Impact of soil acidity and liming on soybean (Glycine max) nodulation and nitrogen fixation in Kenyan soils



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Taylor and Francis


There is a wide application of rhizobia inoculants to legume crops in Africa, irrespective of the soil acidity, though the latter limits the effectiveness of inoculants. Two trials were conducted in a controlled environment to determine suitable soil pH and impact of liming on soybean nodulation and nitrogen fixation to inform proper application of the rhizobia-inoculant technology on acid soils. In the first trial; soil, variety and inoculation had significant influence (p < 0.05) on weighed nodule effectiveness (WNE) and N fixation. Strongly acidic soils recorded low WNE and N fixation. In the second trial, WNE and N fixation significantly increased with co-application of lime and inoculation (p < 0.05). The results showed that soybean inoculation is effective in increasing nodulation and N fixation in moderate acidic soils, contrarily to strongly acidic soils. Interestingly, co-application of lime and inoculation has potential of increasing nodulation and N fixation in strongly acidic soils. The WNE is recommended as a robust formula to report nodule effectiveness, compared to the current percentage method.