Recent trends in soil pH and nutrient status in England and Wales



Abstract. Results of the Representative Soil Sampling Scheme between 1978 and 1988 show that soil acidity remains widespread, particularly in Wales, and suggest that the proportions of grassland with low pH increased during this period in the traditional grassland areas of England and Wales.

Average soil nutrient levels changed little over the decade. However, at least one in five grassland fields are likely to suffer yield restrictions because of shortage of soil P or K (index 0). One in four arable fields were found to be at index 1 for K, indicating that many crops are being grown at potassium levels which can be described as borderline. On the other hand, 22% of arable crops were grown at phosphate index levels in excess of 3, so phosphate savings could be made on many crops. Texture and calcium carbonate levels and their relationships with nutrient levels are also examined.