. The elements required by plants for proper growth have been determined by experimentation. Experience has shown that soils across Nebraska differ greatly in their capacity to supply these elements. The amount of each element supplied by a soil depends on several factors. Two important ones are: (1) the type of material from which the soil was formed, and (2) the treatment the soil has received since being placed under cultivation. Not all of a particular element in a soil is available to a plant. Thus, the soil test must be able to predict whether a soil contains sufficient amounts of available nutrient elements for a specific crop. This is one of a series of NebGuides designed to help crop producers interpret their soil test results.