Those who are passionate about producing vibrant and vital crops, flowers and other types of vegetation – regardless of how large or small scale the enterprise – are well-aware of how important it is to use a quality liming material on a regular basis.
Agricultural lime (often shortened to ‘aglime’) is a completely natural solution to problems associated with acidic soil and nutrient-deprived soil.
The alkaline quality of aglime works to react with the earth in order to raise its pH level while also adding much needed nutrients into the ground.
At the same time, the material makes it easier for roots to absorb these nutrients. All in all, agricultural lime can create better and healthier growing conditions for plants.
Best of all, the material is extremely affordable and you have multiple options to ensure that you purchase the right liming agent for your specific needs on a budget you can afford.
Take a look at the different types of liming materials available, the various factors that can influence the cost of agricultural lime and how to get the most from your investment in liming materials.
Types of Lime
There are different types of agricultural liming agents that are manufactured to meet different needs, and each will come with its own cost considerations. In order to estimate how much you’ll end up spending on aglime, you first need to have a good idea as to which type of lime is right for you. This quick breakdown should get you started:
- Aglime – Agricultural lime is nothing more than pulverized limestone. Once very fine particles of lime have been produced, it becomes easy to spread atop and into acidic soil in order to raise its pH levels. The smaller the particles, the faster it will react with the earth. Applying water also helps to speed up the reaction time. Agricultural lime is very prevalent in the greater NJ area making it extremely affordable.
- Pelletized Lime – Pelletized lime is manufactured when aglime is ground down into even smaller granules. The lime is then introduced to lignosulfonates (naturally occurring glue-like polymers) which work to bind the pellets together. This helps to reduce the amount of dust that may be kicked up during application. When properly applied, less pelletized lime needs to be used than traditional agricultural lime. As in the case of aglime, water should be sprayed atop the soil after pelletized lime has been introduced.
- Liquid Lime – Liquid lime is a precise mixture of 50% dry aglime and 50% water. The solution is sprayed over the affected soil. This method of application makes it a lot easier to control the even spread of the lime for consistently healthy soil.
- Dolomite – Dolomitic limestone is also pulverized down to size for the purpose of balancing the pH levels of acidic soil. The difference is that, in addition to calcium carbonate, dolomite also contains magnesium carbonate. This is very beneficial to soil that has a magnesium deficiency, but should not be used where the calcium to magnesium ratio is in balance, as it can cause more harm than good.
Factors Influencing Ag Lime Cost
You’ll find that there are a number of different factors that can impact how much your liming materials will run you. Some of these include:
- Type – As you go about planning your budget, be sure to remember that the type of material you use will significantly impact the amount that you need to spend. Of the different materials available, traditional aglime will generally be the least expensive. This is because calcitic limestone is readily available in our area and the manufacturing process requires minimal effort. Dolomitic limestone may also be relatively inexpensive, depending on how much supply is available in your locale. Both pelletized and liquid lime products will be more costly. This is because of the other additives that are included in the product and the extra work that goes into manufacturing the lime. Always be sure to consult with a professional to make sure that you’re buying the agent that fits your needs so that you don’t end up overspending on something that won’t work to your benefit.
- Amount Required – How much lime do you actually need in order to restore your soil’s pH levels to balance? This will depend on a couple of things. First you need to consider the plants/crops that you are growing in the area. Different types of vegetation thrive in soils of varying degrees of acidity. Be sure to do your homework to figure out what your plants need. Comparing this number against your soil’s current pH will help you to calculate out how much should be applied to achieve proper balance. Another thing to think about is the overall size of the coverage area. For obvious reasons, an expansive, multi-acre farm field will demand a lot more aglime than a residential yard. Be sure to work with an expert to calculate how much aglime to buy based upon the size of your property.
- Labor and Application Methods – The time and effort that go into applying aglime should also be given some consideration when you plan out your project’s spending needs. Time is money, so the more work involved, the more you’ll need to invest in the job. Keep in mind, too, that you may need to make use of special tools or equipment in order to properly and evenly apply the lime and till it into the soil. Any rentals, fuel costs and related maintenance should be added into your budget.
- Delivery – How is your agricultural lime getting from your supplier to your job site? Unless you’ve got adequate transportation, you’ll need to hire an outside service to deliver the materials. You should be wary, though of companies that aren’t able to show you proper licenses and insurance policies. Any accidents or issues on the job could result in a lawsuit that costs you a lot of money in the end. The safest bet is to work with a supplier that offers bulk delivery. The best companies will be able to provide you with references from customers who have been satisfied with the delivery and customer service.
- Supplier – Be very careful when selecting your aglime supplier, as not all are as fair or affordable as others. You may find that liming agents can be purchase from nationally recognized retailers, but be aware that these stores may not manufacture their own product. Instead, they resell materials at a higher price to customers. If you’re hoping to achieve maximum savings without sacrificing quality, you should set your sites on a local supplier that manufactures its own aglime.
Where to Buy Agricultural Lime in NJ
If you believe that your soil could benefit from the use of agricultural lime, Braen Stone has you covered. We offer a large inventory of liming products to suit your every need.
Our team of experts has the knowledge and experience required to answer any questions you may have about which type of lime to use, how much to purchase and how it should be applied.
All of our agricultural lime is available at competitive wholesale prices and and be picked up at your convenience or bulk delivered to locations throughout parts of NJ, NY, PA and CT.