Soil amendment is a crucial aspect of modern agriculture, and both traditional agricultural lime and liquid lime are popular choices. However, cost is often a deciding factor for farmers. This article aims to provide an accurate breakdown of the costs involved in using agricultural lime and liquid lime.
The Cost of Agricultural Lime
The cost of agricultural lime is around $13–15 per ton, but delivery charges can raise that cost significantly. For clay soil, which is common in South Carolina, the application rate may be between 1-2 tons per acre. The costs of applying traditional lime include labor, diesel fuel, and equipment maintenance, and can add another $10 to $20 per acre to the total. For 1 ton per acre, the total cost could range from $50 to $70 per acre. For 2 tons per acre, the cost could range from $100 to $140 per acre.
The Cost of Liquid Lime
AgriTec ProCal is the liquid lime product we use most often. Our last bulk purchase of this product cost around $11 per gallon. Neutralizing soil with a pH of 5.5 requires approximately 3 gallons per acre, resulting in a material cost of around $33 per acre. When applied via drone, the cost per acre is between $14 and $20. Drone applications are generally much faster than traditional applications as well. Combining material and application costs, the total cost of using AgriTec ProCal liquid lime would be between $27 and $53 per acre.
The cost to apply a liquid lime product via drone could be around half the cost of traditional methods. Other benefits include quicker action and a long-lasting effect on pH. Understanding these cost dynamics can help farmers make an informed and cost-effective choice for soil amendment.