Farmers Advised to Maximise Fertiliser Efficiency through Liming

Specialist merchant Morton’s of Banbridge hosts farmer visit to OMYA Granucal Factory at Glenarm, County Antrim

A group of over 30 farmers from across Northern Ireland recently attended an event at the OMYA Granucal factory in Glenarm, Country Antrim to learn about how fertiliser efficiency can be maximized through the application of lime.

The visit was organised by agricultural specialists Joseph Morton Ltd (Morton’s), which introduced its locally produced ‘Granucal’ high calcium liming product earlier this year in conjunction with leading global producer of industrial minerals OMYA.  The product is manufactured at OMYA’s production plant in Glenarm and offers farmers top quality lime which they can spread themselves.

As well as enjoying a tour of the factory to see how Granucal is produced, farmers heard from Richard Furniss of OMYA/Sales Manager Life Science UK about the best way to maximize fertilizer efficiency.

Richard advised: “It is really important for farmers to analyse their soil and identify nutrient deficiencies so they can decide on an appropriate course of action, otherwise the use of a chemical fertilizer can be a waste of time and resources.  In average soils a good nutrient balance is 80% calcium, 6% magnesium, 4% potassium and 1% sodium.

“Liming improves the acidity of the soil and will improve its physical, biological and chemical properties. Physical benefits include improved soil structure, improved ability to store water and promotion of root development. Biological improvements include better fertilizer effectiveness, increased storage capacity of the soil and better calcium and magnesium resources for plants and livestock. Finally, biological improvements include reduction of plant diseases, increase in microbial populations and better utilisation of animal waste.   The positive effects of liming on plant growth will ultimately result in a higher yield for farmers.”

Ray Morrison from Morton’s added: “Now is the time for farmers to get their soil tested to ascertain the pH. If required the pH can easily be modified with the addition of Granucal, a high calcium granulated lime.  As a company that gives careful, targeted advice based on soil analysis, we are pleased to now offer farmers a locally produced, high quality calcium product that improves grass productivity quickly and cost-effectively. 

“We are delighted to host this visit and hope that the farmers in attendance have benefitted from the expert knowledge and advice provided by Richard. We are committed to working with the Northern Ireland farming community to optimise the fertility of local soils and would encourage farmers with any specific Granucal queries or general soil health questions to get in touch.”

For expert advice on soil health, seed selection, crop protection, forage conservation and feeding and rumen health and efficiency, contact Morton’s on 02840 662521.

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