In the balancing act of soil pH, Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie helps you sift out the secrets to understanding lime applications. In episode 13 of Corn College TV, learn the true value of your lime and how to ensure you make the necessary application for soil pH.
“The foundation of Systems Approach pyramid is soil pH,” Ferrie explains. “The keys to lime applications are quality and fineness. Comparing one quarry over another there can be a $3 to $4 a ton difference in quality.”
Ferrie says to look at the purity of rock and how much neutralizing value the lime has, which requires lab analysis.
“The neutralizing value comes from the calcium carbonate, and the lab will compare the limestone sample to a product with 100% neutralizing value. Properties of limestone range in neutralizing power. It depends on type of product and lime source,” Ferrie says.
The other part of lime applications to pay attention to is the fineness of the lime. The more fine the grind, the more neutralizing power because there is more surface area.
“But you have to also weigh the spreadability of the lime product,” Ferrie says. “And have your equipment calibrated for the fineness of your lime product.”