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  • Shannon Byrnes & Hannah Van Houweninge

Prilled lime vs Ag-Lime

In a perfect world your soil pH is neutral and your paddock has sufficient calcium that never needs replacing… it's a farmer’s dream! Deciding between prilled and Ag-Lime products for your agricultural needs can be a bit perplexing however we are here to help shed light on the key considerations. Choosing the right lime product involves identifying the differences in effectiveness and benefits for your specific needs. To help you navigate this decision, let's demystify the differences.


1. Lime quality and composition:

  • Both prilled and Ag-Lime products are formed using crushed limestone, which utilises the carbonate from the calcium carbonate limestone to balance pH and enhance calcium in soils.

  • Prilled lime often contains around 5% binder, whereas Ag-Lime is mined limestone without additives.

  • The particles in prilled lime are actually smaller (<0.3mm) than Ag-Lime (as seen in Table 1), but the binding agent is added to hold the particles together to form granules so it can be applied through fertiliser applicators.

2. Particle size and neutralising value:

  • The key indicators of an agricultural liming product’s quality are neutralising value and particle size.

  • Particle size distribution can be seen in Table 1 for both products.

  • The effective neutralising value considers the particle size and neutralising value. This can help you work out how quickly your lime product is going to react in the soil.

  • The finer the particle size of the liming product the more rapidly it reacts with the hydrogen ions neutralising acidity.

3. Wind losses:

  • Prilled lime doesn't suffer wind losses due to its size and weight, making application straight forward.

  • While some finer particles of Ag-Lime may be carried by the wind, these losses are minimal and do not significantly impact overall effectiveness.

4. Cost and availability:

  • Prilled lime can sometimes be more expensive than Ag-Lime due to the additional processing required to produce the pellets. It may also be less widely available. Provides convenience for timing of spreading.

  • Ag-Lime offers convenient options for bulk purchase, delivery, and spreading without extra expenses, maximising efficiency.


This is an extract from the full article that was published in the Spring 2023 issue of Farmacist News. To read the full article, download the printable version using the link below:

Prilled Lime vs Ag-Lime (Spring 2023)
Download PDF • 446KB


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