Stone or lump-lime is composed of the 56 per cent of a
pure limestone that gives value to the limestone. Forty-four pounds of
waste material were driven off in the burning. Where railway or wagon
hauls are costly, the purchase of stone-lime is indicated. There is
advantage in getting this lime in pulverized form, provided it can be
distributed in the soil before moisture from the air induces slaking
and consequent bursting of the packages. The necessity of rapid
handling has limited the popularity of pulverized unslaked lime, but no
other form is equal to it when it is wholly unslaked. Some
manufacturers grind the partially burned limestone often found in
kilns, and furnish goods little better than pulverized limestone.
The slaking of stone-lime should be done in a large pile, and the
distribution may be made with lime-spreaders. When the application is
fairly heavy, a manure-spreader does satisfactory work. A good
lime-spreader is to be desired, but care must be used to remove any
stones or similar impurities in the slaked lime when filling it. Such
spreaders are on the market.
The practice of slaking lime in small piles in the field is wasteful.
It is difficult to reduce all the lime to a fine powder and to make
even distribution over the surface. Any excess of water from rains
puddles some of the lime, destroying practically all its immediate
effectiveness. Distribution with shovels is necessarily imperfect.
The labor of slaking stone-lime and the difficulty in distribution are
two factors to be considered when selecting the form of lime to be
used. They may counter-balance in some instances the higher percentage
of actual lime when comparison is made with the hydrate. That is a
question to be decided by the buyer. He must be willing to use methods
that will secure even distribution. The prevailing practice, however,
of marketing the hydrate at a much higher price per ton than the
stone-lime should prevent sales to farmers. The price paid for ease of
handling is too great when purchase of the hydrate is made under such
circumstances. It is better to do the slaking at home, furnishing the
added weight of 32 per cent in water on the farm.
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