AGRO-ECOLOGICAL AND YIELD ENHANCING EFFECTS OF ACID SOIL LIMING
Instytut Ochrony Środowiska – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy, ul. Krucza 5/11d, 00-548 Warszawa
Inż. Ekolog. 2015; 41:1–18
Publish date: 2015-01-18
Ecological and yield enhancing effects of soil liming have since long been recognized and appreciated by farmers, therefore, liming is considered to be an essential part of sustainable farming system. In the Polish agriculture, liming in the amount of about 100 kg/ha of CaO was applied as late as by the end of the sixties of the last century. In the year 1975, the average national CaO consumption was 120.8 kg/ha, although it varied from 23.2 kg/ha in Częstochowa region to 428 kg/ha in Opolskie Voievodeship. The largest average CaO consumption on a country scale (202 kg/ha) was noted in the year 1989 while on a regional scale the consumption fluctuated from 43 kg/ha in Kraków Voievodeship to 424 kg/ha in Słupsk Voievodeship. A dramatic decline in the countrywide CaO consumption (by about 40 kg/ha) occurred in the economical year 1995/1996, and the decreasing trend had been observed until the years 2004/2005. A subsequent drop in CaO consumption (by about 60%) was noted in the years 2009/2010 – 2011/2012. According to the national agricultural census in 2010, the countrywide use of CaO attained up to 40.5 kg/ha on farmland in good agriculture, while only 10.4 kg/ha in Świętokrzyskie Voievodeship and 12.9 kg/ha in Małopolskie Voievodeship.
In the years 1975–1998, the yields of four main grain crops as well as those of rapeseed and mustard spinach were distinctly synchronized with the consumption of lime fertilizers. No apparent relationship, however, was found between the yield size and the index of quality of agricultural production space (from 48.3 points in Nowosądeckie Voievodeship to 86.2 points in Zamojskie Voievodeship). However, in the years 1999–2012, the yields of four main grain crops as well as those of rapeseed and mustard spinach were to a lesser degree synchronized with the intensity of CaO use than the abovementioned yields from the years 1975–1998. A considerable trend towards decreasing CaO consumption starting from 1995 until 2013, poses a serious threat to ecological and yield enhancing properties of the soil environment. The threat will be more intense still as the application of organic fertilization (manure, green manure and compost) becomes more and more limited. Advancing trend to remove plant biomass from agro-ecosystems leads to the degradation of ecological and productive functions of farmland. The latter trend is related to energy plantations and to using biomass as biofuel.