3 important things you need to know about
1It’snot the calcium you want
Lime is actually calcium carbonate, and most people think it’s the calcium that helps to balance ph, but that’s not correct says Doug.
“Our soils have got heaps of calcium (thanks to their young age and the high level of calcium in super phosphate fertiliser). It’s the carbonate that we add to the soil which reacts with the acid and increases the ph, so the active ingredient is the carbonate content – you should buy lime based on its carbonate content, not on its calcium content.”
This colour means danger
There are a few easy steps to take to protect your livestock from facial eczema. These include using zinc boluses in stock throughout summer, starting in early January as zinc levels take time to increase and you need levels to be high to prevent damage from February onwards. Alternative pastures do better than ryegrass (see top right), and not grazing ryegrass to its base, instead moving stock on while the leaves are still tall (spores are eaten when grass is low to the ground).
But there’s one place where spores will be highest and it’s easy to spot: any pasture that is dark green (due to urine patches) in contrast to the dry, lightercoloured pasture around it will generally have very high spore loads.