There is an old saying, the hardest part about milking cows is, they never stay milked. The thing about that statement is, if you can’t do anything about it, it’s not a problem; it’s a fact of life. So how do you deal with a fact? Ignoring that fact only leads to failure. Your only choice is to recognize the fact and implement processes that make that fact easier to deal with.
The facts of farming
Soil quality is the same kind of “problem”. Almost every thing you do to farm the land destroys the quality of your soil. Applying nitrogen causes acidity, decreases organic matter and can reduce beneficial soil bacteria. Tilling the soil does all the above plus causes compaction. Planting only one type of crop increases diseases and insects. Spraying herbicides/insecticides can reduce beneficial bacteria and insects and increase soil diseases such as fusarium.
You can avoid the facts, do nothing and grow a poor crop, reducing soil quality. This approach will lead to decreased yield over time, and/or increased inputs. We think its better to make a few simple, inexpensive changes that make the facts easier to deal with. Small steps that will maintain and/or improve your soil quality, leading to better yield and reduced inputs over time.
The problem with liming is, the soil never stays limed
Having low pH can radically change the amount and types of weeds growing in your fields and changes the way herbicides work. Having a neutral pH allows the herbicides your using to work better, reduces the amount and vigor of weeds. That means you can use the lower rates on the label and have great control, the lower rates means there is less impact to beneficial bacteria. That results in a healthier plant with better yield, a lower herbicide bill, and happier customers.
Over-applying ag lime causes the soil to become alkaline. Alkaline soils suffer similar problems. Increase diseases, changes in the weed spectrum and reduces herbicide efficacy. Keeping soil pH neutral is the best strategy. SuperCal 98G allows you to do that with yearly or bi-yearly maintenance, for roughly the same cost as an application of gyphosate.
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!