Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: lime


Let There Be Lime

In January 2015 featured an article written by John Deitz, Let There Be Lime. The focus of the article is the how SuperCal products are helping producers in in Western Canada reclaim land and increase yields

Key Points from the Article:

  •  “If we can apply lime annually to a very small width of application within actual areas that need to be treated, we can drive annualized costs down to between 7% and 9% or lower than the amount the old methods would use,” Solberg says.
  • In 2013, ENR applied a 600-pound rate of SuperCal SO4 to about 200 acres of white, hard, grow-nothing land in southern Alberta that had 26% sodium. It harvested 80-bushel barley on the treated area.
  • The 400-pound applications of SuperCal 98G increased soil pH by about 0.6 and offered the best return – nearly 9 bushels per acre. Cost for the product and application was about $57 an acre.

You can download the article as a pdf


The Blogronomist is maintained by Craig Dick, head blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing. Here you will find a wide array of blog articles from Craig and expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!  



Soil acidity

Within any given soil, there are two states of acidity that need to be accounted for before liming recommendations can be made. First is the active acidity, which indicates the current pH status of the soil. Active acidity accounts for the H+ ions in the soil/water solution that the laboratory measures. What active acidity doesn’t account for, however, is the reserve, or potential acidity. Think of a swimming pool that has a few people in it, those people represent the active acidity. Now, imagine that there are more people outside the pool, just waiting to jump in after some of the others leave. Those folks represent the potential acidity. When we determine how much lime we need to neutralize the acidity in the soil, it is really the potential acidity that needs to be accounted for. To neutralize the active acidity is easy and requires little lime, but the potential acidity can be a major problem to neutralize if it warrants such action.


Sulfur in soybeans

The Iowa Soybean On-Farm Network just sent out an email reporting some data from their trials with our SuperCal SO4. Check out their message:

Sulfur Trials Show Varied Response

There’s been much discussion of sulfur deficiency in Iowa in recent years, but few farmers have actually observed it in their field.

For the past 3 years, growers working with the On-Farm Network® have been using replicated strip trials to look at sulfur-containing fertilizers in an attempt to determine whether these can bring up yields on fields where soil type, management and other conditions might make them prone to sulfur deficiency. We would not expect to see a response on fields where manure has been used recently, or, in general, on soils with more than 2% organic matter content.

Shown here are photos from one of the trial fields in 2011, where visual differences were observed early in the growing season. The field is located in Black Hawk County, with a mix of mostly Finchford, Sparta, Dickinson and Chelsea sandy loam soils. 

Individual plant photos here were typical for the differences between the treated and untreated strips. Aerial imagery in early July and again in August continued to show differences between the strips. It’s quite easy to pick out the strips in these images.

The visual differences seen in this particular trial were greater than those from other 2011 trials. Soil and tissue sample analysis in August showed that sulfur levels for both were higher in the treated strips than in the untreated strips in most of the trials. Yield response for all trials with sulfur products ranges from 2 to nearly 8 bu. per acre. We expected to see a difference in the trial pictured because of the sandy, low organic matter soils.

Click here for additional information on 2011 crop nutrient trials. When the new screen opens, scroll down the page to the Plant Nutrition section.



Agronomist Reactions to The Soils Conference

On Jan 24th and 25th Calcium Products held a soil and fertility conference for its dealers and professional agronomist. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the program.



We had a great turn out and would like to thank everyone who came out. Escpecially the speakers and those that contributed to the video footage!

You can see more vidoe of the conference here.

View the presentations here.

In the next few weeks we will have all of the presentations on our YouTube page. We'll let you know as soon as it's posted!


Calcium and pH Get the Spotlight in Farm Journal

Earlier this month, Farm Journal posted a good article online.  There are a couple of things we need to help them out on.

The liming process revolves around calcium, as Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie has explained at several sessions of Farm Journal Corn College.

Actually it is the carbonate that changes pH. Calcium merely takes hydrogen’s place on the soil colloid.

"Calcium deficiency in plants is rare," Ferrie says. "It’s calcium’s role in the soil, in regulating acidity, or pH, that farmers need to be concerned with."

Yes calcium deficiency is rare; however, pH is the measurement of hydrogen (this is where pH comes from, Potential Hydrogen). Calcium has little to do with pH regulation.

This is one of the best most concise explanations of what calcium does for the soil;

“In the soil, calcium holds the key to healthy structure, Ferrie continues. That’s because a calcium ion has two valence electrons, or positive charges. Such an ion is called a cation (pronounced "cat-ion").


Agronomist Reactions to The Soils Conference

On Jan 24th and 25th Calcium Products held a soil and fertility conference for its dealers and professional agronomist. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the program.



We had a great turn out and would like to thank everyone who came out. Escpecially the speakers and those that contributed to the video footage!

You can see more vidoe of the conference here.

View the presentations here.

In the next few weeks we will have all of the presentations on our YouTube page. We'll let you know as soon as it's posted!


Poor Wheat Tillering Due to Aluminum Toxicity


We thought you should be aware of a good article released by the Plant Management Network, originally written by K-State, entitled Poor Wheat Tillering, Root Development May be Due to Aluminum Toxicity.

From the Artilce:

“…the producer should make a note of this condition (low pH/Aluminum Toxicity) and take action before planting another crop on that field. Lime application on low-pH soil should be considered a high priority. Even half-rates of lime will do some good,”  Dr. Diaz said.

