Plant Tuff® AgLime FAQs

Q: How do I learn more?

A: Contact a Plant Tuff Sales Rep.

Q: Why is Plant Tuff AgLime better than other aglimes?

A: Plant Tuff AgLime has been shown to be available to plants immediately following application. The key is its unique chemistry that gives it the added advantage of containing a variety of nutrients and micronutrients that are beneficial to the plants. It has also been shown to aid in the availability of phosphorous.

Q: What is the difference between Plant Tuff AgLime and Plant Tuff Silicon pHertilizer™?

A: The following chart compares the two products:

Compare Plant Tuff AgLime and Plant Tuff Silicon pHertilizer Plant Tuff AgLime Plant Tuff Silicon pHertilizer
Neutralizes soil pH
Improves nutrient uptake
Improves soil structure
Aids water flow
Provides calcium, magnesium, iron & manganese
Contains Silicon
Aids drought tolerance
Increases resistance to diseases
Increases resistance to insects
Is eco-friendly
Is easy to apply

Q: How often should you test your soil?

A: The frequency of testing varies depending upon several factors: soil type, crop, rainfall, fertilizer and many other factors. As a general rule, experts recommend testing your soil a minimum of every two to three years. Soil samples should be taken from at least three locations for every two acres.

Q: Does particle size matter?

A: Yes it does. The size of the particles determines the rate at which the material reacts with the soil.
Particles passing through the #8 sieve may not produce results for up to one or two years after application.

Particles passing through the #60 sieve can have an immediate effect upon the soil and are typically fully used within one year. Acidic soils needing an immediate pH balance adjustment call for a high percent of fine particles small enough to pass through #60 sieve. Particles passing through the #100 sieve are fully used within one month.

Q: Why use AgLime?

A: Midwest farms typically use less AgLime than they actually need. A few of the benefits of AgLime are:

  • Rapid adjustment of pH of acidic soils. Some plants, particularly legumes, will not grow in highly acidic soils. Low soil pH inhibits a plant’s ability to utilize nutrients. This can reduce fertilizer efficiency by up to 50%. When the soil pH is below 6.0, 20% of the applied fertilizer may not be utilized.
  • Improved water penetration for acidic soils.
  • Increased ability of microbial bacteria to thrive. These beneficial bacterial aid in breaking down nutrients for plants, cannot thrive in acidic soils.
  • Improved uptake of major plant nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash).
  • Improved pasture productivity by up to 20% when applied annually.

Q: What is CCE?

A: The purity of lime is expressed as its calcium carbonate equivalent (CCE). Pure calcium carbonate has a CCE of 100%. Liming materials such as dolomite or hydrated lime may have a CCE greater than 100%. Other liming materials may tend to have a lower CCE, sometimes only 65 – 75%. With this wide variability, it is essential to adjust a lime recommendation according to the CCE.

Q: What are RNV / ECC?

A: Lime quality and application rates can be evaluated using RNV (Relative Neutralizing Value) and ECC (Effective Calcium Carbonate Content). Many states use different terms; RNV is used in Indiana while ECC is used in Michigan. All states in the Great Lakes Region take CCE into account when evaluating liming agents.

  • RNV: Fineness Factor = (% Particles Passing 8 mesh + % Particles Passing 60 mesh) / 2
  • Relative Neutralizing Value (RNV) = Fineness Factor x (% CCE / 100)
  • Adjustment Factor = 60 / RNV of sampled limestone
    Source: Purdue University Extension Publication AY-274, “Analysis of Agricultural Liming Materials”.
  • ECC: Fineness Factor = 50% x (% Particles between 60 & 8 mesh) + 100% x (% Particles Passing 60 mesh)
  • Effective Calcium Carbonate (ECC) = Fineness Factor x (% NV / 100)
  • Adjustment Factor = 60 / ECC of sampled limestone
    Source: Michigan State University Extension Bulletin E-471, “Lime for Michigan Soils”.

Q: Is this material environmentally friendly/safe?

A: These materials were used as early as the 1930s as an agricultural conditioner. They can improve the efficiency of fertilizers, therefore potentially requiring reduced application. They also have been shown to resist fungal infection and disease, reducing the amount of chemical applications needed. The materials are approved liming agents in both Indiana and Michigan. They also meet all applicable environmental requirements. The EPA has promoted the use of slag for agricultural applications. Please visit this site for more information.

Q: Should I be concerned about heavy metals?

A: No. Plant Tuff’s in-house guidelines follow California’s guidelines – the strictest in the country. Concentrations of all metals fall far below areas of concern, even at extremely high application rates..

Q: Is Aluminum Toxicity an issue when using Plant Tuff AgLime in agriculture?

A: No. In fact, Plant Tuff AgLime alleviates the issue of Aluminum Toxicity due to its liming actions. When used at appropriate application rates, the pH of the soil will remain above 6 and alleviate this issue. Aluminum Toxicity occurs in strongly acidic soils. Plants in this environment may also exhibit symptoms of Calcium, Magnesium, or other nutrient deficiency and may also exhibit symptoms of Manganese toxicity. Aluminum solubility begins when the soil pH drops below 6.

Q: Do I need more Plant Tuff AgLime than the current material that I am using?

A: No — if the Neutralizing Values are comparable with the current material you are using, the application rates should be the same. In many cases the Plant Tuff AgLime may actually reduce application rates due to its high neutralizing value.

Q: Is the material easy to apply?

A: Yes — due to its unique chemical make-up, Plant Tuff AgLime can actually be easier to apply than lime. It spreads nicely, even at moistures up to 6% utilizing standard equipment.

Q: When can Plant Tuff AgLime be applied?

A: The timing for applying Plant Tuff is the same as lime, although early applications can make better use of its unique chemistry. One thing that’s been noticed in northern climates is that due to its darker color, it is actually easier to spread with snow on the ground because of the contrast in colors.

Plant Tuff with Tuff Shield Bucket

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