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Liming could be your cheapest option to grow grass this year


Shane Devaney, Drystock Advisor, Teagasc Longford says he has written a few articles on the importance of lime over the last number of years but this year it was never more important. This year liming your farm will be the cheapest source to grow grass.

With fertiliser prices at over 2.5 times last year’s price farmers will need to look at cheaper alternatives.

By applying 2 tonnes of lime per acre you are potentially unlocking up to 50 units of nitrogen, the equivalent to 2 bags of chemical nitrogen per acre. The cost of spreading 2 tonnes of lime per acre is around €50 versus €72 for 2 bags of nitrogen. This is a saving of €22 per acre.

Apply lime as soon as weather permits on grazing ground

I would advise to apply lime to grazing ground as soon as weather permits as you will get the benefit of it later in the spring and summer.

Hold off on spreading lime on silage ground until silage is cut

as sometimes lime can contaminate the grass which could reduce the quality of your silage.

Lime also has the benefit of unlocking the phosphorus and potassium locked up in the soil, so if you do apply that bag of fertiliser then you will get more efficient use from your N, P and K. Leave a gap of 3 months before applying slurry to ground where lime has recently been applied as you will lose the benefit of the nitrogen in the slurry due to an interaction between the lime and the ammonia.

Start planning now on what best fits your farm to grow grass for the year ahead.

Read more here about The facts on applying lime

Teagasc Advisors write regular articles of interest to farmers here on Teagasc Daily.  Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. Find your local Teagasc office here