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Humates in Turf

We’ve been getting a lot of questions at trade shows about the benefits of humate additions to turfgrass systems. Following is a rundown of what humates are and how they can benefit plants. Humates or humic substances are fully decomposed remains of plant or animal organic matter. They are the most chemically active compounds in soils with large cation and anion exchange capacities, far exceeding clays. In general, they are very long lasting in soil, but the more intensively a site is managed, the faster they breakdown. This is one reason to add humic substances to your soil: to replace humus depletion in agricultural and horticultural soils. Most humic products are derived from a mineral called leonardite, whose origins are not entirely understood. It is either an oxidized form of lignite or an accumulation of humic acids leached from topsoil by alkaline water into deeper strata of soil. Leonardite was…

Fun facts about the snow

Now that Winter Storm Draco (yes, the National Weather Service has decided to name winter storms just like hurricanes) has moved out of the midwest and is headed to the northeast, (I’ve got quite a pile of white stuff here in Wisconsin and our marketing gal in Iowa has a foot of snow at her place!) I thought it might be fun to share some wacky facts about snow! 180 billion molecules of water in the average snowflake. 15 inches the width of the biggest snowflake ever recorded 430 inches amount of snow Stampede Pass, WA receives annually 6 sides how many all snowflakes have 23 feet circumference of largest snowball ever made 95 feet most snowfall recorded in one year at one location 76 inches record amount of snowfall recorded in a 24 hr period, Silver Lake, CO in 1921 …. I found these facts in my son’s “Boy’s…

145 million years in the making

Often I am asked about our source of gypsum and what makes it so special. I thought I would take this opportunity to share a piece of history with you. SuperCal SO4 is derived from calcium sulfate dihydrate or, for you chemistry fans, CaSO4*2H20. One of the purest gypsum deposits in the world, happens to be found in a very small region of Webster County, IA, near Fort Dodge. According to Raymond Anderson in his piece, Fort Dodge Gypsum: A Salt from Iowa’s Jurassic Sea, ”this deposit, part of the Jurassic-age Fort Dodge Formation (about 145 million years old), comprises one of the most pure gypsum deposits known on Earth.” Anderson went on to explain, “The gypsum at Fort Dodge, like most commercial-scale deposits, had its origins in the evaporation of seawater from a restricted shallow basin. Water from the Jurassic-age Sundance Sea passed over a low-lying barrier into the basin,…

Fun Fact Friday: What do the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders have to do with silage?

Silage is being harvested and pre-season NFL games are on — fall is just around the corner! Last night the Atlanta Falcons hosted the Cincinnati Bangles. I watched a little of it and noticed something. When did all NFL cheerleaders adopting similar dress as the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders? Why are the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders so popular? According to their website, during Superbowl X in 1976, a wandering cameraman caught a row of the cheerleaders on camera and one winked backed. One-third of the nation was watching, and they haven’t taken their eyes off since!  There followed television appearances for America’s sweethearts, from specials in the late 70’s to their own movie, appearances on a boatload of shows during the eighties, and their own show today. Now when anyone brings up pro football cheerleaders, most people are thinking of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders! Being the first to market and doing it right definitely has…

How to safely remove salt from your soil

Hurricane season has arrived and the experts are expecting a very busy season. Not only do these types of storms leave immediate damage to properties in the form of flooding, wind damage, power outages but it can leave lasting damage to your turf and plants by increasing the amount of salts or sodium to your soils. Unless you have salt-tolerant grass or plants, which most people do not, high levels of salts can be very devastating to your landscapes. Increased levels of salt act as a barrier to the plant’s cell wall, in essence tricking it into thinking it is in a drought situation even it there is plenty of water. When the plant can’t absorb the water in the soil it will shut down and go into dormancy and eventually will die due to lack of hydration. There are a few ways to combat the salt issues if you…


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