Last year we promoted a lime campaign in Longford called the Time 2 Lime campaign with the aim of getting our clients to apply two tonnes of lime per acre on part or all of their farm.
We targeted 134 farms all of which are participants in KT Discussion groups. Of those 134 farms, 114 have taken soil samples in the last three years (85%). We got each client to fill out a survey on how much lime they had applied in 2016 and 2017 and if they intended to apply lime in 2018.
Based on these soil sample results, we sent out recommendations to all of these clients on the lime requirements on their farms. This was followed up with a phone call to go through in detail what lime rate and amount needed to be applied. Of the 134 farms, 72 (54%) applied lime in the three years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
A total of 5,340 tonnes of lime were applied over the three years, with 24% of this figure applied in 2016, 19% was applied in 2017 and 57% was applied in 2018.
There were nearly three times as much lime applied in 2018 versus 2017 and 2016. 33 farms got lime in 2016, 31 farms got lime in 2017 and 51 farms got lime in 2018.
The results show that an effective and targeted campaign, as done in 2018, increased the quantity of lime applied and the numbers of farms that applied lime. In 2019 the 62 farms that haven’t applied lime yet will be targeted to encourage them to get lime out.
Feedback from clients was very positive with the general quote that “the land that got the lime greened up very quickly”.
One client whose land type was a heavy soil applied lime in 2017 and noted that it had made his farm more tender, but when he seen the results of better grass growth in 2018 and that the tenderness was only short term then he applied more lime in 2018.
Liming your farm is one of the cheapest and most important jobs to do on your farm. If your farm is deficient, then the application of lime can be the equivalent of applying 2 bags of nitrogen per acre, as well as making more efficient use of the phosphorous and potassium applied in bag manure and slurry.
If you have not applied lime in the last number of years, then let 2019 be the year that you get this job done. The first thing to do is to take soil samples if you have not already done so and then contact your advisor to find out the lime requirements on your farm.
Of the 72 farmers above who applied lime none of these regretted it and neither will you.
Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. You can contact their office in Longford Town on 043 3341021.
You can also find them on Facebook.