In agriculture, soil quality is known to be closely linked to crop quality. This is why farmers have for centuries applied a variety of products to their land to maximize crop yields.
One fertilizer product used by many farmers is lime. In this article, find out when its use is appropriate and how it affects plant growth.
Lime is used to adjust the pH of acidic soils
Crop health is largely dependent on the balance of pH levels in the soil, since this influences the exchange of minerals between the soil solution and plant roots. When the soil becomes too acidic (pH level < 5), it becomes a toxic environment for crops.
There is, however, a way to overcome a situation where the soil pH is too low. When the soil becomes acidic, lime can be applied to the soil to increase its pH and reduce its acidity.
In general, a soil test should be done before liming the soil. This gives farmers an idea of the pH level of different parts of their cropland and helps them apply the right amount of lime.
Lime spreading and its benefits for crops
Applying lime therefore helps adjust the pH of acidic soils to a level that promotes better harvests. But why are crops better when the pH level is right?
Lime stimulates microbial activity
When the soil is too acidic, the beneficial microbes it contains are unable to grow. This reduces the ability of crop roots to absorb nutrients. Agricultural lime application creates an environment that promotes the microbial activity essential for healthy crop growth.
Lime application increases nutrient uptake by roots
When growing in acidic soil, plants have difficulty absorbing nutrients. Soil that is pH-balanced through the application of lime provides a healthy environment for plants because it helps them absorb nutrients.
When the roots absorb a greater volume of nutrients, the entire root system benefits and becomes stronger. A strong root system helps crops withstand environmental stresses such as rain, wind or drought.
Applying lime can increase the effectiveness of fertilizers and herbicides
When cropland is too acidic, it can reduce the effects of the herbicides used on it. Similarly, acidic soil can also reduce the effectiveness of fertilizers.
Restoring a more neutral pH in the soil can make fertilization programs much more effective. This is especially true for certain liming products, known as nutriliming agents, which also enrich the soil by providing micronutrients.
Increase your crop yield with Agro-100 nutriliming agents
In conclusion, spreading lime on a field helps balance its pH by reducing acidity levels. This has a positive impact both on microbial activity and the absorption of nutrients by plants, as well as on the efficiency of fertilizers. Naturally, this all can result in better crop yields.
If you would like to lime your fields, we invite you to contact the Agro-100 team. Our team specializes in the development of nutriliming agents made from FRMs (fertilizing residual materials) and can recommend products adapted to your needs.