The Foundation for Productive Soils
Optimise is pelletised ultra-fine lime – fine lime made easy!
Optimise is 100% ultra-fine lime pressed into a pellet for ease of transport, application and for getting maximum efficiency and effect from your lime application. If you like fine particle fertiliser and granulated fertiliser, you’re going to love Optimise!
Why use Optimise?
Optimise provides a practical and economic means of applying effective ultra-fine lime and lime-based fertilisers to your farm. The finer the particle size, the quicker the effect on your soil. However, the fine particles are difficult to spread and prone to drift. This is why Optimise ultra-fine lime is pelletised.
- Optimise lime and lime-based pellets are a great option when applying lime onto hill blocks and is ideal for getting the most return from your lime and lime-based fertiliser spend.
- Optimise lime raises soil pH and helps farmers achieve their ideal pH more efficiently.
- Once target pH has been reached, maintaining it is simple and much less costly.
- Optimise helps stimulates soil biology and improve soil structure, promoting the release of locked up soil nutrients due to soil chemical processes and compaction.
- Optimise is an effective source of readily available calcium. Calcium is important for supporting soil structure, soil biology, plant health and disease resistance.
Rapid response and return on investment
Optimise achieves the same rewards with a much better bottom-line compared to applying traditional Ag Lime. Using Optimise means lime can now be a part of your annual fertiliser application. Easily maintain pH and calcium levels, improve cashflow and increase your return on investment.
How much do I apply?
- Trial work shows the effectiveness of using Optimise at 250kg/ha gives similar results to applying 2.5T/ha of agricultural lime on pH. See Optimise trials. With all things being equal, a change in pH by approximately 0.2 and 0.4 can be seen with 250kg/ha and 500kg/ha of Optimise respectively. It is however, important to note there are many factors which affect pH, and the addition of lime is only one of them, e.g. the amount of magnesium, potassium and sodium also help determine pH, as does the amount of soluble acidic fertilisers added to a soil, stock deposits of dung and urine and rainfall.
- The response of Optimise will depend on the soil type, i.e. how much clay or sand the soil contains. A lighter soil will see a quicker response from relatively less volume applied but more frequent applications. A heavier soil will likely require more volume applied at once but less often. This holds true for all other nutrients that are added to the soil as well. A soils ability to hold onto nutrients and its response to nutrients is described as a soils Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). (See Understanding Your Soil’s Lime Requirements)
- The best way to determine how much Optimise pelletised lime to apply is through having a soil test taken. We can help you better understand your soil test results and explain how present factors in your soil are benefiting or potentially limiting your productivity. We feel that it is important for all farmers to interpret and understand their soil tests, that way you can make informed decisions about applying the right nutrients to achieve the most sustainable return.
How often do you apply Optimise?
- The effect and reactivity time depends on soil type and farming intensity, as does the longevity. (See Understanding Your Soil’s Lime Requirements)
- Optimise can be used for both capital and maintenance applications. Typical Ag Lime applications are usually carried out every 4-5 years, which can sometimes mean that lime is reluctantly applied because it can be so expensive. If you’re reading this, you already know that pH and calcium are extremely important for the proper and effective uptake of all other nutrients, yet the cost can sometimes hold back productivity and your profitability.
- As a capital application, Optimise is an ideal choice to address pH as well as calcium (and other nutrients e.g. magnesium) so that you can see greater gains made in a shorter period of time. Using Optimise for capital dressings or development areas quickly enables key nutrient targets to be reached for a faster return on investment from improved pasture and stock performance – without breaking the bank! This is particularly beneficial if you are leasing property, either short or long term.
- When soil tests reveal the desired optimum levels have been achieved, using Optimise to maintain those levels couldn’t be easier and more efficient. When we consider a paradigm shift in how traditional Ag Lime applications are viewed for its affect on pH, calcium and magnesium, then we will see how these key components of soil fertility help to maintain the biology and health of a soil. Generally, soluble NPK fertilisers are applied annually, so why not the application of lime as an annual treatment for a more sustainable return – if not at least purely from a cash flow point of view but also for optimum soil productivity.
- If your budget is limited and whose isn’t, then the application of lime in the form of Optimise suddenly becomes more affordable and cheaper over time. If you apply Optimise every 12-24 months you are better off cash flow wise than if you were to apply one application of Ag Lime every 5 years. You are also keeping your pH level at a more constant and optimum level, rather than it dropping off as the 5 year period comes to an end.
