Needham Chalks has been supplying East Anglia Farmers for nearly 70 years. The soil pH is the measure of the hydrogen ions in the soil and is what determines how acid or alkaline the soil is. To cure an acidic soil a recommendation of Lime is required which is produced once a pH soil sample has been taken and mapped on each field. For information on how this is done please see our sampling page.
With Intensive arable and livestock rotations, there is a natural reduction in the lime status and pH of the soil, with lime losses occurring from:
Calcium and magnesium carried out of the soil root zone by downward movement of soil water, often with Nitrogen (NO3)
Ammonium nitrate fertilisers aid soil acidity by nitrification of NH4 – Nitrogen to Nitrate which releases hydrogen irons.
Plants make the soil more Acidic through the release of hydrogen (H+) to the soil; Plants remove Ca and Mg from the soil; Organic and inorganic acids form during the decomposition of crop residues; Deep cultivations can bring acid subsoil into the root zone.
Acid rain falling as nitric and sulphuric acid from the burning of fossil fuels and from industry and motor vehicles.
Liming recommendations are carried out by our field advisor’s on a field to field bases once each field has been sampled. Once the liming agent has been chosen from various different grades of chalk based products from our quarries or from Sugar refinery processing products such as Envirocal, an accurate recommendation can be produced from the neutralising value of the product and spreading can be arranged. To see what pH range specific crops like please see our arable crops page or fruit, vegetables and herbs Page
Needham Chalks (HAM) have 39 contractors around East Anglia who it works with to ensure the highest quality of spreading is achieved and at a time when it suits you. Various spreading is carried out with specialist equipment from self-propelled running on floatation tyres to row crops wheels with many utilising water jetting for dust suppression. With our knowledge of harvesting throughout your area we can make sure that lime is spread to land as convenient as possible to your harvesting and cultivation plans.