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  • Writer's pictureTriple Threat Ag

ROI for Your Lime Application

by: Paul Lange

Ever since the beginnings of Triple Threat, when we found a spreader truck that needed a new bed and a little TLC, we’ve been advocates of helping producers improve their soil health, but why? It’s always fun to sit at the coffee shop and talk about how your yields were just a little bit better than your neighbor’s (regardless of whether or not that number is totally accurate!). However, growing up, our dads were always quick to remind us that the prettiest field or the most bushels didn’t always translate into the best return on investment. Through that upbringing and the vehicle of improving soil health, we have worked very hard to provide a sound ROI to producers.

One of the first things we always tell producers is to not use any more than necessary. To us, that means getting a good grid or zone soil test and repeating it on a regular interval somewhere in the 3-4 year timeframe. The first set of results provide a good baseline and place to start. Subsequent tests help you monitor progress and address trouble spots when they pop up. At the end of the day, we recommend using these results to only apply inputs where needed, whether that be fertilizer, lime, or gypsum.

In some of our previous writings, we’ve discussed “Why Lime?” One of the points we made in that blog was fertilizer and herbicide efficiency and efficacy are improved when pH is at optimal levels. It’s no secret what happened to the prices of fertilizer and herbicide over the 2022 growing season. They were through the roof! Producers were looking for every way possible to maximize the benefits of those products and use less of them when possible. The biggest thing we’ll tell you is that the best time to fix your roof is when the sun is shining. We mean you can’t correct your pH overnight. It takes time for the lime to breakdown and chemical reactions to happen. That’s why we advocate visiting with us sooner rather than later so we can start the process and get your dollars working for you to be ready for that next crop.

The time lag involved leads into our final point. When looking at the ROI of soil testing and applications of lime or gypsum, we’ve found it makes a lot of sense to amortize that over multiple growing seasons. Once we apply aggregate lime, producers usually see benefits from that application over as many as five cropping years. For that reason, many landlords and tenants have agreements to prorate the cost of that product if their agreement terminates less than five years after application. By the same token, you can spread the cost out within your own budget over that same five-year period.

We hope this helps demonstrate the why behind what we do. Yes, we’re huge advocates of optimal soil health and all the benefits associated with it. At the end of the day, it comes down to running a business and doing what’s prudent. That’s why we started with that used TerraGator and it served us well for many years providing an ROI we could accept. Always remember, at the end of the day, you don’t go broke taking a profit and we’re here to help you maximize that number.

To learn more or schedule any of the services we provide such as soil sampling, lime or fertilizer spreading, contact us today via phone (620) 456-2839 or email

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