Soil Fertility - Lime Matters

What is soil pH
Soil pH is a measure of how acidic your soils are. The lower the pH the more acidic your soil is. Acidic soils grow less grass. 
 
Soil ph Target
Mineral soils should have a pH of 6.3.  Peat soils should have a pH of 5.5.  On grassland soils with high molybdenum pH should be kept below 6.2.
Key point: Dairygold soil status
Approximately 80% of dairy farms need lime.  
How to correct low pH.
Test soil every 2 to 4 years to determine your soil fertility status.  Applied lime at the recommended amount to raise soil pH.  If the recommended lime application rate is greater than 7.5T/ha (3T/acre), apply 7.5T year one and the remainder in year 3
Benefits of getting soil pH right 
- Rye grass and clover swards persist for longer after reseeding
- Grassland soils receiving regular lime application release up to 80kg/ha of additional nitrogen.  This is the same as applying 2.5 bags/acre of C.A.N
- Applying 5T/ha of lime to grazing ground gives the same increase in grass growth as 40kg of  P.  Both increase grass growth by 1T/ha.  This extra grass has the potential to return €160 extra net profit. 
- Applying 5T/ha of lime + 40kg of P gives a further 33% increase in grass growth or 1.5T of extra grass growth. 
- Applying lime increases your soil P index
When to apply lime 
Lime can be applied during any time of the year, but late summer and early autumn is an ideal time.  Liming softens the soil.  Heavier soils and organic matter rich soils may poach more quickly after liming.  On these types of soils apply a reduced rate more regularly. 
Slurry, urea and liming
If your using slurry or urea before liming leave 10 days. 
If you intend using slurry or urea after liming leave at least 3 months.  This will reduce N the loss from the fertiliser.  
Ground v.s Granulated Lime
Ground limestone is cost effective.  It has an immediate (3-6 months) and lasting (12-36 months) effect on soil pH.
Granulated lime has an immediate and short term effect requiring yearly application.  
If your using granulated limestone apply one third the recommended ground limestone recommended over 5 years.
For example:
A liming recommendation of 7.5T/ha of ground limestone equates to apply 2.5T/ha granulated limestone over 5 years or 500kg/ha/year.

What is soil pH

Soil pH is a measure of how acidic your soils are. The lower the pH the more acidic your soil is. Acidic soils grow less grass.


Soil ph Target

Mineral soils should have a pH of 6.3.  Peat soils should have a pH of 5.5.  On grassland soils with high molybdenum pH should be kept below 6.2.
Key point: Dairygold soil status

Approximately 80% of dairy farms need lime.  
How to correct low pH.

Test soil every 2 to 4 years to determine your soil fertility status.  Applied lime at the recommended amount to raise soil pH.  If the recommended lime application rate is greater than 7.5T/ha (3T/acre), apply 7.5T year one and the remainder in year 3
Benefits of getting soil pH right 

 - Rye grass and clover swards persist for longer after reseeding

- Grassland soils receiving regular lime application release up to 80kg/ha of additional nitrogen.  This is the same as applying 2.5 bags/acre of C.A.N

- Applying 5T/ha of lime to grazing ground gives the same increase in grass growth as 40kg of  P.  Both increase grass growth by 1T/ha.  This extra grass has the potential to return €160 extra net profit.

- Applying 5T/ha of lime + 40kg of P gives a further 33% increase in grass growth or 1.5T of extra grass growth.

- Applying lime increases your soil P index
When to apply lime

Lime can be applied during any time of the year, but late summer and early autumn is an ideal time.  Liming softens the soil.  Heavier soils and organic matter rich soils may poach more quickly after liming.  On these types of soils apply a reduced rate more regularly. 
Slurry, urea and liming

If your using slurry or urea before liming leave 10 days.

If you intend using slurry or urea after liming leave at least 3 months.This will reduce N the loss from the fertiliser.  
Ground v.s Granulated Lime

Ground limestone is cost effective.  It has an immediate (3-6 months) and lasting (12-36 months) effect on soil pH.

Granulated lime has an immediate and short term effect requiring yearly application.

If your using granulated limestone apply one third the recommended ground limestone recommended over 5 years.
For example:

 A liming recommendation of 7.5T/ha of ground limestone equates to apply 2.5T/ha granulated limestone over 5 years or 500kg/ha/year.

Get in touch 

For further help and advice contact your local Agri representative

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