Calcium Products - New research: synthetic nitrogen destroys soil carbon, undermines soil health
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New research: synthetic nitrogen destroys soil carbon, undermines soil health

Calcium Products is a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa, as such I get email updates, I must say I was kind of astounded to see this one (below).

We have known for years that SuperCal SO4 and SuperCal 98G can help reduce the amount of nitrogen it takes to grow a crop, I just didn't know that reducing applied N in addition to saving the farmer money would help his soils be more profitable long term, increase nutrient holding capacity and reduce erosion and runoff.

I know, we have all thought that we need nitrogen to grow a bumper crop, what if you could grow 200+ corn with almost no nitrogen? We know people that can! WIll every farmer be able to go to a no nitrogen program over night? Likely not, but soil improvement, maintenance and management should be to priority for anyone involved in eating. Yes I said eating, if you like food you need a farmer and he needs good quality soil to grow our food!

I will be doing future blogs on the importance on soil carbon. Here are some links to previous articles;

 
 
Update - I have pulled the original article while good information I think the two scientific journals were written from are much more valulable and less sensational.
 
Update II - I have disucused this topic with Dr. Ray Ward of Ward Laboratory on many occasions, here is his response to my question about this article.
Craig:  I have been following this feud for a while.  Funny they never mention yields or the amount of N they are removing from the land every year.  Just fertilizer N is bad.  I talk to farmers about building organic matter or sequestering carbon.  Organic matter has all of the plant nutrients in it.  To sequester carbon you have to sequester all of the plant nutrients.  If you are using the nutrient out of organic matter you are not going to build organic matter.  Illinois has been recommending too much N for corn and Mulvaney is out to prove they have been using too much N.  I remember when Dr. Fred Welsch from Illinois reported that they did not get any corn yield response to N and he could not figure out why.  They had no nitrate tests or anything to explain why.  He was puzzled.  So they continued to recommend too much N and now they have this argument going on.  Dr. Fred Below (Illinois) is recommending 0.85 lb of N per bushel.  This has dropped from 1.2 that Dr. Bob Hoeft (Illinois) was using.  Paul Jasa, at UN-L has increased carbon in his no-till  plots by 10 ton per acre (6 foot depth) in 24 years of no-till with adequate fertility.  No-till was compared to moldboard  plow.  We are trying to encourage farmers to diversify their crop rotations so the microbes diversify.  This will increase organic matter in the soil.  Of course this is in no-till.  Tillage will continue to add oxygen to the soil to increase organic matter “burn”.  No different than the wind coming up when you start a fire.  Oxygen is needed

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  • Article Reference:: Calcium Products, Inc.
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