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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 130254, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/130254
Research Article

Determining Critical Soil pH for Grain Sorghum Production

1Department of Agriculture, Western Oklahoma State College, 2801 N. Main, Altus, OK 73521, USA
2Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA

Received 7 March 2012; Revised 29 May 2012; Accepted 31 May 2012

Academic Editor: David Clay

Copyright © 2012 Katy Butchee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) has become a popular rotation crop in the Great Plains. The transition from conventional tillage to no-tillage production systems has led to an increase in the need for crop rotations. Some of the soils of the Great Plains are acidic, and there is concern that grain sorghum production may be limited when grown on acidic soils. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of soil pH for grain sorghum production. Potassium chloride-exchangeable aluminum was also analyzed to determine grain sorghum’s sensitivity to soil aluminum (Al) concentration. The relationship between relative yield and soil pH was investigated at Lahoma, Perkins, and Haskell, Oklahoma, USA with soil pH treatments ranging from 4.0–7.0. Soil pH was altered using aluminum sulfate or hydrated lime. Soil acidity reduced grain sorghum yield, resulting in a 10% reduction in yield at soil pH 5.42. Potassium chloride-exchangeable aluminum levels above 18 mg kg−1 resulted in yield reductions of 10% or greater. Liming should be considered to increase soil pH if it is below these critical levels where grain sorghum will be produced.