Opportunity to limit effects of Soil Compaction:
It is well established that soil compaction is poor for soil health and crop yields. Existing cropping practices however, leave soil compaction unavoidable. At best we can limit the impact that tracking fields has on the soil. At the 2018 Ulster Arable Conference in Northern Ireland, it was presented to the attendees’ water infiltration drops 75% in the first pass, and an additional 75% in the second pass over the same track. Also pointed out was in plough based systems, 85% of land is tracked annually, including arable fields. Of particular interest, it was noted lighter equipment has lesser impact on soil compaction. Given this, we should ask: How does your liming practice affect soil compaction? By using G-Lime to tend to your soil’s pH requirements, farmers have the ability to use their own tractor and sower instead of hiring a contractor. In most instances, tractor, sower and lime gross weight is far less than that of the contractor’s. This results in less compaction damage as G-Lime is applied. Also of note, G-Lime can be spread on up to 36m tramlines, resulting in less field tracking and therefore limiting compaction damage further.
Speed of Reaction:
At soil pH of 6.0 and below, critical nutrients are locked into the soil and unavailable to the plant. Hence why we lime the soil to ensure nutrients are available for uptake. The speed of the lime reaction is critical to ensure your growing crop has access to those nutrients. A delay to raising soil pH can result in lost crop yield and quality. G-Lime pellets are made up of superfine particles of limestone and formed into a pellet which dissolves in the presence of moisture. G-Lime begins to work immediately in the soil, with a full reaction in 4-6 weeks. Conventional agricultural lime is rarely as finely ground as the raw material used for G-Lime. As a result, the larger particles take longer to react with the soil solution, and a full correction of pH can take up to 6 months. Especially at establishment, this long of a delay can have negative implications in crop density, health, yield and quality.
Maintain pH at target:
It is recommended to maintain soil pH at 6.2 for grassland and 6.4 for cereals. This ensures the greatest amount of nutrients are available to the crop for uptake. Even soil with a pH of 6.0 - generally considered to be in good stead – up to 48% of Phosphorus reserves are locked into the soil and unavailable to the crop. Phosphorus uptake can be even further limited by cold and wet soil. Therefore it is critical to achieve and maintain soil pH at target. G-Lime makes it easy for farmers to treat each field individually according to its need. Once target pH is reached, G-Lime is very easy and convenient to apply in small amounts, annually to maintain soil pH at ideal levels. Conversely, mass applications of 1 – 2 tonne of conventional agricultural lime every few years can result in highs and lows in soil pH, yield and crop quality. Farmers don’t apply mass quantities of fertiliser every few years, and then apply more when yields drop off, so why take that approach with your lime?