The Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District recently purchased a new lime spreader that is now available for renting on a daily or weekly basis. Matthew Wood, conservation specialist for the district, said the equipment has been a highly requested item in the region, and several people have already tried it out.
What does the equipment do?
A Stoltzfus brand agricultural lime spreader, the equipment is used by farmers looking to enrich their soil. The machine is pulled by tractor and will hold two tons of wet or dry lime.
“They take soil tests, and the recommendations that come back a lot of times will show that they need to apply lime, and that’s pretty much just crushed limestone rock is all it is,” said Wood. “This is just a way that they can get that on their fields themselves.”
How does spreading lime benefit soil?
Wood said lime can help balance the soil’s pH level, which is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The level of pH is measured on a scale from 0-14, with 0 being the most acidic.
“You don’t want anything that’s too acidic,” Wood said. “A 6 or a little better is ideal for growing grass, whether that be for just cattle or hay. A lot of people will send their soil samples off to Virginia Tech, and they get those results back, and they can either take them to an extension agent or bring them by here, and we’ll help them figure out how much lime they need per acre and the best place to get lime.”
What is the rental fee?
The cost is $60 for 24 hours or $250 per week, and farmers can spread as much or as little lime as they like while they have it, Wood said. The spreader is available to farmers in both Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
To reserve the equipment or to learn more, call (276) 885-3127.