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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Long-term effects of liming on crop yield, plant diseases, soil structure and risk of phosphorus leaching

Nystrom, Asa Olsson; Blomquist, Jens; Persson, Lars; Gunnarsson, Anita; Berglund, Kerstin


This study examined the long-term effects of applying structure lime (mixture of similar to 80% CaCO3 and 20% Ca(OH)(2)) and ground limestone (CaCO3) on soil aggregate stability and risk of phosphorus (P) losses 5-7 years after liming, incidence of soil-borne diseases and yield in winter wheat (Tritium aestivum), oilseed rape (Brassica napus) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). Lime was applied in 13 field trials in Sweden 2013-2015 and soil characteristics and crop yield were monitored until 2021. Seedbed (0-4 cm depth) aggregate (2-5 mm size) stability was improved to the same extent with both lime treatments compared to the untreated control, sampled 5-7 years after liming. Analyses and estimations of different P fractions (total P, PO4-P and particulate P) in leachate following simulated rainfall events on undisturbed topsoil cores sampled 6-8 years after liming revealed lower total P and particulate P concentrations in both lime treatments compared to the untreated control. Two sugar beet trial sites with soil pH <= 7.2 before liming showed an increase in sugar yield for structure lime and ground limestone as an effect of increased concentration of soil potassium (K-AL) and/or lower Aphanomyces root rot potential compared to the untreated control. Yield of winter wheat was not affected by application of either type of lime at sites with pH >7.2 but yield of oilseed rape decreased after application of structure lime.


structure lime; ground limestone; aggregate stability; phosphorus; sugar beet; soil-borne disease

Published in

Agricultural and Food Science
2023, Volume: 32, number: 3, pages: 139-153