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Agriculture makes extensive use of lime, including:
Calcium Carbonate, quicklime and hydrated lime can all be used to adjust the pH of soils to give optimum growing conditions and hence improve crop yields. The use of quicklime, hydrated lime and/or blends of these with Calcium Carbonate will help to speed pH adjustment which can help to treat conditions.
Lime has a beneficial effect on soil; it neutralizes harmful acids and restores the humus, making the soil more fertile. Both calcium carbonate and quicklime are used as soil quality enhancers. The forestry sector relies on lime to combat the effects of acid rain.
The pH of acidic ponds and lakes can be controlled and raised using hydrated lime. In general terms this creates a more hospitable environment for all aquatic organisms, in particular fish. Lime is therefore used by fish farmers to maintain a suitable habitat for breeding fish.
As apples and other fruit ripen, they emit carbon dioxide. When in storage, the carbon dioxide lowers the level of oxygen in the atmosphere and accelerates the rate of deterioration of the fruit. By circulating air around the fruit and over hydrated lime, the level of carbon dioxide is reduced and the fruit remains fresh and useable for longer.
Residues from processing citrus when mixed with lime can then be dried and sold as cattle feed. In addition, lime can also be used to neutralise waste citric acid and to raise the pH of fruit juices to stabilise the flavour and colour.