Online tools can assist lime planning
Help is just a mouse click away for growers currently considering their lime requirements.
A lime calculator released by the Liebe Group, produced with funding from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), can help determine the appropriate quantity and costs of lime (including incorporation methods) needed to address specific soil pH conditions.
The Excel spreadsheet-based tool, developed by Farmanco, with support from the Liebe Group and earlier Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) acidity models, can assess cashflow and profits from liming versus non-liming.
Available at www.liebegroup.org.au/lime-profit-calculator, it is based on the assumption that not liming will incur cereal yield penalties of 1 per cent per year and a 0.1 reduction in pH annually.
Another useful tool is the Lime Comparison Calculator, available at www.soilquality.org.au/calculators/lime_comparison on the Soil Quality website, which is supported by the GRDC Soil Biology Initiative II and Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management.
This calculator can help growers compare the effectiveness of different lime products, which can be sourced from many places and have different characteristics.
The GRDC has increased its western region investment into understanding and managing subsoil constraints, including acidity and compaction.Researchers now estimate that soil acidity costs up to $500 million annually in lost production across the WA’s grainbelt, and that 14.25 million hectares of its soils are acidic or at risk of becoming acidic to the point of restricting production.
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827
Clare Johnston, Liebe Group
GRDC Project Code LIE00006, UWA00138
Region National, North, South, West