Grolime is an agricultural lime product used one the farm to optimise soil pH, and in turn to maximise farm efficiency.

Soil pH plays a key role in soil fertility. Maintaining the soil pH at the optimum level will increase the microbiological activity of the soil and will result in better soil nutrient recycling and release.

Soil pH is also critical for maximising the availability of nutrients applied in organic and chemical fertilisers. Lime is a soil conditioner. It corrects soil acidity by neutralising the acids in soils so that the micro-organisms can thrive, break down plant and animal residues and release the elements necessary for healthy plant growth, in particular nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

According to Teagasc, only 35% of soil samples from dairy and drystock farms nationally are at the optimum pH for grassland. By optimising pH, soils can release up to 80kg/ha /year of nitrogen. Lime is a cheap input relative to the cost of fertilisers.

Below is a Grolime testimonial from Ray Hunt, Beef and Dairy farmer from Dualla:

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Further guidance

For further information and technical guidance, download the Roadstone Grolime brochure below:

1. Are there different types of limestone used for making ground Limestone?

Yes, there are two types of ground limestone – Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) ground limestone. Calcium limestone is the most common form of ground limestone available. Where dolomitic (Magnesium / Mg) limestone is used as a liming material, it is important that it is not used repeatedly without monitoring the soil Mg levels. The release of such Mg can be very slow, and frequent use of dolomitic limestone can cause soil Mg to rise to very high levels where it can impede the availability and uptake of other nutrients such as K.

2. What is the maximum rate of lime in a single application?

Apply a maximum of 7.5t/ha (3.0t/ac). Where more lime is recommended, apply the balance after two years. For example, where 10t/ha is recommended apply 5t/ha in year 1 and the remaining 5t/ha in year 3.

3. Can slurry and lime be applied at the same time?

Applied lime can increase the loss of N to the air after slurry application. If slurry is first applied, leave 1 week before spreading lime. If lime has been applied, avoid slurry application for three months.

4. How long should one leave between liming and applying urea?

The N in urea and cattle slurry are in the same form. Treat urea the same as cattle slurry as described in the previous question.

5. How long should one leave between spreading 18-6-12 or can and lime?

There is no need to leave a gap with CAN or N P K compounds.

6. What is the target PH for grassland where my land is in a high Molybdenum (MO) area?

In grassland soils that are high in molybdenum (Mo), it is recommended to maintain the soil pH at or below 6.2. Increasing the soil pH above 6.2 increases the availability of Mo which reduces the availability of Copper in bovines (cattle). Where there is either a history or risk of soils or herbage being high in Mo, it is recommended to reduce the lime application by 5t/ha. However this is a crude estimation and can be tailored for each situation depending on previous experience. Problems with high Mo tend to be more common on wetter soils (or in wetter years) in swards with low ryegrass and/or high clover content and where annual rates of nitrogen fertiliser application is low.

7. Will recently limed tillage soils be more prone to manganese (MN) deficiency?

Yes, recently limed tillage soils are more prone to Mn deficiency. To reduce the potential for Mn deficiencies, ensure lime is well incorporated during soil cultivations and seedbeds are well consolidated after sowing.

8. When is the best time to apply lime to grassland?

Generally, lime can be applied at any time of the year, provided the grass sward is low to avoid excess lime sticking to herbage. It is preferable to avoid grazing or cutting until sufficient rainfall has occurred to wash the lime off the herbage. For silage it is better to apply lime before mid March for first cut or within one week after cutting on land which is being closed for a second cut as the presence of lime on the grass can increase the pH in the silage pit which affects silage preservation. Applying lime to heavy covers of grass intended for silage can reduce silage quality if the lime is not washed off the grass by rain.

9. Are there different target PH levels for different crops?

Yes, see the table below for guidance. Aim to maintain soil pH close to the target level and apply lime as recommended on the soil test report. The lime requirement is calculated in the laboratory based on a test that measures the buffering capacity of the soil. Buffering capacity is a measure of how much lime it takes to change the soil pH. Therefore soils that are returned with the same soil pH may be shown to have different lime requirements. This is because the soils have different buffering capacities and require more or less lime to achieve the same increase in pH. Soils that are heavier textured or have higher organic matter contents tend to have higher buffering capacities and higher lime requirements as a result. However while these soils may require more lime following the soil test, the higher buffering capacity should result in the soil retaining lime better in the future once it has been applied.

10. What are the standards in place for lime in Ireland?

All lime marketed in Ireland must meet the requirements of S.I 248/78 – “Marketing of non-EEC Fertilisers Regulations 1978” and this is enforced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine who issue a licence to all approved operators.

Specific requirements contained in SI 248/78 are as follows:

  • Product must have a Total Neutralising Value (TNV) of not less than 90%
  • All the product must pass through a 3.35 mm sieve.
  • Not less than 35% of the product must pass through a 0.15 mm sieve
  • The moisture content of the product must be less than 3.0% Roadstone

Grolime meets all of these requirements.