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How To Select The Best Lime Sand

Your soil is one of the most valuable business assets your farm owns. Protecting and investing in soil health should be a primary business objective. When soil pH is at its optimum level, soil function is greatly improved. In turn, this means you make the most from your investments in fertilizer and Agchem – as they work harder for you.

Many farmers have seen and continue to see effective results from lime sand. So, what do you need to know to ensure you get select the most effective lime sand?


There are two main concepts to understand: Bulk NV and Particle Size.

Bulk NV stands for bulk neutralizing value. This is a measure of the potential of the lime sand to neutralise the acid in the soil.

Put simply. The higher the lime content per load, the more effective at neutralising acid the load, the higher the bulk NV rating.

Lets take an example. A company with a Bulk NV of 94.7% versus a company with a Bulk NV of 90.9%. In a standard 60 tonne load, there is 2.2 tonnes of difference in calcium carbonate (that’s the actual lime) being carted.

So, we’ve established that high bulk NV rating means you are getting a good load of pH neutralising lime in your load.

But it tells us very little about how lime source will react when applied to the soil or the capacity for the lime to move through soil levels to reach the sub-soil acid.

If a lime is slow acting or unable to come into contact with acid, the return on investment for the grower will be slow and limited.

That’s why is it also important to understand particle size.

The size of lime sand particles relates to how quickly the lime source might work for two reasons:

Firstly, finer particles permeate more readily into the soil profile. This means they reach and resolve acidity deeper in the soil profile.

Secondly, finer particles have higher surface area. This means they work with more speed.

So we’ve established that a higher Bulk NV and smaller particle size makes for a more better product.



What’s the benefit to you of that?

  1. Firstly, soil productivity and efficiency. Better yields and more effective use of your other soil inputs like fertilisers.
  2. Secondly, efficient transport costs. The transport costs for lime sand are expensive. So, to make the most of your transport costs you need to make sure you are transporting the best quality lime sand – there is no point paying to transport ineffective dirt.
  3. Thirdly, efficient product usage. Because the product is more effective, you need less of it. This saves again on product and transport costs.


Top Tips For You

Optima Lime are passionately Western Australian. Their group business has pioneered the use of lime products across many industrial sectors in Perth. They’ve been working with lime since the 1950s and are the longest established liming business in the state.

Using this experience, they advise you to:

  1. Make sure you check the specification for the pit from where your lime is coming from. You shouldn’t have to provide your personal details to get a basic product specification.
  2. Choose a pit that has historically high-level specifications. It’s a natural resource and so one-off tests can be anomalies.
  3. If permeation through the soil and speed of action are important to you and / or tillage is an issue, consideration should be given alternative liming products. Optima Lime have proven alternative products including Hi-Cal, and Agri-Cal.


Who Are Optima Lime?

Optima Lime are the soil health experts. They have a range of product solutions designed for maximum pH impact, so farmers can access better yields. Faster.

They have 5 locations across Western Australia. Our lime pits are located in Dongara, Lancelin, Wanneroo, Wattleup and Boranup.

And their lime sand can be purchased from rural stores including Elders, Nutrien, David Grays and great independent stores across the state.

To order product or to find out more, you can visit their website at or speak to your local rural store.

Find out more