“Aluminum toxicity begins to occur where soil pH levels are less than 5.0 and potassium chloride-extractable free aluminum levels are greater than 25 parts per million, Ruiz Diaz said. Some varieties of wheat, such as Everest and Overley, have better tolerance to low-pH soils and high aluminum levels than other varieties, such as Fuller. The symptoms of aluminum toxicity include poor tillering and sometimes, but not always, a purplish color, he said. “In addition, older leaves may appear drought stressed and withered. Plants will either be stunted throughout the season even with adequate moisture and nitrogen, or may even die,” he said. High concentrations of aluminum will reduce development of the roots, giving them a short stubby appearance. “The roots will often have a brownish color, and the root tips may have a burned appearance. This effect on roots will limit nutrient uptake, and plants may show some deficiency symptoms even with good nutrient levels,” Ruiz Diaz said. In addition, low soil pH (below 5.0) can reduce the availability of plant nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.”


We couldn’t agree more, the following pictures is what happens to the roots when aluminum toxicity is a problem.

Here is what aluminum does  to the root hair tips


You Can't Afford to Apply Fertilizer Without A Soil Test

Midwest Labs has a great post about why you should soil test.

The main reason, the high cost of nitorgen and phosporus. We have been talking about the cost of low pH since 2008, Let's look again at what not knowing your soil pH can cost you.

Soil pH testing is the best place to start when planning a fertility program. Having low pH causes plant nutrients to be tied up. According to research done by Midwest Laboratories, a pH of 6.5 ties up 24% of available phosphorus. If your pH is 6.0, then P tie-up increases to 48%, and 24% of N is not available to your crops.


The cost of not liming soil at a 6.0 pH, 200-bushel corn goal:


Nitrogen  @ $0.54/# 

 24% unavailable  

 150#'s = $81

 $20 /a in wasted inputs


Phosphates @ $0.60/#


 48% unavailable  

 70#’s  = $42/a

 $20/a in wasted inputs


$40/a lost in wasted inputs


Yield loss of corn, resulting from low pH, 34 bushels, priced at $6.50 =

$220/a lost in yield reduction due to low pH


 A soil pH of 6 can cost your at least $260 in lost revenue.


True Precision Lime


Today I received the October 2011 issue of CropLife, the magazine of a trade group that represents the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. The cover story was a feature on precision services an there was one other article as well as 9 more mentions of precision ag. Why do I bring this up?

With all the focus on precision ag, why are is the lime your spreading from 1960?








You spent good money to have your fields grid sampled, spent some more to have your lime applied by variable rate, so why do you put up with it blowing off the field.  


Why not choose the lime product that is a truly precision lime, SuperCal 98G. Spreads evenly and gets to the soil!



Sure you can get ag lime delivered to your field, but how do you know how much moisture is in it? How much water are you buying? This fall it is likely dry so how much blew out of the truck and off the field before it was spread?

When I worked in retail ag, the number one complaint from farmers was, you always spread my lime on a windy day.

Here is a news flash, it’s always windy in the Midwest, and the floater is driving at 15 MPH, you are going to have drift, PERIOD!

The number 2 complaint was, it didn't seem to do anything. All lime isn't the same, coarse ag lime simply doesn't work, the fines blow away, the only people that benefited from spreading ag lime is the quarry and the guy that hauled it.

This fall switch to a product with 17 years of proven performance, no magnesium, less than 1% moisture, doesn't drift, and actually changes soil pH and delivers results.

Call us at 800-255-8196, we'll be glad to show you how easy, switching to  precision lime can be!

More on Lime:



I tested a car and found cars to be unreliable!

Last week was the lime conference in Portland Oregon, were we meet some really smart people and a lot of new friends. One of those new friends sent me a note this morning.

I read a response that stated the following:  "Studies at Michigan State University found the Pelletized Lime to have a Slower Rate of Reaction Compared to Good Quality Ag Lime Applied at Recommended Rates."  Craig, Because of the Surface Area of Pelletized Lime Being Greater than the Surface Area of Regular Ag Lime, How can a University Make this Statement?  You and I both know that the Surface Area of the Calcium Carbonate in Pelletized Lime is Far Greater than the Surface Area of Any Ag Lime.
My Response:
Picture source:
The Yugo is known as "The Worst Car in History"


The problem is two-fold:
Most people think that Lime is lime and/or all pelletized lime is the same.
We know that all lime does not react the same, but many researchers are unaware of this.
The second part of this problem is  that when pelletized lime was first made in the 60's and even through today, many pellet lime manufactures take a coarse ag lime (average of 20-30 mesh) and pelletize it. Pelletizing doesn't make a product more effective it just makes it easy to handle. When you pelletized low grade lime you get expensive low grade lime. Couple that with the fact that to pelletize this low grade lime you need lots of lignin and lots of dryer heat to make a pellet and you get concrete balls that don' beak down in the soil. So you get Universities publishing papers that all pellet lime is junk when in reality, the pellet lime they tested was junk.
It would be like comparing a small car and big car, but only saying the small care we tested was found that it was not really that reliable. Well which small care did you test, a Toyota or the Yugo? If it was a Yugo we would expect it not to be reliable, if it was a Toyota that would be very surprising since they are known as a quality reliable car. Saying all lime is the same is like saying I tested a car and found it to be unreliable!
Update from the Lime Conference
How do we know that all Lime is not the same?
We have told you for years that SuperCal 98G works better than other liming materials, know we have some hard science as to why! It was great to spend a day with the worlds most preeminent scientist in the field of lime stone reactivity.
Dr. Grunwaldt, the key note speaker at the lime conference has over 40 years of research in the area of lime reactivity or dissolution.
One of his first commercial ventures into the reactivity of limestones was with a commercial Azalea grower. This grower grew millions of dollars of Azaleas every season and as part of preparing his potting soil (a bark substrate with a pH of 4) he would add a 3 shovel fulls of groun
Subscribe to this RSS feed