The outlook for fertiliser price and supply does not bode well for farmers next spring.
But whether fertiliser will be purchased for growing grass or not, do not ignore the benefits from liming grassland.
Grass grows best between pH 6.3 and 6.5. When pH drops below 6.0, soils become acidic and lock up nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potash.
Liming will correct soil pH, unlocking nutrients and giving grass growth a boost next spring. It will also help condition the soil.
However, the downside with ground lime is the time lag from application until it is working in the soil.
This can be anywhere from four to six months. The finer the lime particles, the quicker it conditions the soil.
Best time to apply
Therefore, the best time to apply lime to grass swards is in the autumn. Lime will condition soils over the winter, correcting pH levels by the time spring comes around.
Ground conditions are currently good on the vast majority of farms, so take the opportunity to get 1t to 2t/ac spread on grass swards over the next fortnight.
It could be the best money you will spend this year, especially if you plan on buying chemical nitrogen or establish clover swards in 2023.