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

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Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: July 2007

  • Published in Corn

Land Value Still Rising

According to an article in Iowa Farmer Today, the land value in Iowa has increased 16.5 percent over the past year. That’s great news for investors, terrible news for guys trying to expand their operations.

There is an old saying that you should always buy land, they don’t make anymore. There is also another saying; you make your money when you buy, not when you sell. So what should one do, commodities are at an all time high, increasing acres would mean a substantial gain in income. If prices fall, you’re stuck with high land payments, higher input costs, and possibly not enough revenue to cover costs.

We suggest maximizing yield, over high priced land purchases.

Use the increased revenue to find ways to improve your yields

If the nation wide average is only 150 bushels, and top yields are making 300 bushels or more. Why are you not growing 300 bushels corn? You’re already selecting top hybrids, and following established crop protection guidelines.

 Take care of your soil first. By taking an in-depth analysis of your soil, applying the needed amendments, and following established tillage guidelines are the first steps in creating better soil on your farm. Remember First Things First.

 

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

 

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!  

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Increasing Hybrid Standability

It seems like every week I see more corn blown down. This fall many agronomists and farmers will spend hours finding the right hybrids to avoid lodging next year. Picking the right hybrid for your situation is important, and hybrids with good roots should be used.

How much time will you spend finding ways to improve soil quality and fertility? We think taking care of the soil is even more important than hybrid selection. Soils that have good physical properties will make a strong rooting hybrid perform even better.

SuperCal SO4 increase water and oxygen infiltration in the soil. This creates a friendly environment for beneficial insects and bacteria, which increases rooting, reducing lodging.

SuperCal SO4 contains 17% sulfur in the sulfate form. Sulfur is key in converting nitrate to ammonium N. Having high amounts of sulfur ensures that expensive nitrogen in fully utilized, resulting in a stronger, better yielding plant.

DKC 52-40, Winnebago County, IA

 so4_2_-_Copy_600x800.jpg  noso4_2_800x600.jpg

 Applied 300 lbs, SuperCal SO4

 No SuperCal SO4

This customer noticed that the untreated portions of his field had more down corn. A walk of the field showed that stalk quality was much better in the SuperCal SO4 treated area, the ears were bigger and more filled out. In the non-treated area the corn was germinating on the ear!

We will post pictures of the field and will have yield maps available after harvest to see what the yield difference was between SuperCal SO4 and the untreated lodging corn.

Calcium Products, lower input costs, higher yields, better hybrid standablity

 

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!  

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Buying on Price

If you’re in the crop inputs business then you know that everyone sells what you sell. With the high cost of inputs, the customer is looking for the lowest price on nitrogen and glyphosate. The successful dealer knows that both those statements are false.

If you sell your services at the lowest price, you will only be successful until a cheaper or better consultant comes along. While customers do look for fair prices, it is not the only criteria for doing business with you;

Trust and integrity
Clean and professional offices and facilities
Completing jobs on time
Spreaders and applicators that are well maintained
Staff that has knowledge of GPS/GIS equipment
Knowledge of innovative products and practices
Continuing education and training

When a customer ask why he should spend fifty cents more an acre for your services, be prepared to explain it. Explain it in specific terms relevant to that customers operation. “We are full service”, or “our equipment is better”, will not cut it. “We are not the cheapest, but have always sprayed your fields on time”, is expected from every dealer, by every customer today.

The successful dealer knows that while they offer products like nitrogen and glyphosate, the real sale is their expertise. Helping their customers find the best solutions for their operation, not selling them the cheapest products, is what makes them and their customers successful

Your customers will spend millions of dollars with you; they want more than full service and cheap prices. They expect that your expertise will help them be successful, that you are always looking for innovative ways to make their lives more profitable and easier.

We can help you bring innovative products and service to your customers. Give us a call.

 

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!  

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The problem with liming

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!  

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Soil pH

pH defines the relative acidity of alkalinity of a substance. The scale ranges from 0 being acid to 14 being alkaline. A pH value of 7.0 is neutral.

Acids are substances that release hydrogen ions (H+). The more H+ held in the soil, the greater it's acidity. Basic ions such as calcium (C++) make soils more alkaline.

Soil pH simply measures H+ activity and is expressed in logarithmic terms. This simply means that each unit change on the scale is a tenfold change in the acidity or alkalinity. A soil with a pH of 6 is ten-times more acid than a soil with a pH of 7. A soil that has a pH of 5 is 100 times more acidic than a soil with a pH of 7. A soil with a pH of 4 is 1000 times more acidic than a soil with a 7 pH.

How nitrogen fertilizers affect soil acidity

The nitrification process converts ammonium to nitrate. This process releases H+ ions. Nitrate furthers increases acidity by leaching calcium, magnesium (N never takes Mg), and potassium with it. As these alkaline ions are removed more hydrogen can be replaced in the soil.

