Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ag Lime

I just ordered 200 ton of agricultural lime for our new farm. The soil test calls for 1-2 ton of calcium so I am putting 2 ton on all of it.
The base saturation test is not over 60% Calcium anywhere on the farm and some is 50%. The magnesium levels are all above 20-25% so I want high calcium ag lime. I found a source 30 miles away that is 31% calcium and 1% magnesium so it is what we call High Cal Lime. Funny thing it isn't far from the farm we were raised on near Sardinia and it costs some money to truck it up here but Hanson closed the good Highland Quarry so it's Eagle or waste lime like my neighbor put on this field next door a couple of years ago.
We put 2 ton on a run down farm south of here and it raised the best soybeans ever in its history. It usually made around 45 bushels but this year it made 65! The plants were healthier, the fertilizer dollar was not wasted and the weeds were controlled easier getting the calcium and pH up on that old farm.
I hope we can do that on the new farm, too and next April if it gets nice and dry like it did the last two years, we will go in there and drill the best soybean variety we can find, treat it with a good chemical treatment and inoculate it with the new RO9 or new strain of rhizobia and SabrEx, the latest trichaderma on the market. If we can control the weeds, we should raise 50 bushels of soybeans easily in a bad year and hopefully a whole lot more.
Then next fall we will plant it back to wheat and keep it covered all winter so those hills don't wash and plant it back to double crop soybeans right behind the wheat harvesting combine. In 2012 it should raise a good crop of corn or beans and I would like to go back to corn again as I know I can raise 200 bushels per acre on that farm.
Ag lime is the best thing a farmer can do if his soil test calls for it and this one does.
We have an unusual dry fall so it's time to get this done.
Good luck to all of us.
Ed Winkle


  1. "Ag lime is the best thing a farmer can do if his soil test calls for it."

    Very true, just hard to pull the trigger. Our fall lime is going on Thursday. We brought a lot of ground up from the middle 4's in the last ten years, now we're in more of a maintenance pattern. Sure is easier to maintain pH than increase it!

  2. No kidding Orin. Just think, I have maybe another 20 crops left in me? That doesn't give me much time. We rarely ever get a fall like this when we can get lime and drainage work done. Then you need money to do it. Yes markets are rewarding us now but most of us will not average the $4.50 corn and over $10.00 beans we have right now. I sold a few too many bushels at lower prices not hedged and inputs are out the roof. Diesel $3 and a ton of mono ammonium phosphate is near $700 now! I must get lime on to squeeze every nickel out of every fertilizer dollar. My advice is pull the trigger or it will be pulled for you when you don't want it to!