The British Survey of Fertiliser Practice* suggests that the steady decline in agricultural land area receiving lime in Britain appears to be reversing slowly for arable agriculture, but for grassland agriculture it is a differerent and more worrying story – see ‘News and Events’ for more information.
The survey also concludes that this area is still considerably less than that calculated to require liming. In addition, it states the principle causes of acidification have not lessened, and it is reasonable to believe that significant areas of arable land, and more particularly grassland, are at a pH level which could limit productivity.
*Organised and jointly funded by the Fertiliser Manufacturers' Association (FMA), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Scottish Executive Rural Affairs.
A. British Sugar can confirm that all LimeX products have 'product status'. As such, customers do not need an exemption under the Waste Management Licensing Regulations or Agricultural Waste Regulations.
A. The majority of farming activities will reduce the pH of soils. Cultivations and ploughing will ‘open’ soils and can allow lime (calcium) to leach as rainwater percolates through.
Nitrogen applications will reduce pH in response to the nitrification cycle, and some N fertilisers can displace more calcium than others. Typically 1Kg of ammonium nitrate will ‘use’ approximately 1.8kg ‘lime’.
Rainwater is acidic and its action on soils will contribute to increased acidification.
The combined effect of winter leaching and application of nitrogen fertilisers typically ‘uses’ the equivalent of 400Kg ‘lime’ per hectare per year.
Crop off-take is generally not significant, although herbage crops stand out as removing more than 1 tonne ‘lime’ per hectare per year. Other crops are likely to use 10% or less than this extreme.
Soil microbial activity will also increase acidification, and add to the effects of the other influencing factors. Different soil types will have different pH buffering capacities and will have a fundamental effect on the potential rate of acidification, and the response to applications of calcium.
This combination of factors will vary from season to season in response to cultivations, cropping, nutrition, rainfall and temperature. The only sure way to accurately determine the pH status of a field soil is to carry out soil pH testing on a suitably frequent basis.
A. Because of their unique advantages, LimeX products are a highly cost-effective treatment - their cost-of-use compare very favourably with less-efficient liming materials.
We price-up every job individually to match a customer’s quantity and delivery requirements.
Estimates are available from our Helpdesk: 0870 240 2314.
A. Being part of British Sugar means we can offer some of the best delivery rates in the UK from established hauliers, experienced in handling LimeX products.
Alternatively, we are happy to facilitate self-collection by customers’ own hauliers. An additional option, not just for sugar beet growers, is to take advantage of the “back-loading” opportunity from our factories during the sugar beet processing season (September through to February). We can arrange back-loading directly with hauliers resulting in a very effective saving.
A. LimeX products have many advantages over traditional ground limestone:
The major reason for the outstanding performance of LimeX products is their very fine particle size. As a precipitated product, their fineness is unique, with at least 85% passing a 150um sieve. More info>>
Despite a lower NV than many products, this gives unsurpassed reactivity and rate of pH correction, with no penalty in longevity. This equates to an excellent overall ‘cost in use’ benefit.
LimeX products are produced to a high standard from our four sugar factory sites and can be assumed to be consistent from an agronomic and technical perspective. Many quarried products will be more variable in their technical parameters.
LimeX products generically contain useful nutrients that contribute to the long term fertility of soils. This is a unique combination.
The dry matter level of LimeX products allow confidence when spreading over widebouts, and are much less prone to dust generation than many competitor products.
LimeX products are probably the only branded liming products with approval by the Soil Association for use in organic farming systems countrywide.
LimeX products are classed as a sustainable liming source, and contain useful organic matter and aerobic microbes that will confer benefits.
A. For agricultural use, the most accurate way is to carry out a soil pH sampling exercise in order to produce field maps of your land. From these, we can then calculate the precise amount of the LimeX product needed to optimise the pH. An approximate calculation for agricultural use can be made from our Application Tables.
Application rates for brownfield restoration are dependent upon specific circumstances: contact our Helpdesk on 0870 240 2314 for assistance
A. It is important to store LimeX products correctly in order to maintain friability and ensure ideal spreading characteristics. In particular, select your LimeX storage site responsibly, to minimise the likelihood of environmental or nuisance issues arising.
A. LimeX products can be applied using on-farm spreading equipment, or by an approved British Sugar application contractor.
LimeX45 is typically applied using an FYM spreader. For best results use a machine with a flow control ‘gate’ and spinning discs to permit more accurate applications over wider bout widths.
In high rainfall areas this type of machine offers the most flexibility, and achieves a uniform and accurate application of rain-soaked LimeX45 or LimeX70.
LimeX70 is usually applied using a belt and disc machine and a wide range of these machines are suitable as it is more friable than LimeX45.
LimeX70 should be delivered and applied as soon as possible to minimise the risk of heavy rain reducing the friability of the product which could cause application difficulties.
A. LimeX products have Soil Association approval and can be used with complete confidence with organic farming systems.
Please contact your certification body prior to use.