Lime spreading: How much does it cost?

The dry weather is providing ideal ground conditions for lime spreading, which is essential to correct soil pH.

Soil pH levels affecting nutrient availability to plants and farmers should be aiming for optimum soil pH levels in order to get the most out of soil nutrients and applied nutrients. In the long run, looking after soil pH can reduce your fertiliser bill.

Teagasc soil samples from 2017 showed that approximately 47% of grassland farms have below-target soil pH, indicating that lime application is required.

Farmers should consult their soil tests for pH levels. Optimum soil pH varies with crops and soils. For example, mineral soils growing grass should aim for a soil pH level of between 6.3 and 6.5, while spring barley crops need a soil pH of 6.5.

In this short article, we provide a quick glimpse of a selection of prices (charge-out rates) being touted (in advertisements) around the country. These figures are simply those that were observed at the time of writing.

It should be noted that while contractor rates will include VAT, lime itself is not subject to VAT. All prices are for ground limestone.

The prices

In Co. Longford, one contractor is spreading ground lime at €5/t (plus VAT), if a customer is spreading 50t or more. Where less than 50t is being spread the contractor is charging €6/t (plus VAT). The lime is costing a further €16/t.

Ground lime spread and delivered in Co. Laois is costing €21/t, while a contractor in Co. Carlow was quoting the same amount.

In Co. Roscommon, spreading only is costing €6/t, spreading and loading will cost up to €8/t, while the cost of the product itself is €17/t.

Lime from one outlet in Co. Kilkenny is costing €20/t, while it can be delivered and spread to anywhere in the south-east of the country for €25/t.

In Co. Limerick, lime spread and delivered is costing €23/t. The spreading charge is €5.25/t (plus VAT).