Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: October 2007
Calcium Product 98G

title-blogronomist

Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: October 2007

Integrated Crop Management Conference

This week I attended the Integrated Crop Management Conference in Ames, IA. This was the first time I attended the program. I thought the group at Iowa State did a great job. I would recommend this program to all of our dealers.

Here are some overviews from 3 workshops.


Ag Weather Outlook, Elwynn Taylor.
We are currently in a trend of increased demand for commodities. In a volatility measurement from the CBOT, this is the most volatile year since 1988. That volatility was caused by weather. The indexes he uses to predict the weather all point to a 70% chance of below trend yields. Couple the already high demand for grain with drought and the markets could go really nuts.
As an agronomist looking at the volatility of the CBOT, fertilizer, and weather we should look to help our customers minimize risk.

An update on ethanol, biodiesel, grain markets, and implications for crop rotations for the next year, Robert Wisner

While ethanol continues to drive corn demand upward the main thing to consider is carryout. In 2004-05 carryout was 10 weeks, 2005-06 it dropped to 9 weeks. 2006-07 is estimated at 5 weeks, this is what is driving the markets. Dr. Wisner’s numbers show that over the next three years the carryout should range in the 6-8 week range. This should help keep the markets strong.

If there is a widespread drought next year, carryout could drop to 3 weeks. This is a critical level, and the markets will react with extreme volatility. This tells me that it may be more important to protect the downside of pricing, and not forward contract too much. Being conservative in marketing, while everyone else goes nuts will be the winning strategy.

Soybean White Mold: What we have learned since 1992, Craig Grau

The occurrence of white mold can be reduced by reducing factors that increase yield, or you could plant wheat. Not exactly things that are practical for most farmers. After the meeting I approached Dr. Grau, and asked him if he knew of any soil fertility situations where white mold could be reduced.

He said that increasing or decreasing certain fertilizers would make an impact on white mold. He then said that Gypsum would make an impact and would be a very good product to reduce white mold. Calcium Products conducted a study on using SuperCal SO4 to reduce white mold. Our research indicated a 9.8-bushel advantage from using SO4. This testing was done in 5 replicated trials.

I found it interesting that the message of the meeting was to reduce white mold, you should use techniques that are used in low yield environments. If there was an inexpensive product to add to your fertilizer program that is proven to reduce white mold, why not discuss it? At $5 beans SO4 would return $2 for every dollar spent. At $10 dollar beans SO4 would return over $4 for every dollar. Sure beats settling for 30-bushel beans.

 

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!

Read more...

I might sail off the edge of the earth

The sun revolves around the earth

The world is flat

It takes 1.2 lbs of Nitrogen to make one bushel of corn

 

These are a just a few once held beliefs that come to mind. There are lots of them out there. Why do they persist and why does it take so long for people to let go of them. There is one main reasons; fear of loss.

Fear of loss can mean a number of things, fear of change, loss of yield, loss of a customer, loss of reputation.  There are still people who think the world is flat; they cannot accept change. If a crop consultant recommends a low N rate, and his client has poor yields, he will be blamed for the failure, even if N rate is not the reason. The fear of loss of that customer and being ridiculed keeps the status quos in place.

Western Union passed on the telephone, stating it is an unusable technology. They were so heavily invested in the telegraph system that they refused, or couldn’t see the benefits of the new technology. They had such domination on the communications industry that they could not believe that telephones could work.

What practices are you or your consults so heavily invested in that nothing else could work on your operations? Have you tried different N rates, applying sulfur, or cover crops? Yes, changing what your currently doing could cause some loss in the short term and may even take a little extra work. Don’t forget to consider what may be gained if your new practice works, lower fertilizer input costs, more income, more free time.

In 1899, then Patent Commissioner, Charles H. Duell reportedly announced, "everything that can be invented has been invented." We know that is not true and new and innovative inventions and ideas are developed every day

While liming is not new, the way we think about it is new. Would you expect good gains feeding cattle if you feed them 2 years of feed at once? Do you expect excellent return on investment by applying 5 years of phosphates at once? Applying SuperCal 98G pelletized lime reduce wild pH swings, is less expensive than ag lime, yields better, and makes all your other inputs work more efficiently.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and thanks for reading.

 

 

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!

Read more...

Buffer pH (BpH)

Soil pH measures the active acidity, while the buffer pH indicates the potential acidity. The amount of potential acidity for any given soil pH will depend upon the amount and type of clay and the level of organic matter in that soil. Therefore, it is possible to have two soils with the same soil pH but with different buffer pH's. A lower buffer pH represents a larger amount of potential acidity and thus more limestone is needed to increase the soil pH to a given level


Two buffer test that most labs use.

