The pH of Puerto Rican Soils Used for Principal Crops

How to Cite

Samuels, G. (1962). The pH of Puerto Rican Soils Used for Principal Crops. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 46(2), 107–119.


The pH values of the soils of Puerto Rico were determined with the following results: 1. About 80 percent of the soils were acid (below pH 7) and 50 percent were below pH 6, which was acid enough to require liming. 2. Most of the soils planted to bananas were pH 6 and above. 3. The pH range for brushland was wide, extending from acid to alkaline. 4. Eighty percent of the soils of the coconut plantations were above pH 6. 5. Coffee soils, in general, were acid, with 63 percent below pH 6, of which 49 percent were in the range pH 5.0 to 5.9 and 13 percent in the very acid range of pH 4.0 to 4.9. 6. The pH of soils planted to corn varied widely. 7. The small cotton acreage had a pH range of 5.0 to 5.9. 8. The soils planted to grapefruit had 57 percent of their acreage at pH 4.0 to 4.9 and 29 percent in the range pH 5.0 to 5.9. 9. The natural pastures had 75 percent of their soil at pH below 6, whereas improved and rotational pastures had only 39 percent below pH 6. 10. Pineapples were planted in acid soils, 75 percent of which were below pH 6. 11. The majority, 68 percent, of the plantains were grown in acid soils below pH 6. 12. Root-crop soils had a systematic distribution throughout the range of pH from below 4 to above 8. 13. Most soils used for soilage (cut grass) had a pH above 6. 14. Eighty-one percent of the sugarcane acreage was found to be in the range of pH 5 to 8. About 36 percent of the cane acreage was below pH 5.5 and in need of liming. 15. Tobacco was grown primarily on acid soils, with 61 percent of its acreage on those below pH 6. 16. No vegetables were found in soils with a pH below 5, and 50 percent were planted in soils with a pH above 6. 17. The pH range for woodland soil was distributed rather evenly from a pH 5 to 7.9. 18. The average pH and range of pH of the soils of Puerto Rico are presented, by soil series, and several examples are given of the relationship between soil pH and soil series.


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