Soil acidification is a process where hydrogen protons become concentrated in soil, or basic materials are lost from the soil, resulting in a chemical imbalance. What happens when soil becomes too acidic is that there are fewer nutrients for plants growing in the soil to absorb, and plant yields will be smaller. Acidification has particular ramifications for agriculture–soil that’s too acid doesn’t yield very good crops, which means increased reliance on artificial fertilizers that can further damage the chemical balance of the soil. Lands that are over-farmed, or where one crop in particular has been used year in and year out, are particularly susceptible to acidification. Acid is also deposited in the soil from atmospheric or water pollution, such as acid rain. The best way to combat it is to rotate crops with plants that restore basic materials to the soil that will rejuvenate the nutrients and help the soils regain the balance necessary to support robust crops.
Some plants may thrive in more acidic conditions, but most plants will have trouble getting the proper levels of moisture and nutrients, and are more prone to disease. Plants generally do not fare well in acidic soil.
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