To attain the Natural pH achievement, AgWe farmers cannot use any pH neutralisers on their farm in the previous 12 months.
The potential of Hydrogen (pH) is the measurement of hydrogen ions in your soil which we rank from 0 – 14 with 7 being considered neutral (Water H2O). The more hydrogen ions in the soil the more acidic your soil is and less hydrogen ions make it more basic or alkaline. pH neutralisers aim to add or take away hydrogen ions in the soil to make your soil neutral. pH is important in farming because it affects the nutrients that are available to the plant and can causes toxicities.
In acidic soils aluminium and manganese become more soluble and the plant can take in too much through osmosis inhibiting root growth and causing leaves to crinkle and cup. In alkaline soils a lot of nutrients become less available to the plant causing nutrient deficiencies. The optimal pH for nutrient availability is in slightly acidic soils around 6.5 to 6.8.
By adding pH stabilisers like lime, dolomite or sulphur we balance our pH but they do not fix the cause of the soils acidification or alkalinity. To have sustainable soils we must have soils that don’t require the application of pH neutralisers. Farmers must instead balance their farms ecosystem by innovating new farming methods. Supporting farmers who balance their soils naturally and don’t require pH neutralisers means that we can pass on productive land to the next generation of farmers.
By showcasing farms naturally balance pH, customers can be assured that the farm is focused on improving soil health and uses sustainable farming practices to maintain their soil pH.