Lime is often recommended for pastures and hay meadows in order to increase soil pH. Many forages can be sensitive to soil pH, especially acidic soils (soil pH < 7). Maintaining an appropriate soil pH can increase nutrient use efficiency, meaning plant roots have the capability to pull nutrients from the soil and use them for plant growth and persistence.
Liquid lime is a formulation of approximately 50% high quality dry lime and 50% water. Some advantages of liquid lime include: providing better uniformity of spread and reacting quicker than a dry source. With pros there are cons…
Disadvantages of liquid lime include: higher costs associated with hauling water, under-liming due to spread rate, and more frequent lime applications are often needed since liquid lime does react quicker than a dry product.
Pay attention to labels of products to determine if they actually contain calcium carbonate. If a product does have neutralizing ability the label should contain a CCE (calcium carbonate equivalence) or neutralizing value rating listed. It is important to know how much active ingredient or neutralizing power you are paying for.
Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Ph.D.
Forage Extension Specialist
Soil & Crop Sciences
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M University System