Pellet and Fluid Lime
Part 1, Section 2: Soil Fertility Management
Soil Fertility Management
SOIL ACIDITY AND LIMING
Pellet and fluid lime
Pellet and fluid lime are forms of limestone that provide alternative application methods. Both materials are made up of very finely ground limestone. Pellet lime is manufactured by forming finely ground limestone into water-soluble pellets that can be spread like fertilizer. This allows for easier handling and more uniform spreading—after application, the pellets quickly break down and release the limestone. Fluid lime is made by suspending the finely ground limestone in a water and clay suspension. This material then can be applied with a sprayer. Fluid lime can be sprayed very uniformly. Both materials are excellent liming materials that will react very rapidly; however, the very fine nature of these materials does not increase the neutralizing value of the limestone. Thus, the same amount of calcium carbonate equivalent is required with these materials as with regular pulverized limestone. Because these materials are usually more expensive than regular pulverized limestone, people will sometimes use a lower rate, assuming the fineness will compensate. This is not true. You need the full recommended rate regardless of the fineness or physical form of the material.
For maximum effectiveness, incorporate the liming material. Note that minimum tillage mixes to only one-third of tillage depth. Since liming material incorporation is not possible in no-till situations, the soil should be limed adequately before no-till crop production begins. Also, it is very critical in long-term no-till management systems to maintain soil pH near optimum. No special management is required, and this can be accomplished with a normal liming program every three years or so. Just do not let the soil pH become too low because it can be very difficult and take a long time to correct in a continuous no-till system. This same recommendation also applies in long-term perennial forage fields.