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Agricultural Lime - Aglime

Aglime Farm FieldAgricultural Lime, or Aglime, is a fine limestone material used by farmers to improve soil quality. Tilcon launched an Aglime product from the Clinton Point Quarry in August 2007.

What is Aglime and what does it do?

Farm soils today have a tendency to become acidic as a result of the continuing use of fertilizers, among other reasons. As soils become more acidic, the amount of nutrients available to plants decreases and crop yields and profits go down.

Farmers use Aglime, which is alkaline, to restore the balance of the soil and reduce its acidity. Aglime can also improve the physical structure of the soil, increase a soil’s water holding capacity and reduce erosion. It also reduces soil toxicities and increases the availability of nutrients in the soil.

Aglime is a very cost effective way of addressing these problems and improving soils. Application rates vary but are usually in the range of 0.50 tons/acre to 3.5 tons/acre depending on soil type and conditions. It tends to be a seasonal product, mainly applied by farmers in the fall and winter although it can also be applied in springtime.

Typically farmers will buy Aglime directly from a producer, or via a farm supply distributor. Producers like Tilcon usually truck the product directly to the farmer, who will either apply it to his fields himself or use a spreading service. Bulk Aglime, such as the product sold from Clinton Point, is popular with farmers and the cheapest variety. However, Aglime is also available bagged and in pellet form.

Aglime Quality

The key elements of Aglime quality are:

  • Chemical purity and effectiveness
  • Particle size
  • Moisture content.

All limestone contains calcium and magnesium carbonates which are the active ingredients in Aglime responsible for reducing acids in the soil. The CCE (calcium carbonate equivalent) represents the sum of the calcium and magnesium carbonates in the lime and is also known as the TNV (total neutralizing value). ENV (equivalent neutralizing value) is a measure of the effectiveness of the material required for product labeling in some states, including New York. It is calculated by multiplying the CCE by a factor based on the fineness of the limestone. The Clinton Point Material has a TNV of 90% and an ENV of 82%.

In order for Aglime to work as efficiently as possible, the carbonates must come into contact with the acids in the soil quickly. Therefore particle size is important as smaller particles react faster than larger ones to neutralize the soil. The fineness of the Clinton Point material is 92.4% passing a 20 mesh sieve and 87.9% passing a 100 mesh sieve.

Moisture content is important because if the Aglime contains water, that water has replaced an equivalent weight of reactive Aglime, so the higher the moisture content, the lower the amount of reactive material per ton of Aglime.

As with all other products, Aglime is subject to regular Quality Control testing to ensure compliance with the product specification. Gradations are conducted and CCE and ENV measures are taken and tracked using titration tests. All product testing is conducted by Advanced Testing.

Tilcon New York Inc has been awarded a License to sell Agricultural Lime by the NY Dept of Agriculture.

For more information about Clinton Point Aglime, please speak to Mike DiRenzo, Sales Representative on 845 480 3249 or mdirenzo@tilconny.com.