Influence of lime and farm yard manure
par Dieudonne MUGOBOKA
ISAE Busogo - Bachelor's Degree 2008
According to Tandon (2002), agriculture lime is a material containing oxides, hydroxides and /or carbonate of Ca and /or Mg used for neutralizing soil acidity.
Lime is primarily a soil amendment or conditioner and not a fertilizer, as is commonly thought. Lime performs several important functions:
1. Corrects soil acidity;
2. Furnishes important plant nutrients: Calcium and Magnesium;
3. Reduces the solubility and toxicity of certain elements in the soil such as aluminum, manganese, and iron. This toxicity could reduce plant growth under acid conditions;
4. It promotes availability of major plant nutrients. Calcium acts as a regulator and aids in bringing about the desirable range of availability of many plant nutrients. Some elements which lime aids in regulating are zinc, copper, and especially phosphorus;
5. It increases bacterial activity and hence induces favorable soil structure and relationships.
Soil structure is also improved by the addition of decayed organic matter or compost. The soil becomes more porous, increasing air circulation and the ability of the soil to absorb and hold moisture (Clifford, 2003).
Proper applications of lime made to extremely acid soils will increase the production of most vegetables. The main functions of lime are to reduce soil acidity, to supply nutrients, mainly calcium, to the soil, and to bring micronutrients into usable form. A well-limed soil helps to avoid such problems as blossom-end rot of tomatoes which is related to an inadequate calcium supply (Stephens, 2004).