How Much Does Agricultural Lime Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 14, 2018

Agricultural lime is a type of soil conditioner that can benefit the soil.  This soil additive is made from pulverized limestone or chalk and is used to correct the high levels of acidity in the soil, otherwise known as the pH level.  If the acidity levels in the soil are too high, then the crops will suffer because of it.

dscf5272 by hr.icio, on Flickr
dscf5272” (CC BY 2.0) by hr.icio

How much agricultural lime cost?

On average, a bag of agricultural lime can cost anywhere from $4 to as much as $10 per 50-pound bag.  Most bags are going to be anywhere from 40 to as much as 100 pounds per bag, and the cost will depend on the quantity and where it’s purchased from.  These bags are often ideal for smaller spaces such as a patio or backyard garden.

Agricultural lime that is purchased, if by the ton, can range anywhere from $12 to $45 per ton at a local store/quarry, depending on the factors mentioned below.  This price is based on the type of agricultural lime that will be used and won’t include the professional application. If you were to hire a professional company, then the costs could be in the $35 to $100 per ton range to have it spread and delivered.

For example, a member on TractorByNet.com said he had paid $26.50 per ton and another $50 to use the company’s spreader.  Another member on that same thread had said he paid $700 to have seven tons spread on his field.

On DeerHunterForum.com, a member said he was quoted $50 to $55 per ton to have it delivered and spread.  Another member was quoted $70 and $100 per pound, respectively.




Factors that affect the cost

The type

As you can see below, there’s more than one type of agricultural lime.  Traditional and dolomitic agricultural lime will tend to be the cheapest, while liquid lime can be the costlier option due to the additives that are added to the product.  Prices, however, can range from area to area and will all depend on how readily available the supply is.

The amount

How much agricultural lime will you need to restore your soil’s pH level?  Depending on your soil’s pH level and field size, the quantities will vary.

Labor involved

As noted above, do you plan on hiring a professional to do the job or will you do it on your own?  For instance, if you do it on your own, do you have access to a spreader to properly apply it to a farm field.  Whether you do it on your own or hire someone else, time will always be money.

Delivery

This kind of ties into the labor costs.  Even if you hire someone or even do it on your own, it will need to be delivered to your location unless you have the necessary equipment to haul it, which most people don’t.

Supplier

Like anything in life, where you buy it from will matter.  One quarry could be different than another, even though they are selling a similar product.  The same can be said about your geographical area and proximity to a product.  Resellers, according to Braenstone.com, will charge a higher price than those who manufacture it on their own.

Types of agricultural lime

Calcitic

Calcitic lime is simply crushed limestone with a higher calcium content than other types, allowing it to neutralize acidity and improve the soil’s growing conditions.

Dolomitic lime

Dolomitic lime, as the name states, is made from dolomite.  Dolomite, like limestone, will still raise the soil’s pH level, but it will higher levels of magnesium and calcium in comparison.  This makes it an ideal choice for areas with lower magnesium levels.

Dry lime

Dry lime is ground limestone or dolomite in its purest form.

Liquid 

Liquid lime is 50 percent dry agricultural lime and 50 percent water.  Liquid lime is often preferred because it tends to spread equally in a larger area and can offer faster results.

Pelletized

Pelletized lime is a process where agricultural lime is grounded down into smaller granules and then introduced to lignosulfonates, a glue-like polymer, helping the pellets bind together.  These smaller pellets will kick up less dust and when properly applied, it may require fewer applications when compared to the other types on the market.

What are the extra costs?

Most companies, if you want them to spread and deliver, will have a delivery minimum, usually about 10 to 15 tons.  If you don’t meet this minimum and still want it delivered, a minimum surcharge may apply.

Some opt to have a soil analysis done ahead of time to determine the pH level; with this information, the professional will be able to confirm the pH levels and which type of agricultural lime they recommended.

Tips to know:

Agricultural lime, according to Braenstone.com is essentially like limestone or dolomite, but instead, it will ground, washed, screened and will be used as a soil treatment.  The chemical makeup makes it possible for minerals such as magnesium and calcium to be reintroduced into the ground, effectively restoring the pH levels.

According to spreadx.ca, agricultural lime, depending on how you farm, should be done every two to 10 years.

How can I save money?

If you don’t mind doing it on your own, most companies will drop off a spread for about $50 and allow you to use it for a certain duration.  Doing it on your own, according to our research, could save you close to $20 to $50 per ton, depending on your geographical location and the amount needed.


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