No-Till Liming

Mar 08, 2021

Liming of soils to an optimum pH is important for both crop production and nutrient management. Good lime to soil contact will help maximize the effectiveness of liming material. In no-till systems, lime moves into the soil profile at a very slow rate because it is surface applied and not mechanically mixed into the soil and surface. Similarly, it will likely take more time for the entire soil profile to increase in pH upon broadcasting of lime in reduced tillage or vertical tillage systems. Therefore, these systems need to be loosely monitored for pH changes over time; soil samples should be taken more frequently and more frequent lime additions might be needed.

For a given amount of acidity, a corresponding amount of liming material is needed regardless of the fineness of the material, but lime particles passing a 100-mesh screen will react within the 1st year versus a longer reaction time for larger particles. So, it a quick change in pH is needed, a lime source with a high fineness factor is recommended.

In summary, timing of sampling for soil pH and timing of lime application are two important aspects of proper lime management for optimal crop production.