Incorporating lime into sandplain soils

Location: in the west midlands area


Project Start Date: January 2014


Project End Date: December 2015


Project Aim: The aim is to develop and test new approaches for incorporating lime into acidic subsoils and to compare this with existing approaches already being assessed. Soil acidity is a significant environmental issue that can be overcome through promotion of sustainable farming practices such as incorporating lime into the soil.


The objective is to give growers a robust, reliable and cost effective system of achieving lime incorporation into acidic subsoils in a broadacre context. It is intended that the system is flexible so that it can be modified for different soil types and different situations across the State.


This will involve modifying the deep ripping process in order to increase flow of lime from the topsoil into the subsoil. The concept is to encourage the flow of loose limed topsoil immediately behind the deep ripper tyne into the acidic subsoil.  This will involve creating larger slots behind the ripping tynes, holding the slot open for longer and deliberately directing the flow of loose limed topsoil into the slot.


The other benefit of a modified ripping system is to reduce the risk of wind erosion by aiming to maintain some existing stubble cover after the lime incorporation compared with other deep cultivation methods that completely remove all stubble cover.


The current systems are limited due to the cost, speed, availability and reliability of existing machinery for applying lime i.e. rotary spading.

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