How lime reduces soil acidity

One Ca++ ion from lime replaces two H+ ions on the soil exchange site. This process creates water (H20) and carbon dioxide (CO2). As the H+ concentration is lowered soil acidity decreases.

There are other factors that affect soil acidity. Excessive rainfall can leach basic ions. Nitrogen fixation of legumes, crop removal, and organic matter decomposition also increase acidity. As the alkaline ions (Ca++, Mg++, K+) are removed they will need to be replaced or H+ will steadily increase, lowering pH.

Calcium Products, lower input costs, higher yields, neutral soil pH

 

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!  

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Are you Treating the Cause or the Symptom

Like health care costs, crop inputs have risen sharply in the past few years. Not only has the cost of inputs raised, the number of inputs has continued to increase. With today’s high yield goals and high dollar investment to raise a crop every input is considered to raise a better crop.

What does it take for today’s producer to reach their yield goals; an N stabilizer, side dressing, foliar feeding, seed treatment, stacked hybrids, herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, stock chopping, and/or heavy tillage to remove crop residue, dirt work to fill in gullies. I realize not everyone has these problems, or does all these steps every year, but if you’re doing more than 3-4 of these every year there may be another cause of your problems.

The symptoms are one or more of the following; poor nitrogen utilization and leaching, seedling diseases, soil crusting, excessive weed pressure and hard to eradicate weeds, white mold and other foliar disease, nematodes and other insects, poor organic matter, residue that does not breakdown, and erosion.

Diagnosis -- POOR SOIL QUALITY

Many of today’s newest agricultural inputs are great tools, but are relied on as a solution. They are only treatments for a pre-existing condition. Improving your soil is the curative. If your soil quality is already great, why not implement preventive steps to keep it that way. It is much easier to keep you soil in optimal condition than to improve it.

SuperCal SO4 & 98G are key components for many of our customers fertility programs. Helping them improve their soil, leading to increase yields, and reduced costs. We can show how to do the same, as well as other tools and techniques for soil improvement. Look for future posts on soil quality improvement in the future.

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...

Greetings from Redwood Falls

The first day of Farm Fest is under our belts. It was an interesting day. We meet a dowser, a writer for a magazine, a couple of politicians, and lots of farmers and agronomist. If you are planning on coming up to the show we are in the big yellow tent, it's between the red and blue tents.

We heard lots of good stories today, and had lots of questions asked. One in particular caught me off guard.

Reporter: "If your selling lime and gypsum, why does you booth show a cafe scene?"

Me: "It got you to stop and ask me about it didn't it, actually it is part of a marketing campaign."

What are you doing to get your customers to take time to stop and talk with you?
Having poor turnouts for your customer meetings? Have you changed the format and topics lately?

Does the cost of fertilizer have you thinking about not talking about it anytime soon? If you're thinking about it, your customers are. Why not include that in fall tour discussions. It may be a good time to add that fixing pH will make their fertilizer work better.

Having you customers ask you about SuperCal latter is a lot easier than "trying" to tell them what it will do for them today.

The old adage, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink, holds true. Don't show them the water, tell them how clear, cooling, and refreshing it is. You're thirsty now aren't you. It is strange but it works. Don't tell your customers the whole story, even if they ask. Most people cannot place themselves in the story. Give them a few details, and let them make their own story, it's better than yours anyway.

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

 

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...

Liming Key to Fertilizer Utilization

Many farmers are bracing for the fall fertilizer season. The cost of dry fertilizers this fall is expected to be at all time highs. For farmers looking to increase production and reach high corn yields while reducing input costs seems impossible.

 

Soil pH testing is the best place to start when planning a fertility program. Having low pH causes plant nutrients to be tied up. According to research done by Midwest Laboratories, a pH of 6.5 ties up 24% of available phosphorus. If your pH is 6.0, then P tie-up increases to 48%, and 24% of N is not available to your crops.

 

The cost of not liming soil at a 6.0 pH, 200-bushel corn goal:

Nitrogen  @ $0.60/# 

 24% unavailable  

 140#'s = $84

 $20 /a in wasted inputs

 

Phosphates @ $0.48/#

 

 48% unavailable  

70#’s  = $34/a

$16/a in wasted inputs

$36/a lost in wasted inputs

 

Yield loss of corn, resulting from low pH, 34 bushels, priced at $3.50 =

$119/a lost in yield reduction due to low pH

 

The economic loss of farming ground with low pH is astounding. Keeping you soil at neutral pH will pay for itself many times over.

 

SuperCal 98G can eliminate the yield loss and fertilizer tie-up associated with acid soils. By applying a few hundred pounds as part of a maintenance fertility plan, the high cost of traditional ag lime programs can be eliminated.

 

The high price of soybeans have you thinking of growing more beans. Low pH creates an even bigger yield loss, 20% with a 5.7 pH. Testing has shown that even 200 pounds can return over 4 bushels on soybeans.

 

Stop wasting high cost fertilizer, applying SuperCal 98G makes fertilizer work better!

 

 

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...
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