Although there has never been as much about the benefits of agri lime, reports of up to 80% of Irish soils are still regarded as suboptimal pH. Lime is a forgotten fertiliser, and too often, liming plans can fall off the priority list for many farmers.
The primary purpose of lime application is to correct soil acidity levels, as low soil pH is usually one of the main causes of underperforming fields. Trials have shown that by increasing soil pH from 5.5 to 6.3, increased grass production of at least 1.5t DM/ha/year can be achieved, which represents a 7:1 return on investment; €7 in additional grass yield for each €1 invested in lime.
Apart from improvements in grass yield, increasing soil pH is also a win-win solution for farmers in terms of reducing N2O emissions. For example, recent research from Teagasc Johnstown Castle has found that when comparing limed plots versus un-limed plots under the same management and fertiliser regime, the limed plots resulted in a significant reduction of N2O emissions.
When to lime?
For many farmers, one of the biggest reasons for not spreading lime regularly is the lack of planning. Although many farmers believe that you can only apply lime at specific times of the year, it can in fact be spread all year round. For example, unless you have plans to take a 3rd cut of silage, now is a great opportunity to act on your soil samples and spread lime. August and September are particularly good months for spreading on grazing grounds while rotations extend and ground conditions remain good.
Which lime to use?
Both Calcium Lime and Magnesium Lime are excellent at correcting soil acidity. Calcium ground limestone is the most common form of lime spread. It is readily available in most parts of the country and is fast acting and gives rapid pH adjustment.
In the South East, most soils are predominately high in Magnesium and deficient in Calcium. If your soil is deficient in Calcium, this impacts on grassland productivity, and ultimately, animal performance. Applying Calcium in the form of Calcium Carbonate will raise the level of Calcium in the soil, which in turn will help condition the soil, improve soil structure and drainage, and allow for better root development and nutrient uptake.
WATCH: What are the benefits of our Hi-Calcium Agri Lime?
Our Hi-Calcium Agri Lime comes from a high purity calcium quarry and is ground in a modern limestone powders plant on site. Listen to the video below to discover the top 3 benefits of our agri lime and why they matter when it comes to achieving a successful liming programme:
Need help or advice?
Bennettsbridge Limestone is a member of GROLIME, Ireland’s only agricultural lime quality assurance scheme. For further liming advice or to learn more about our Hi-Calcium Agri Lime, click here