As reported in past blogs about the importance of soil quality (A Pictorial of High Quality Soil, Improving Water Infiltration, and Quality Soil Update) I promised that I would run soil tests on the field and the garden. There were some striking differences. The garden had almost double the organic matter, much better pH, and double the calcium content. Download the soil tests here.
One of the main differences is pH, the field has a pH of 5.0 compared to the garden, which had 6.5 pH.
At a pH of 5.0 the potential yield of corn is reduced by 27%, soybeans by 21% and alfalfa by 91%.
At a pH of 5.0 1/2 of N, 1/3 of P, and 1/2 of K is unavailable for plant uptake.
At a pH of 5.0 nodulation is reduced up to 40%
With the high costs of fertilizer and fuel, wouldn't it make sense to make those inputs work harder for you? Working to improve you soil quality makes high priced fertilizers more available to your plants, resulting in decreased costs. High quality soils allow irrigation water and rainfall to infiltrate into the pore space, making it available to plants. Ponding is the first sign that water is not entering the soil, eventually causing de-nitrification, and evaporating, wasting fuel, fertilizer, and lowering yield.
Adding SuperCal 98G pelletized lime and SuperCal SO4 pelletized gypsum to your fertility program will ensure your soils maintain the proper pH, superior infiltration rates, reduce future input costs, decrease soil erosion, and increase yields.
Calcium Products, lower input costs, higher yields, better soil
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!