Last week was the lime conference in Portland Oregon, were we meet some really smart people and a lot of new friends. One of those new friends sent me a note this morning.
I read a response that stated the following: "Studies at Michigan State University found the Pelletized Lime to have a Slower Rate of Reaction Compared to Good Quality Ag Lime Applied at Recommended Rates." Craig, Because of the Surface Area of Pelletized Lime Being Greater than the Surface Area of Regular Ag Lime, How can a University Make this Statement? You and I both know that the Surface Area of the Calcium Carbonate in Pelletized Lime is Far Greater than the Surface Area of Any Ag Lime.
Picture source: www.wired.com/autopa/2010/05/jason_vuic_book/
The Yugo is known as "The Worst Car in History"
The problem is two-fold:
Most people think that Lime is lime and/or all pelletized lime is the same.
The second part of this problem is that when pelletized lime was first made in the 60's and even through today, many pellet lime manufactures take a coarse ag lime (average of 20-30 mesh) and pelletize it. Pelletizing doesn't make a product more effective it just makes it easy to handle. When you pelletized low grade lime you get expensive low grade lime. Couple that with the fact that to pelletize this low grade lime you need lots of lignin and lots of dryer heat to make a pellet and you get concrete balls that don' beak down in the soil. So you get Universities publishing papers that all pellet lime is junk when in reality, the pellet lime they tested was junk.
It would be like comparing a small car and big car, but only saying the small care we tested was found that it was not really that reliable. Well which small care did you test, a Toyota or the Yugo? If it was a Yugo we would expect it not to be reliable, if it was a Toyota that would be very surprising since they are known as a quality reliable car. Saying all lime is the same is like saying I tested a car and found it to be unreliable!
Update from the Lime Conference
How do we know that all Lime is not the same?
We have told you for years that SuperCal 98G works better than other liming materials, know we have some hard science as to why! It was great to spend a day with the worlds most preeminent scientist in the field of lime stone reactivity.
Dr. Grunwaldt, the key note speaker at the lime conference has over 40 years of research in the area of lime reactivity or dissolution.
One of his first commercial ventures into the reactivity of limestones was with a commercial Azalea grower. This grower grew millions of dollars of Azaleas every season and as part of preparing his potting soil (a bark substrate with a pH of 4) he would add a 3 shovel fulls of groun