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Since the whole field of lime in agriculture is too broad to be considered in one paper, the discussion is confined to liming materials in relation to the maintenance of soil fertility, with particular reference to the background facts upon which standards for liming materials should be based. The chemical form and physical condition of materials suitable for use as liming material for the soil must be determined by the nature of soil acidity and its effects on the whole soil mechanism of plant nutrition and growth. They also are determined by sources and character of these materials and the route by which they are made available for use on the soil. Those facts should set the basic standards for the materials used, whether of the A.S.T.M. or in the provisions of the lime inspection laws of some twenty or thirty states. The present diversity in form of presenting the data, and in terminology, shows the influence of the historical rather than the scientific approach, that increases the confusion of the farmer and thus hinders the full use of liming materials on the soil. How much concession will be made to popular terminology after basic standards are established may be left to the agencies concerned.
Fippin, Elmer O.
Agricultural Adviser, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.