With the increasing price of chemical fertiliser ensuring your pH is correct is even more important than ever. Grassland soils should have a minimum pH 6.3 and cereal soils minimum pH 6.5 for optimum production. With recent reseeds and the commencement of autumn cereal drilling, it is critical to lime and ensure your crops establish successfully, from both an agronomic and financial viewpoint. Soils are constantly subject to forces which are lowering pH including, rainfall, fertiliser/slurry application, decomposition of organic material and crop usage.
pH is increased by applying liming materials of which the quality and the neutralising value (ability to change pH) vary greatly. The speed and effectiveness of liming materials depends on the material they are sourced from, the solubility and particle size of the source lime is crucial. The most suitable material for liming in Northern Ireland is calcium carbonate due to soils here generally being high in magnesium and calcium carbonate being a very effective material at changing pH. However, the solubility of this material is generally quite low meaning that particle size is critical, the smaller the particle the more effective and faster the product will be at raising the soils pH.
Calciprill is an excellent product for raising and maintaining pH, being produced from a very pure source of calcium carbonate in Northern Ireland and being ground extremely fine, to under 0.075mm in diameter it is formed into a granule to make it easy to spread and handle. Calciprill is therefore an extremely effective liming material allowing the same neutralising effect from a much lower application rate. Calciprill applied at 150kg is proven to have the equivalent neutralising value of 1,000kg of bulk agricultural lime. Calciprill is easy to spread with a standard fertiliser sower, and results in minimal compaction, compared to bulk spreaders should soil conditions be less than ideal at application.
At a pH 5.5 only 77% of nitrogen, 48% of phosphorus and 77% of potassium will be available showing that a lot of money and nutrient can be wasted if pH is incorrect, this is particularly important with the raising costs of chemical fertiliser. Correcting your pH with Calciprill will ensure you are getting the most from your fertiliser, achieving a return on investment while being environmentally sustainable on your farm.
To find out more about Calciprill contact Fane Valley Agronomy & Forage on 028 9261 0485.