26 September 2023

Time to Modernise Liming Practices

Find out more on how Granulated-Lime is also changing the way farmers manage their soil pH.

Granulated-Lime is a product that has seen a significant increase in usage over recent years. This is due in no small part to the many benefits associated with the product including; ease of application, immediate reaction in the soil, targeted pH management, increased fertiliser use efficiency and the ability to apply the lime oneself with conventional fertiliser spreading equipment. However, Granulated-Lime is also changing the way farmers manage their soil pH.

In the past, farmers would arrange to have the contractor deliver and apply lime on fields prior to new seeding’s of forages and cereal. Though the pH was low and the young plants would benefit from a rapid pH adjustment, conventional lime, which could take 4-6 months to react was the only product available. After application, and over the course of 5 – 10 years, those fields would become unproductive as the lime wore off and the soil pH decreased. In grass swards, perennial rye grass would die out and natural grasses would move in, while in arable fields, yield and quality would drop. Eventually, getting tired of low yields and lower and quality crops, farmers would then plough under the field and start anew with another application of lime prior to sowing out a new arable or forage crop.

Granulated-Lime has changed the above practices for some farmers. A cost effective solution for building and then maintaining soil pH, use of Granulated-Lime has become part of many farmers’ annual field work, much the same as applying fertiliser. Using soil test results to determine field pH, farmers are then able to treat each field individually according to its needs. Using the soil test results, farmers can apply a specific amount of Granulated-Lime to raise an individual field pH to a specific target, helping them to get the most they can out of each and every field.

As Granulated-Lime is very cost effective, further maintenance dressings of 50 – 100kg can be applied to the field in subsequent years to maintain pH at the targeted level, thus avoiding lower quality crops and lower yields as a result of declining pH. As the pH of these fields then does not drop below ideal levels, the plants are always extracting their required amount of nutrient. This means that fields are then producing the highest yielding, highest quality crops. Conveniently, because the plants are then extracting the amount of nutrient they need from the soil, there is less chance of the plants experiencing a nutrient deficiency and therefore the plants will persist longer before they die out, potentially extending the life of a grass sward.

Further, because Granulated-Lime is so fine, it begins to work immediately when applied to the soil and nearly one hundred percent reacts with the soil solution to have completely raised soil pH to target within 4-6 weeks when used at recommended rates. This gets the newly sown crop off to the best possible start and will have a dramatic impact on plant populations and future yields.

The growing use of Granulated-Lime is having positive effects on farmers’ bottom line. By treating each field individually according to its Granular-Lime requirement, farmers are better able to manage their soil pH, raising each field to its target and maintaining that pH. This helps to maximise fertiliser use efficiency, and results in higher yields and higher quality crops with greater persistence.

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