04 Dec pH:CEC Ratio
A new approach to predicting agronomic potential
Soil pH adjustments and plant nutrient ratios based on cation exchange capacity have been used successfully for many decades to support more sustainable approaches to crop production. Recently, the mathematical relationship of soil pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and stable soil organic matter content of soils has been successfully applied to predict the potential for agronomic productivity for soils. The calculated results appear to have predictive value for crop production when bio‐compatible inputs are used to correct mineral imbalances.
This review is an attempt to reveal the possible mechanisms that may be involved in the relationship of soil solution pH, CEC, and soil organic matter that provide the apparent predictability for potential agronomic production. CEC and pH are explored in the context of regenerative soil systems where the interaction of microbe, plant roots, clays, organic carbon substances, carbon dioxide, and biomineralization contribute to thermodynamically favorable energy transfers through soil systems. The importance of carbon dioxide released by plant roots and microbes, and microbial biomineralization of calcite are explored because these processes are all charge balancing mechanisms responsible for controlling nutrient ions adsorbed onto soil colloidal surfaces, buffering the underground soil environment making soils fit for life. For a more in depth analysis of the calculation, please read the following article.