Lime question.

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Prelude8626, May 11, 2021.

  1. Prelude8626

    Prelude8626 Member

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    All. Might be a dumb question but I need to add lime to my new plots. I can’t get a like truck in so am stuck with my atv. What’s the longevity of ag lime vs pelletized lime? Am I making a mistake by not hand spreading 50lb bags of ag lime when I can. I’ve normally used pelletized lime.
     
  2. George

    George Well-Known Member

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    The pelletized lime that I have been hand spreading is like a crumble that really flows well and is very easy to spread. I can't imagine running ag lime through a hand spreader.

    G
     
  3. Prelude8626

    Prelude8626 Member

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    Would have to spread the ag lime from the bag. Just wondering which lasts In the soil longer and is it worth the hassle
     
  4. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    Pelletized in your situation...when the rain hits it then it dissolves down into your soil...at that point bagged and pelletized are the same.
     
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  5. RGrizzzz

    RGrizzzz Active Member

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    Pelletized is probably more expensive than powdered/Ag.
     
  6. David Martin

    David Martin New Member

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    They both have the exact same longevity, it's just that pelletized lime takes a lot longer to dissolve into the soil than ag lime. If you want to raise your PH as fast as possible, use Ag lime. If you want it to be easier to spread, use pelletized. The longevity of the lime depends on the type of soil you have. Sandy soil will take lime easier, but it won't last as long and it's the opposite with rich soil.
     
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  7. X-farmerdan

    X-farmerdan Well-Known Member

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    Which lasts longer in the soil? Let's back up here. Almost all the answers above are correct to some degree but are incomplete. Limestone is mined, ground, and screened. The screening separates the different size particles. It starts with 4-mesh (4 square per inch) and runs to 200 mesh - from rock to powder. The manufacturer blends different size particles for different purposes.

    The manufacturer can chose a blend of screen sizes different for ag lime than for pelletized lime. Me, I want to look at the label on each bag and see similar blends of screen sizes. That would be a lot of lime passing thru 80 mesh and not so much thru 200 mesh. For any given soil, the time for the pH to increase - AND DECREASE - is dependent of the particle size of the lime. The form of the blend, ag or pelletized is functionally irrelevant.

    But, what I see today is a lot of the particles in pelletized lime being very fine - almost all passing thru a 200-mesh screen before being pelletized. Why? Manufactures have found a market for what used to be floor sweepings. Before pelletizing came along it was a waste product.

    Fines react quickly raising pH in a short period of time but the effect dissipates just as quickly - given the same type of soil and environmental conditions.

    Ag lime probably has a better particle structure and will last longer - or the chemical reaction necessary for a rise in pH will take longer because there are fewer small particles and more bigger but reactive particles.

    So, the answer to a simple question is not so simple. The argument that pelletized lime takes longer to breakdown because of the binder is irrelevant. With ample moisture it can happen in days.

    After all of that, for small areas where you must hand spread, pick the pelletized lime.

    If both of these are labels from a bag of pelletized lime...
    Which one would you pick?
    lime2.jpg lime1.jpg
     
  8. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I'd spread whatever you can when you can. I'm not convinced lime is as necessary as we've been led to believe. I would turn a keen eye to preventing man-made acidification of your soil and focus on improving soil function. If your soil is tilled or sprayed each year, you're always starting with a bacterial dominated soil. If you keep it alive for years without interruption, it transitions to fungal and will cycle nutrients better.
     
  9. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve only added pelletized lime to my plots. Like you, getting ag lime via truck isn’t an option. I spread half (maybe) the recommended lime in 2018 and 2019 and have improved PH from 5.4 to 6.7 on my oldest plot.

    I can’t answer your question about longevity but in my case just the lime (no fertilizer to date) and keeping something growing year round (no tilling) has improved my plots.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Elkaddict

    Elkaddict Well-Known Member

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    As I recall, LC said once acceptable PH was reached, he needed 500lbs of lime per acre to maintain it. I’ve tried to follow that. If I miss a year, I double up the next year.

    FWIW, I can’t get a lime truck into my fields either. I’ve used a combination of pellet lime and ag lime. I use a fertilizer wagon to spread ag lime. Our 17 acres of plots have needed 60 + tons to get into shape as we started with plots in the low 4s. As a result, finding a way to spread bulk ag lime was a necessity given the price differential (I think we pay $650 per 15-18 ton loads).
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  11. RGrizzzz

    RGrizzzz Active Member

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    What kind of spreader are you using for the ag lime? How well does it work?
     
  12. Elkaddict

    Elkaddict Well-Known Member

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    It works OK, but not like a dedicated lime buggy. This lime was damp as evidenced by the lack of dust. If dry, it throw it a lot further. E73E7DC0-9D6D-4217-8EBC-794B962222DD.jpeg
     
  13. RGrizzzz

    RGrizzzz Active Member

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    That looks like a manure spreader.
     
  14. Elkaddict

    Elkaddict Well-Known Member

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    Indeed it is, I misspoke
     

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