- Optimise allows you to do more and gain more, from less. That’s what you call efficient use of resources!
- The effect of applying Optimise can be seen from within 6 to 12 weeks and will continue working for as long as your soil type and farming conditions allow. Annual or biennial (every other year) applications are common.
- Optimise is equally ideal for both high and low rainfall areas. In low rainfall areas, the larger particles in conventional Ag Lime can be very slow to react and breakdown. Optimise has the advantage of breaking down more readily, therefore being able to react a lot faster to help stimulate biological activity. A few morning dews will help the pellets breakdown too. This action, as well as providing a readily available source of calcium will help aid moisture retention in future rainfall events.
- Using Optimise in high rainfall areas is much easier and does less damage than applying traditional bulk loads of Ag Lime. Whether you’re applying lime or other fertilisers to soils in high rainfall areas, the end result will be the same – what’s not used up is quickly washed away. Often high rainfall areas have heavy, poorly aerated soils that prevent fertiliser nutrients from penetrating the root zones and/or encouraging deeper rooting depths. Improving soil structure is critical to enabling the soil to cope with frequent saturation levels and helps to increase its water holding capacity like a sponge. This in turn allows roots to work their way deeper into the soil, which facilitates better drainage, naturally. A good method of addressing soils in wet areas is to apply key cations (Ca, Mg, K & Na) little and often, to replenish what is stripped away from heavy weather events, which will also help improve soil structure. Optimise is the perfect way to begin this process.
- DIY Optimise applications are easily done using existing tow-behind spreading equipment, which can help reduce the heavy traffic burden of bulk trucks, just like you would apply Urea. In fact, blending Optimise with Urea applications is an ideal way of getting more from your nitrogen applications, particularly if you’re dairy farming. There is also considerable benefits of adding sulphur and magnesium to the Optimise pellets when blending with Urea too – all done in one pass! Either the DIY approach or simply by the application of reduced volumes by a bulk operator enables you to apply Optimise in your time frame and in your weather window, when you want it and need it most.
- Optimise has similar spreading properties as Urea or DAP. Because DIY spreaders are all a bit different from each other, it is best to start off with the spinner set at a slower speed with the agitator turned off until you become familiar with the way the pellets spread from your equipment. If the spinner is too aggressive and the agitator is not deactivated, the pellets can be crushed and become dusty. If your spreader and spinner are designed to disperse fertiliser granules at high speed and over greater distance, we can accommodate this by making a harder pellet.
Lime worth spreading!
- By applying pelletised ultra-fine lime you make the liming process far more efficient. With Optimise you will use less product by total volume while still getting a significant quantity of effective ultra-fine particle lime on to the ground.
- The reduced volume means less transport costs and spreading costs. In most cases, Optimise can be applied 2-3 times over for the cost of 1 application of conventional Ag Lime. Fantastic for cashflow! Use the cost calculator, or check out the cost comparison estimate here for your farm.
- Optimise is also a great choice when using conventional ground spreading and drilling equipment, eliminating the striping issues that spreading conventional Ag Lime can cause, often resulting in an imbalance of other key nutrients.
- Optimise is perfect for DIY applications too.
The best lime for hill country!
Because applying Ag Lime by air can be an expensive exercise, it is often a reluctantly considered farm input. Applying lime to raise or maintain soil pH and calcium levels is as critical as any other nutrient to your farming system. Lime used to correct pH and calcium levels is an extremely important input for the proper and effective uptake of other nutrients, allowing better plant utilisation of other key soil fertiliser inputs.
Using Optimise is ideal for pH sensitive crops like fodder beet, or when you need to boost pH or supply much needed calcium to help encourage target yields.
Optimise is ideal to be used in built up areas, to help minimise dust disturbances.
Optimise is more than just lime!
- There is great advantage in combining nutrients all in the one pellet. All are finely ground and mixed for effective nutrient availability and perfect for even spreading and accurate placement. Combinations of these nutrients with lime have shown fantastic results in the field for ease of application, reduced volumes and improved effect on soil nutrient status. Ingredients that can be added to the lime pellets include:
- Trace elements (Se, B, Co, Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Mo)
- Seaweed and bio-stimulants
- Optimise with magnesium can be used for a dolomitic limestone equivalent.
