Why Should I Care About Lime Quality?

Published on: 19:08PM Feb 07, 2011


Question: Why should I care about lime quality? I’ve always thought one source is as good as any other.
Answer: The foundation of a systems approach pyramid is soil pH. The keys to lime applications are quality and fineness. You do need 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. In comparing one quarry over another there can be a $3 to $4 a ton difference in quality. Another part of the lime equation is that you need to pay attention to the fineness of the lime. The more fine the grind, the more neutralizing power that’s available because there is more surface area. You have to also weigh the spreadability of the lime, and have your equipment calibrated for the fineness of the product.
Learn more about the real cost of your lime application in Episode 13 of Corn College TV.