Determining the Need for Agricultural Limestone
The primary reason to apply agricultural lime is to correct soil acidity. Acid soils tend to occur in high rainfall areas of the world. Soils will become acid through leaching of minerals by large amounts of rainfall, removal of minerals by crops and animals harvested from the land, and the application of fertilizers. The application of modern chemical fertilizers is the major cause of soil acidity.
The application of agricultural limestone can also be beneficial when a soil is deficient in calcium and or magnesium. This is particularly true when land is used for breeding and raising foraging animals. Dairymen have historically been large users of Aglime because it raises milk production. Young mammals eat primarily milk. Calcium is a major component of milk. Bone growth is the key to young animal development. Bones are composed primarily of calcium and phosphorus.
Acid soils will reduce the plant matter produced by a plot of land. Some plants, particularly legumes, will not grow on acid soils. Acid soils reduce plant growth by inhibiting the up take of the major plant nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash.
The best way to determine if a soil is acid or deficient in calcium and magnesium is with a soil test. Many farmers become interested in soil testing and Aglime use when they notice reduced response to the application of fertilizer.