Pastures need lime

Pastures need lime

Baxter Bulletin

Are you losing extra yield from pasture and forage crops each season due to low soil pH?

Lime on acid soils is required if a well-balanced fertility program is to be achieved. Yields can be increased on many Arkansas farms by correcting acid soil conditions with lime. Most grasses will produce top yield on soils that are only moderately acid or slightly acid. Most legumes, on the other hand, grow best on soils that are slightly acid to neutral in pH reaction. Good yields of all forages are more attainable when proper levels of lime and fertilizer are applied to pastures and hay meadows.

In addition to increasing soil pH, lime supplies calcium or calcium and magnesium (dolomitic limestone), both essential nutrients for plant growth. Other benefits include increasing the availability of soil phosphorus and molybdenum; decreasing the solubility of elements like aluminum and magnesium, thereby reducing the possibility of toxicity to some crops; improving soil structure; increasing the bacterial breakdown of plant residues; and improving the nodulation (nitrogen fixing ability) of legume plants.

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