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Time for Spreading Lime


The benefits of correcting a lime deficiency are numerous. Lime can be safely spread any time of the year but planning and a more proactive approach to lime application would help increase application rates. John McCarthy, Teagasc/Dairygold Joint Programme Advisor has some advice on spreading lime.

In the below video, John McCarthy, Teagasc/Dairygold Advisor Joint Programme Advisor tells us how anytime is a good time to spread lime.

Benefits of spreading Lime

The benefits of correcting a lime deficiency are numerous, from an increase in soil nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium availability, to the increased survival and productivity of perennial rye grass and clover. But issues still persist with under application of Lime at farm level.

Traditionally most farmers leave lime application to the back end of the year at which time weather and ground conditions can be poor resulting in a fraction of the lime requirement being applied. Lime can be safely spread any time of the year but planning and a more proactive approach to lime application would help increase application rates.

Key to getting Lime allocation spread

  1. Get your NMP colour coded lime map laminated and up in a visible area
  2. Break up lime applications into manageable amounts over the course of the year
  3. Identify paddocks for liming before they are grazed and have the lime ordered and contractor organised
  4. Target grazing paddocks with low covers (≤ 500 kg DM/ha), recently cut for round bales or reseeded ground
  5. Target low pH silage fields just after the final cut of the year
  6. Use Protected urea instead of urea as it can be safely applied after lime application
  7. Late autumn and early winter provides the ideal opportunity to correct the remaining low pH fields.

Notes

For derogation farmers it is now mandatory to correct your soil pH on your farm. This can fixed by applying lime annually according to your derogation lime plan. The ideal pH that promotes both grass and clover persistency on mineral soils would be 6.5 to 6.8 and 5.5 to 5.8 for peat soils.  

Lime costs around €25/tonne applied with a potential return on investment of 7:1. So don’t delay, dig out your Lime plan or contact your local advisor to discuss your liming requirements for your farm and put a plan in place to correct low pH areas on your farm.

View a factsheet on the benefits of spreading lime here or find out more about soil & soil fertility here