Liming a Cow pasture

Asked September 30, 2016, 11:38 AM EDT

Hi We just got back our tests from AL Labs and we need Lime(badly). Do you know anyone in s columbia county that has a lime spreader we can hire? Kind of a nitch service. Also if we want to use the pastures this fall, should we use encapsulated lime? not sure if that is the term. Thanks for your help!

Columbia County Oregon

1 Response

Pasture productivity is a function of several interwoven elements. Grass growth is the most important and it is affected primarily by temperature, rainfall, sunshine/day length, species of grass, how the pasture was grazed, and plant nutrient availability. Most grass species can tolerate fairly acid conditions. They do need periodic applications of the major minerals (N, P, and K along with S, Mg, and Ca). But they will not respond to these fertilizers if the fields. If they are being rotated, then we can talk about fertilizer timing. Lime is very expensive to purchase $80-125/ton delivered and spread if you can find someone to come out to your field at all. Minimum useful application rate would be 1.50 tons per acre. Lime is much more important for clover growth (good in a cattle pasture) and indirectly allows your grass to utilize more of the other fertilizers applied by raising the pH and bringing those minerals more into the soil solution. But I would first start with nitrogen application and careful attention to grazing to try to bring the field back to greater productivity. Give me a call when you have the time. Chip

Chip Bubl

Agricultural Extension Agent and County Leader

Oregon State University Extension Service

Columbia County

505 N. Columbia River Highway

St. Helens, OR 97051

Phone: 503-397-3462

Fax: 503-397-3467