Agriculture and Animal Husbandry

Growth and development of plants is closely associated with pH. Each plant has a specific pH appropriate for its growth.
In the fields, measuring the pH of soil and water is important for increased production and control of growth of agricultural products.
Also, knowing the pH of culture solution is essential for tank farming, which is now popular. In the livestock industry, researchers measure the pH of animals' blood and their feed and study its relationship with animal health and growth. Moreover, they check the pH of sperm when studying artificial insemination and when testing the freshness of meat and eggs.

Suitable soil pH of crops

Soil pH Common crops Vegetables Fruit trees Garden trees・Flowering trees Flowers Grasses
~5.0 - - Blueberry Rose-bay, Rhododendron, Japanese red pine Azalea -
5.0~6.0 Rice, Buckwheat Potato, Sweet potato, Garlic Persimmon, Chestnut Zelkova, Japanese cedar,Japanese cypress Pansy, Chinese bellflower, Plumed cockscomb Rye
6.0~6.5 Azuki bean, Wheat Carrot, Cabbage, Cucumber Mandarin orange, Apple, Kiwifruit Flowering dogwood Morning glory, Carnation, Cyclamen Clover, Barnyard millet
6.5~7.0 Barley Tomato, Spinach, Burdock Grape, Fig Wisteria flower Tulip, Sunflower, Marguerite Alfalfa
7.0~ Sugarbeet - - - - -

* The pH of a soil is measured by adding a specified amount of pure water or potassium chloride solution to a specified amount of soil sample and determining the pH of its supernatant liquid.

Reference: Standards for use of fertilizer on agricultural crops, March 2009 revised edition


The pH balance of water can greatly influence the marine life, and is a major factor when measuring water quality of fishing grounds and fish farms for seaweed, cultured pearls, yellowtail and eel. In fact, pH is the first factor examined when selecting a location for fish farming, and is often the first sign of an abnormality in the fishing grounds and hatcheries. At the central fish market, the pH of the fish delivered from various fishing grounds is measured to check the freshness of the fish.