- Optimise with sulphur can be used for a gypsum (calcium sulphate) equivalent.
- Optimise custom blends can be made to meet your soils needs, simply, evenly and effectively – all in the one pellet.
- Optimise pellets can be safely and conveniently blended with other high analysis fertiliser products like DAP and Urea. Because Optimise has less than 1% moisture content, it can remain stable for varying lengths of time when blended, depending on the product blended with.
- Combining Optimise with other fertilisers, easily creates a one-pass lime and fertiliser application. Typical high analysis fertilisers that can be blended with the lime pellets include:
- Urea/Ammonium Sulphate
- Potassium Sulphate/Chloride
From Pellet To Paddock
How does Optimise work?
- Optimise ultra-fine lime pellets have been designed to break down easily and quickly once they come in to contact with moisture, providing a significantly faster change in soil pH and pasture response. The finer the lime, the more immediate the reaction in the soil. The smaller the particle size, the greater the surface area, the quicker the effect on soil pH and more calcium is made readily available.
- The finer the lime however, the greater the chance of it being carried away by the wind and not landing on the intended area. Accurate placement of nutrients is critical, this is why Optimise lime is pelletised.
- Each time the average particle diameter is halved, the exposed surface area doubles – hence significant improvements in availability can be achieved by micronising limestone and other fertiliser nutrients.
- To be of benefit the liming material must breakdown and release calcium and carbonate into soil solution. There is an important difference between altering soil solution as opposed to having product in the soil at large – after all, plants and micro organisms source their nutrients from soil solution.
- Larger particles will last for longer, however a small piece of rock remaining in the soil for a long period is of little agronomic benefit. More important than longevity is the benefit that the liming product will have over its life, be it long or short.
- If the fine particle size of agricultural lime has greater agronomic impact than coarse grade agricultural lime, then less volume of fine lime needs to be applied. Within any 1T of Ag Lime there is a range of particle sizes with approximately 10-15% being the “fines”. Traditional applications of agricultural lime, require larger particles sizes which are necessary to help flow and exit through spreading equipment, especially for aerial topdressing, hence more volume is necessary to apply. Optimise pellets overcome this issue ensuring the safe release of the load for the pilot and spreader operator.
Particle size is a key determinant of a lime’s effectiveness
- The surface area and hence availability of lime is directly related to particle size.
- Reduction of particle size increases surface area and significantly improves availability.
- Lower quantities of fine lime will be more rapidly ultilised than a heavy application of Ag Lime and can be much more effective.
- Rapid availability can overcome pH buffering in the short term to bring about improved biological activity and legume establishment.
When is the best time to apply Optimise?
- Did we mention time? Using Optimise not only saves money, but significantly reduces the time needed to apply larger volumes. This means no long waits for the plane or spreader operator to arrive at your farm. Pilots are particularly fond of spreading Optimise as it gives them both flexibility with weather conditions and the ability to get more jobs done in the season. Satisfying both pilot and farmer!
- Spring and Autumn applications are the norm, however, this will often depend on farm cashflow.
- Our aim is to ensure you stay within your lime and fertiliser budget (or improve on it!) as well as help you achieve useful, lasting results from your fertiliser application. Cashflow will often determine when it is most appropriate to apply fertiliser.
- If pilot or application waiting list times and weather are problematic to your plans, Optimise lime and lime-based pellets can be applied any time the weather, ground conditions and soil temperatures permit. Applying in late Summer (i.e. February) is ideal to get ahead of the top-dressing backlog, and you will also likely see the benefits that applying Optimise has to prolonging your Autumn growth season. This also holds true for early Spring applications, helping your soil’s water holding capacity and improving longevity into the hotter, dryer months.
Who uses Optimise?
Optimise is used in all pastoral, arable, horticultural and viticultural operations, throughout NZ. It is a great tool for efficiency of application and is particularly well suited to large scale aerial topdressing scenarios. With the increase in fodder beet plantings, Optimise is used to provide a boost for this pH sensitive crop. Users include: Hill country farmers, finishing farmers, cropping farmers, dairy farmers, Vineyards, horticulture, lifestylers, and anything in between.