Only one in five farms spreading lime
An awareness campaign is needed to increase lime usage, according to Teagasc economist Dr Cathal Buckley.
A new fertiliser survey released from Teagasc notes that only 20pc of farms used lime year on year in the period 2005-2015.
One of the authors of the report, Cathal Buckley, told the Farming Independent that more needs to be done to increase lime usage on farms.
"Adequate liming is essential to achieve optimum soil pH levels in order to maximise the effectiveness of fertilisers.
"Farmers aren't optimising lime. There's a lack of knowledge around soil testing and pH.
"At farm advisory level one of the first things advisors do with farmers is create a pH plan but more awareness needs to be created," he said.
Mr Buckley added that lime unlocks nitrogen and phosphorus already present in the soil and is also more affordable than fertilisers on the market.
"It's very cheap and much more affordable compared to fertilisers. Lime is usually around €30 per tonne compared to average fertiliser prices of €250-400 per tonne,"he said.