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Hay & Pasture

Liquid Lime vs. Dry Lime

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Liquid Lime Vs. Dry Lime

AGGRAND Natural Liquid Lime in its liquid form provides several advantages over dry lime:

• More uniform application
• No dust during application
• Finer particle size
• Quicker reaction
• Greater vertical movement
• No heavy bags. 

Liquid lime not only provides convenience, but also added performance. Liquid hose end application gives the control needed for a uniform application of the lime without the dust or need for rainfall associated with dry lime products. But ease of application and convenience are only half the story. Performance is also improved with the AGGRAND fine-grind 325 mesh suspension. The improved technology offers a quicker pH adjustment. More importantly, it offers greater vertical movement into the soil profile. This corrects the pH not only in the top one inch, but also to a depth of four to six inches where it is most needed. This allows for a greater nutrient availability and microbial activity all through the root zone.  

When to Apply

Because lime is being applied for the soil’s sake, not for the plant, it isn’t critical when it is applied. So as an annual application, spring or fall would be equally acceptable. If you determine through soil tests that a significant adjustment is required, a monthly application throughout the growing season may be necessary until the adjustment is acceptable. This is preferred over a one-time heavy application to allow soil microbe populations to transition to a higher pH regime rather than a rapid adjustment upsetting the biological balance in the soil.

How long does it take for dry lime to work? 

Since water is required for lime to react with the soil, effects of a lime application will be slower in a dry soil. It often takes a year or more before a response can be measured even under perfect conditions. However, a response may be observed within weeks of the application when soil pH is extremely low. It is important to apply lime immediately after the growing season or crop removal to allow lime to react, correcting soil pH before the next growing season.

The reactivity time also depends on the type of lime used. Liming materials differ widely in their neutralizing powers due to variations in the percentage of calcium and/or magnesium. Usually, liming materials with a high calcium carbonate equivalent, or CCE (the percentage of usable lime in a liming product), tend to neutralize soil acidity faster than those with a low CCE. The coarseness of the liming material will also influence how fast the lime will react. In other words, the finer the liming material, the faster it will influence the soil.

AGGRAND Liquid Lime is very fine lime held in suspension so it works immediately when applied to the soil. AGGRAND Liquid Lime can work alone or in addition to a regular liming program.

How often should lime be applied?

The answer to this question depends on a variety of considerations. A soil with a low CEC (cation exchange capacity; the capacity of a plant and soil to exchange nutrients) does not require a lot of lime to correct soil pH but may need to be limed frequently.  A soil with a high CEC requires a large amount of lime to initially correct pH, but it may be several years before another lime application is needed due to its high buffering capacity. As fertilizer is applied to enhance forage or crop production, the removal of essential plant nutrients from the soil also increases. As a result, lime may be needed more frequently to replenish removed nutrients. For example, the rate of nutrient removal from a pasture being hayed is much greater than a pasture being grazed. Therefore, the hay field may need to be limed more often.

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