SMP Buffer Test (pHSMP)
This test measures the total soluble and exchangeable hydrogen and aluminum. It is reliable for soils with a greater than 1 Ton/acre lime requirement and it is also well adapted for acid soils with a pH below 5.8 containing less than 10% organic matter and having appreciable amounts of aluminum. If the soil pH is greater than 6.5, the SMP buffer test is not made, since lime is not needed for most crops.

Adams-Evans Buffer Test
This buffer method is primarily an adaptation of the SMP buffer, but it is specifically designed for low organic matter, sandy soils where amounts of lime are needed in small quantities and the possibility of over-liming exists. The chemistry of the Adams-Evans buffer solution works in the same manner as the SMP buffer solution. The pH of the Adams-Evans buffer solution is 8.0. When the buffer solution is added to an acid soil, the original pH of the buffer will be lowered. Since it is known how much acid is required to lower the buffer solution pH to any given level, the total acidity of the soil can be determined.

The buffer pH is the sample pH after the laboratory has added a liming material. The laboratory adds the buffering solution, which acts like an extremely fast-acting lime. Each soil sample receives the same amount of buffering solution; therefore the resulting pH is different for each sample.

To determine a lime recommendation, the laboratory looks at the difference between the original soil pH and the ending pH after the buffering solution has reacted with the soil. If the difference between the two pH measurements is large, it means that the soil pH is easily changed, and a low rate of lime will be sufficient. If the soil pH changes only a little after the buffering solution has reacted, it means that the soil pH is difficult to change and a larger lime addition is needed to reach the desired pH for the crop.

The reasons that a soil may require differing amounts of lime to change the soil pH relates to the soil CEC and the "reserve" acidity that is contained by the soil. Soil acidity is controlled by the amount of hydrogen (H+) and the aluminum (Al+++) that is either contained in, or generated by the soil and soil components. Soils with a high CEC have a greater capacity to contain or generate these sources of acidity. Therefore, at a given soil pH, a soil with a higher CEC (thus a lower buffered pH) will normally require more lime to reach a given target pH than a soil with a lower CEC.

 

 

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!

Read more...
  • Published in Corn

Is Your Corn Suffocating?

In a past blog post on Silage I mentioned having poor OM (organic matter) can short your corn crop the number one nutrient needed for growth.

That nutrient is carbon, more specifically Carbon Dioxide. You may have noticed that CO2 has been getting a lot of press lately, but did you know; the atmosphere contains 400 ppm or 0.04% carbon dioxide, this present-day atmosphere concentration is just above "suffocation" level for green plants.

On a hot windless July day when your corn is in full tassel, it uses more CO2 than is available in the atmosphere. Where then can your crop get enough CO2 to continue respiration? It comes from having a quality soil that is high in OM and humus. As the OM breaks down, CO2 is released to be used by the plant for growth, making more OM in the form of increased plant growth and oxygen.

Here is a great article on CO2 from HighBrix Gardens, and why high quality soils are essential for increased yield.

Quick points;

An often-overlooked component in a plants ability to manufacture sugars is carbon dioxide (CO2).
The goal is to build up the carbon reserves in soil in the form of humus, so CO2 is released as gas during the growing phase of the new crop.
Iowa crop advisor Mike McNeil maintains that CO2 release and amount of nighttime buildup is a quality indicator of soils.
The greenhouse industry has known this for many years and regularly enhances the CO2 level in greenhouses to several thousand parts per million. The result: significant yield increase.
Older farmers will remember what happened when they cultivated young corn—it would grow six inches almost overnight after cultivation. Why, soil conductivity was increased and CO2 release was sped up. Combined these two factors caused tremendous crop growth.
Limestone is calcium carbonate, CaCO3. Not only does it provide calcium, it also provides carbon. Did you know that a 500 lb. application of high calcium limestone provides 190 lbs. of calcium and 60 lbs. of carbon?

Don't let high yields suffocate, applying SuperCal 98G pelletized lime, will help to build high quality soils, increase CO2 concentration in your fields, and increase yields.

 

 

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!

Read more...

The Cost of Ag Lime

Guest Author - Larry Moore, Founder of Calcium Products.

A customer called in and told us that the quote to haul ag lime to his field from Gilmore City 104 miles was $11.70 per ton. So, if you use Ag-lime from Gilmore City you will need 2 ton to cover one acre or $23.40 in shipping costs, plus the cost of the ag lime, plus spreading. Probably something north of $40.00 per acre for a product that will not perform for 2 years.

