Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Seasoned farmers know that over time, land can become too acidic to produce a healthy crop. There are many causes for a soil with too much acidity – from overworked land to exposure to erosion, leaching and decomposition of organic matter. After many seasons of growing and harvesting crops and introducing chemicals or fertilizers to the earth, soil can become very acidic.
Fortunately, there is a secret to healthy soil and plentiful crops.
Agricultural lime is invaluable to farmers, gardeners and homeowners alike. Generally known as aglime, this finely crushed limestone can be effectively used to treat many soil problems and to restore health to any property.
Aglime restores Ph balance, reduces toxicity and adds nutrients to the soil. So how does it work, exactly?
As mentioned previously, Aglime is nothing more than limestone that has been crushed down to a very tiny particulate matter. Its active component is calcium carbonate. The material must be pulverized very finely to have a positive impact on soil. In fact, the smaller the particle size of the agricultural lime, the more effective it will be.
Aglime dissolves into the soil and reduces acidity. Additionally, aglime improves nutrient and water uptake and protects the soil from wind erosion. Aglime can also improve the fertilizer efficiency by as much as 50 percent and makes certain herbicides more effective.
The Problem with Acidity in Soil
Erosion, leaching and decomposition of organic material over time increase the acidity of soil. This can have a negative impact on crops. When there is too much acidity, minerals like aluminum and manganese become soluble. These minerals are toxic to plants and can cause plants to yellow, pucker or burn. Nutrients needed by plants like calcium and magnesium tend to be deficient in acidic soils. Furthermore, beneficial bacteria in the soil cannot survive in acidic conditions.
In addition to neutralizing soil acidity, the benefits of the regular application of aglime often include the addition of needed calcium or magnesium. Further, the effectiveness of certain herbicides is enhanced and the total soil environment is made more favorable for soil organisms. All this leads to a more healthy soil condition where the potential for the leaching of harmful chemicals into your groundwater is greatly reduced or eliminated.
It’s many benefits include:
- Aglime is the keystone to efficient crop production.
- Aglime can improve the physical structure of the soil by reducing surface crusting, increasing a soils water holding capacity, and reducing soil erosion. This is largely the result of an increase in the organic matter content of the soil along with calcium saturated soil colloids. This allows crops to better tolerate drought and wet conditions by increasing both root penetration and water percolation through the soil.
- Aglime reduces toxic conditions caused by iron, aluminum, and manganese. Manganese and iron exhibit toxicity to plants at a low soil pH. Aluminum increases in solubility as soil pH decreases. Too much aluminum can restrict root and plant development.
- Aglime increases herbicide effectiveness by the removal of Hydrogen from the soil site and/or an increase in the micro-organism activity.
- Aglime can increase nutrient availability to plants. Soil micro-organisms do not function as effectively when soil pH drops below 6.0. These micro-organisms are responsible for the break down of organic matter and for nitrification ( the conversion of ammonia to nitrate for uptake by plants).
Soil pH is the measure of Hydrogen (H+) ion activity in the soil solution and reflects soil acidity. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral; less than 7.0 pH is considered acidic. A pH greater than 7.0 is considered alkaline. Conducting soil tests on every field of your farm at least once every three years (and applying aglime when you need it) is the only way you can be sure that your fields do not become acidic.
As with all our products, Shoreline’s Aglime is made from top quality limestone. Let us help you create ideal conditions for your crops. Call us today to learn more about our aglime and how it can help create the soil you desire.