Agricultural lime, also called aglime, Biolime, agricultural limestone, garden lime or liming, is a soil additive made from pulverized limestone or chalk. The primary active component is calcium carbonate. Additional chemicals vary depending on the mineral source and may include calcium oxide, magnesium oxide and magnesium carbonate.
The effects of agricultural lime on soil are:
*it increases the pH of acidic soil (the higher the pH the less acidic the soil); in other words, soil acidity is reduced and alkalinity increased
*it provides a source of calcium and magnesium for plants
*it permits improved water penetration for acidic soils
*it improves the uptake of major plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) of plants growing on acid soils.
Lime may occur naturally in some soils but may require addition of sulfuric acid for its agricultural benefits to be realized. Gypsum is also used to supply calcium for plant nutrition. The concept of "corrected lime potential" to define the degree of base saturation[clarification needed Explain] in soils became the basis for procedures now used in soil testing laboratories to determine the "lime requirement" of soils. Other forms of lime have common applications in agriculture and gardening, including dolomitic lime and hydrated lime. Dolomitic lime may be used as a soil input to provide similar effects as agricultural lime, while supplying magnesium in addition to calcium. In livestock farming, hydrated lime can be used as a disinfectant measure, producing a dry and alkaline environment in which bacteria do not readily multiply. In horticultural farming it can be used as an insect repellent, without causing harm to the pest or plant. Spinner-style lime spreaders are generally used to spread agricultural lime on fields.