UK - More than two thirds of Ireland’s cattle pastures are below pH targets, says the country’s agricultural levy board.
Ireland's Agriculture Food Development Authority (Teagasc) has warned that grasses will not be accessing nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous in many fields with soils below 6.3 pH.
They say liming is the first step to addressing soil fertility, worth €80 per hectare per year if target pH is maintained to ensure the release of 80 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year.
Even when no additional phosphorous is applied to soils, Teagasc says liming “significantly” improves a soil's P tests.
“In short, the money spent on lime is one of the best investments a drystock farmer can make on his farm,” said Teagasc in its beef newsletter.
Advisers reminded farmers that lime can be applied all year round but post-grazing or after silage cutting were ideal times.
Teagasc explained: “The finer fractions will adjust soil pH, while the larger components will work over a 12 to 24 month period in reducing the soil’s acidity.”
Farmers should keep applications below 7.5 tonnes per hectare in a single application – 3 tonnes per acre.
“Where fields are more prone to poaching after liming - due to certain soil structures - spreading the lime at a lower rate per ha but more regularly will get over this problem.”