Soil pH plays a key role in soil fertility. Maintaining the soil pH at the optimum level will increase the microbiological activity of the soil and will result in better soil nutrient recycling and release. Soil pH is also critical for maximising the availability of nutrients applied in organic and chemical fertilisers. Lime is a soil conditioner. It corrects soil acidity by neutralising the acids in soils so that the micro-organisms can thrive, break down plant and animal residues and release the elements necessary for healthy plant growth, in particular nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
According to Teagasc, only 35% of soil samples from dairy and drystock farms nationally are at the optimum pH for grassland. By optimising pH, soils can release up to 80kg/ha /year of nitrogen. Lime is a cheap input relative to the cost of fertilisers