With Supercal 98G your shipping cost for 1 acre is $2.34, your material and spreading is around $23 per acre, and if you put it on now you will see results next fall. Where would you like to send the $15.00 difference, to your wallet or to the Middle East (the cost of the fuel to ship ag lime)?

 

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!

Read more...

Starting to get it right

Our Iowa customers tell me the University of Nebraska was my first mistake. After sitting though UNL's summer work shops, listening to researchers tell agronomists that 5.8 pH is adequate, it's nice to see someone who is starting to get it.

Doug Beegle, PSU Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management Specialist has a great article on liming No-Till. His tips make great sense even for the guy doing tillage.

Key Points:

Lime on a regular basis and don't let pH get low in the first place

Maintain soil pH near to the optimum and don't let it get below the 6.0-6.5 range

It took 9 years to raise the pH in the plow layer (6"") from 5.1 to 6.5

Acidity is constantly forming in soils

Where I disagree with Mr. Beegle is, tilling the lime in when you have extremely low pH. I feel the damage that is done to the soil by tillage is not worth the benefit. A better approach is to use a better liming product, like SuperCal 98G. It's fineness will work faster and move through the profile better than coarse ag lime.

The other point of contention is how often to lime. The reason to lime every 3 years with ag lime is; nobody will apply less than 1 ton per acre, nobody will haul less then 30 ton per load, it's expensive so you do not want to write a big check very often.

Using SuperCal 98G every year or every other year will cost you less, yields you more, and helps to create better soil. Every year you apply nitrogen, you need to be applying lime. 98G finally makes that cost effective and easy to do.

Calcium Products, lower input costs, higher yields, better lime

 

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!

Read more...

Lab Difference in Quality Soil 2

For comparison I sent soil samples from the garden and field to International Ag Labs. International Ag Labs does a great job helping their clients develop better soils, not just increase NP&K levels.

There are a couple of test they run that most labs don't. The first is the Formazan Test. This test will tell you how well your soil will digest fertilizer, amendments, and residue. The other is ERGS (energy released per gram of soil). This measures the amount of energy in the soil available for plant growth.

International Ag Labs also computes a Soil Index. The Soil Index measures the overall quality of this soil. It is represented as a 0-100 score on the soil with the potential to show negative numbers if the soil is extremely hostile to growing plants. The Soil Index is simply the total of all points (positive or negative) from all the measurements and ratios on the soil test. The desired level is 50 and greater.

Click  Field Test and Garden Test to view the tests.

These tests confirm the test from Midwest Labs, low pH 6.5 in the garden, 4.9 in the field. The test also confirms low calcium availability in the field; half of what is available in the garden. Also phosphorus is very low in the field. By having the Formazan test, and the ERGS test done, this gives us a better idea of how to make adjustments to the field.

Recommendations from Midwest Labs, tells us that we need 3.5 tons of ag lime (at a 90% ecce) to make the pH change (remember First Things First, fix your pH). However since most aglime is a 50% ecce, and 25% drifts away you will need close to 8 tons of aglime to change the pH.

The Formazan and the ERGS shows that the digestive capacity of the soil will not handle 3.5 tons of aglime. Applying that much lime to the field will not increase yield for years! It may show a pH and calcium increase in the lab, but plant available calcium will still be low.

Applying lime at a level the soil can handle is the best way to increase yields. You would not add 250 lbs of Nitrogen at one shot to sandy soil with a CEC of 4; it would not be able to store all than N. It would be wasted, this is the same concept with liming.

SuperCal 98G makes it easy and cost effective to lime for increased yields and profits. Applying 3-8 tons of aglime may make a pH change but ROI will be measured in decades. Make your inputs and fields work harder, get better returns, faster on your money, add SuperCal 98G to your fertility program.

The Ag Labs test for the field also recommends gypsum. You may ask why? We addressed this situation in our blog, Improving Water Infiltration. Low salt content reduces structure, creating small pore space, and less permeability. The other reason to add gypsum is, it adds soluble calcium for plants, something this field is lacking. SuperCal SO4, pelletized gypsum makes it easy to spread high quality gypsum.

On a final note, don't be satisfied with ""adequate"" or ""good enough"". In today's agriculture maximizing every acre of land is essential. 

 

 

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!

Read more...

Lab Difference in Soil Quality

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.

Fun Facts:

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!

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed
Blogronomist

ABOUT OUR BLOGRONOMIST PAGE

Maintained by Craig Dick, blogronomist and VP of Sales and Marketing, we have a wide array of blog articles from Craig and some expert guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming and growing tips, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!

  1. Categories
  2. Archives

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007