A pound of lime is a pound of lime. It takes the same amount of lime to change pH no matter what form it is in. Pel lime doesn't have the lasting power that ag lime has. These are some comments made when people refer to pel lime. While they seem accurate, in truth they are costing you money.
Lime is not created equal. Lime is the generic term for calcium carbonate. Pure calcium carbonate is also called calcite. Lime on the other hand can vary in purity, form 50% to 175% CCE. Lime products that are over 100% generally contain elements such as Magnesium, or are considered hazardous, such as hydrated lime.
While it does take the same amount of calcium carbonate in a lab setting to neutralize low pH, in the field it is another situation. In order for lime to neutralize pH in needs to first be applied to the acid soil. Which is sometimes an impossible thing to achieve with a finely ground powder. Even on days when the wind is not blowing, applying ag lime with spinners launches the lime into the air, allowing it to drift for miles.
Once the lime gets to the soil it needs to be finely ground to achieve a pH change. Most ag lime is a 20-mesh average screen size. Lime that is meshed larger than 30 mesh will only be 5-50% effective the first year. After 4 years it will only be 15-50% effective. A product that is only 50% effective is an incredible waste of time and money.
Effective fine lime drifts, wasting you money
The reason that ag lime seems to last long is, because of the mesh size, it doesn't breakdown and do much good for 3-4 years. What other ag input sells it self on not providing a return on investment for 3 -4 years? The fact is that none do.
Today's times of low margin, high cost inputs demands that your dollars work as hard as possible. Get yield response the first year, pH increase with every application. Make your high dollar fertilizers work for you. Don't let them be tied up by low pH. Feed the soil what it needs to stimulate
The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!