Applying Lime to Pasture
My soil test results on a new pasture showed serious ph problems. My Ag dept soil advisor said it is critical that I get 1.5 - 2 tons per acre of lime applied quickly. I have "scratched" the surface of the ground with my disc set to have little to no pitch and we are predicted to have a major rain event later today. My question is should I apply the full amount in a single application or make several applications of smaller amounts. I have the lime stored under a hay shed at the moment. I am using pelletized calcitic lime because my magnesium levels were high.
The reason I ask is the salesperson at the farm supply store said it is not usually recommended to apply over 1,000 lbs at a time. This is in direct conflict with what my Ag advisor is saying. I tend to trust the Ag soil specialist but would like other opinions.
For large amounts I was told to break it into two applications, half in spring and half in fall.
I'm not going to be able to give you a definitive answer, sorry, but I do remember being told that lime is absorbed into the soil VERY slowly, and that it can take over a year for you to see the positive effects of lime on your pasture. I have found that to be true with managing my own pastures - you see immediate effects from fertilizer, but not from lime.
With that info, I'd be much more inclined to believe the Ag agent. The feed store employee's info may be based on the capabilities of the store's spreader truck, or something else not relevant to your situation.
I would not apply the lime before a major rain event for the simple fact that I wouldn't want it to be possibly washed away.
Lime does take a long time to break down in the soil, so I am not sure what the "emergency" is. If it were me I would apply that much lime over 3 or so applications, trying to time it before a medium rain.
Thanks for the input.
I normally practice applying lime in the fall, after a soil test, but, in this instance the Ag soil specialist said the ph is so low (land used to be covered in pine saplings) that it's critical. He also said the pelletized lime will render faster results, especially if waterd in. No doubt, it will be a while before the full effect is rendered but, apparently in this case, drastic measures are called for.
I'm planting Cheyenne II bermuda, by the way, and the recommeded ph is around 6 - 7. At the moment, my ph is 4.89!!
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