Conditioning soil by applying lime to correct soil pH is perhaps the single most important step that can take place on any farm. This is because lime and its constituent parts have an impact on a wide range of soil properties that affect production and nutrient efficiency. In order to determine if soil needs lime and how much lime needs to be applied, a soil sample should be taken with the analysis reported by a FACTS qualified advisor.
Grassland soils should have a minimum pH 6.3 and cereal soils minimum pH 6.5 for optimum production. 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 also 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 pH, being mined from a very pure source of calcium carbonate in Northern Ireland and being ground extremely fine, to under 0.075mm in diameter before being 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 when compared to traditional agricultural lime with 150kg of Calciprill proven to have the equivalent neutralising value of 1,000kg of bulk agricultural lime.
Correcting pH is even more important this year due to the increase in chemical fertiliser prices with your pH not correct the nutrients within the fertiliser are less available to the plant with product and hence your money wasted. At a pH 5.5 only 77% of nitrogen, 48% of phosphorus and 77% of potassium will be available. 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.