[Market-farming] lime powder application

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at illinois.edu
Sun Mar 20 11:01:28 EDT 2011

To really make even minimal pH adjustments you need to apply lime in terms of tons per acre. If you can have someone haul quarried lime fines to your site, then have someone with a real lime spreader apply it, bite the bullet and put it one at 2 tons/acre. You can have impact and not worry about it for a few years. It'll surely be more economical than purchasing it by the 50 lb bag. 

Using dolomitic lime when you already have high Mg sounds like a bad idea. But we have the same situation. Farmers used to buy lime from 100 miles south because it was calcitic lime. But it turned out the benefit was minimal, not worth the extra cost. It just didn't change the ratio of available Mg to K and Ca, even in the long term. The best way to address high Mg content in soil is to manage K fertility carefully, applying fresh potash or another K source annually to keep high levels of available K. You might want to see if you can find a land-grant soil scientist who know's your region to get some guidance.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 06:30:32 -0700
>From: Vern and Amy <vaspencer at sisna.com>  
>Subject: Re: [Market-farming] lime powder application  
>To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
>    We have about 5 acres of mixed veggies and 50 acres of hay/pasture 
>to adjust pH.  I guess I should contact other farmers around here to 
>find out how they do it.  The only pelletized lime I have found is 
>Dolomite, and I already have plenty of Mg, which I think dolomite adds 
>to.  The local farm store doesn't even carry lime, except dolomite.  Our 
>area is not very agricultural anymore--not the best place to grow (soil 
>and weather).  I might have to check with folks 50 miles out of town.  
>Any other input is welcome.  Thanks.
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William H Shoemaker, UI-Crop Sciences
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
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