Click to learn more about Commercial Agriculture at Southern States
View & Print Coupons
  • |
  • |
Please insert a friend's information that you would like send an email to.
Friend's Email Address:  
Friend's Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Name:
Special Message:

Applying Lime to Pastures | Prime Time to Lime


Applying lime to soil and crop nutrients to pastures in the fall will get you the most bang for your buck.

Livestock producers in much of the Southeastern U.S. have the good fortune of being able to grow abundant quantities of high-quality forages almost year round.

But as with most things of value, this benefit comes with a cost. To produce these forages, you need to make sure all of the essential soil and plant nutrients are available when needed.

Fall is the ideal time to take inventory of what your crop is going to require, advises Charles Hubbard, a regional agronomist for Southern States at Glen Allen, Va. It's also the best time to apply lime, as well as phosphorus, potash and at least some nitrogen. That helps ensure the best results, and it saves both time and money.

"It takes about six months for limestone to become active in the soil," Hubbard explains. "A late-summer/early fall application ensures that the pH, which measures acidity or alkalinity, will be correct and that the nutrients will be there in time for the big flush of forage growth next spring."

You want to apply only as much as your forage crop can use efficiently. To find out what is needed, Hubbard recommends a soil test at least every two years.

Your Southern States dealer can provide the tools and information you need to take a representative soil sample. He also can recommend where to send the sample for analysis (either to a land-grant university or an independent lab).

Then, when you get the test results back, your dealer can help map out a complete program of which nutrients you need to apply, at what rates and at what time.

As your tests will likely show, most fertility programs for Southeastern soils must begin with applications of agricultural limestone. Hubbard says the soils in this humid region tend to be acidic, with a pH of 6 or less. Most forages require a pH of 6 to 6.5 to do well, especially if they include a legume.

What's the benefit of liming? Hubbard lists the following reasons to apply lime:

  • It corrects soil acidity, raising pH.
  • It increases soil microbial activity, which speeds decay of organic matter and releases plant nutrients that may be tied up in stover and roots of the previous crop.
  • It supplies calcium or magnesium.
  • It increases availability of residual and applied phosphorus.
  • It increases fixation of nitrogen by soil and plant organisms.
  • It improves the physical properties of soil.
  • It reduces activity of inorganic substances in the soil, thereby preventing toxicity from aluminum and manganese.
  • It improves weed control with some herbicides.

Hubbard also notes that a key reason for fall fertilization is that conditions are often better suited for application in fall than they are in the spring. Also, some types of fertilizer may be more economical in the fall because of less demand. And dealers have more time and equipment in the fall for custom application.


Related Products

GridList

Southern States Pelleted Limestone 40lb
COMPARE
$3.99
Southern States Pelleted Limestone 40lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Solu-Lime 50lb
COMPARE
$18.99
Southern States Solu-Lime 50lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Solu-Lime 30lb
COMPARE
$12.99
Southern States Solu-Lime 30lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Solu-Lime 12lb
COMPARE
$8.99
Southern States Solu-Lime 12lb
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability


Product availability and pricing may vary by location.
These products may be purchased at your local store.
Images are representative only. Color and size may vary.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment!

1 Comment:

Harry A.
February 11, 2012 9:11 PM
prime time to lime
Very goodINFORMATION THANKS,

Post Your Comments

Login or register now to comment.


To help us provide you with a better experience, including
promotions in your area, please provide your zip code:

Update Cancel
Updating...