If you’re not seeing the results you’d like in your crops and forages, you might want to check the soil pH. It could be that low soil pH is cheating your plants out of the nutrients they need.

In order to maximize the results from the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients you applied this spring, soil pH must first be at the proper levels.

Whenever soil pH drops below 6.5, phosphorus becomes less available, explains Jim Johnson, soils and crops specialist at the Noble Foundation. And nitrogen and potassium become less available to plants once the pH dips below 6.0. If the soil pH drops to 5.0 or below, nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium become so unavailable that they are of little use to the growing plant.