Fast Acting Lime

Experiences with lime in southeastern PA.

By Elvin Hursh, Growers District Manager

I have been using Growers on my Lititz, PA, farm since the early 1960's, and two of my brothers have been on the Program the same amount of time. 

Now in the spring of 2008 my other brother Lester and his son Leonard from Mt. Joy, PA, started using it in their fields.  They plowed one field in the fall of '07 and seeded a grass hay.  In the spring of '08, after taking 1st cutting off they applied lime (high calcium) in strips of no-lime, 3 ton per acre, 6 ton per acre and 9 ton per acre.  This field had had little calcium applied before hand, but had had generous amounts of chicken manure and pen pack manure.  Four or five weeks after the lime application they took off 2nd cutting.  Lester could see the sickle bar all the while when mowing the no lime and 3 ton strips, but when he got to the 6 and 9 ton strips he could no longer see it because the grass there was so thick and lush and of a softer, finer texture.  They had foliar fed all the hay strips with Growers at 2 gpa after each of the 4 cuttings they took off.  For the season of 2009 we plan to take forage samples to check feeding values.

Another of my customers is Marlin Oberholtzer from Ephrata, PA.  Where his consultant advised using high mag lime, instead he put 1 1/2 ton of high calcium lime per acre on his fields and 3 ton per acre on the knobs.  About three months later while chisel plowing, Marlin noticed it plowed lots easier where he had applied the lime, and the field's hard knobs were softer and yielded much better than in former years. 

For his '07 silage corn Marlin applied 1 gal of Growers in the row at planting and foliar fed once with 2 gpa of GMS.  We figure his well limed soils helped carry the crop through.  Then, that fall, as he filled silo, he sprayed it with Growers.  He hadn't used any silage innoculants the last few years, but this was the first time in all his years of farming that he had no heated silage when he started feeding it to his steers. 

In the fall of '08 while filling silo Marlin was in a hurry and didn't bother to put anything on his silage.  Later on when opening the silo his neighbor helping him asked, "What silage innoculant did you use?"  He was supprised that it was so cool.  Even after he had been feeding a few weeks, when Marlin dug down 8 inches it was still cool.  He had foliar fed his '08 crop once with Growers at 2 gallons per acre, but, again, the well limed soils were a factor.  Anyway, now the neighbor is a Growers customer.

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