March 10, 2017

Benefit from applying lime to grassland

By: Philip Cosgrave

Would it surprise you to know that two thirds of all grassland soil samples received by the lab have a soil pH which is too low to maximise the potential of productive grasslands?

Benefit from applying lime to grassland
Benefit from applying lime to grassland
Correcting soil pH should be a priority for all livestock farmers

The cost of rectifying soil pH is an investment that should deliver impressive returns. Correcting soil pH will provide the right environment for your ryegrass and clover to reach its potential as well as:

  • Increase phosphorus and potassium availability
  • Improve biological activity and in turn improve supply of nutrients from organic matter
  • Increase earthworm activity and soil structure
  • Improve the persistency and competitiveness of the productive species within the sward
  • Increases calcium and magnesium supply for grass and livestock 

Teagasc research has shown that on a low pH soil where only lime was applied an extra 1 tonne of grass dry matter was grown, it also resulted in an increase in soil available phosphorus. 

If soil conditions are good then lime can be applied in early spring, and you will see the benefits the same season. A soil test should be taken to identify if lime is required and how much. Do not apply any more than 5 tonnes/ha in a year even if the soil test result indicates a lime requirement of more than this. 

Find more information on soil testing

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