Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: March 2009
Calcium Product 98G

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Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: March 2009

Are Soybean Aphids Affected by Soil Bacteria?

When I was an agronomist in retail sales, one of my biggest challenges was soybean aphid control and management.

It seemed like the season started earlier every year, and it did not end until the end of the growing season. One of my observations was that some fields seemed to be a magnet for infestation, while nearby fields remained nearly free of aphids. I was unable to figure out why. Now, researchers at Penn State have identified that the choice of bacteria used to inoculate soybeans , may provide protection against aphids.

Read more about what they have found here: http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/natural-nitrogen-fixing-bacteria-protect-soybeans-aphids 

I found this article quite interesting. This is an example of how little we understand about the complex relationships found between plants, bacteria, and the soil. It also illustrates the importance of soil quality and management.

 

 

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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Polo Horses and Ammonia?

This week there was a sad article on the sudden death of the Venezuelan polo horses. It's still not clear what has killed the horses. My opinion is that they were poisoned, though we will find out in a few days for sure.

This article reminds me of a book I had read, Bread From Stones. In the book they talk about how a Calvary group had a number of their horses mysteriously die. They found out that if they didn't keep the bedding straw clean that the horses could be overcome by ammonia.

The ammonia comes from the animals urine and in realatively low amounts can be fatal to horses. The OSHA guidelines for humans is 15 minutes at 35 ppm. Many of our confinement animal operations are much higher than this for the life of the animals.

At Calcium Products we take the health of animals seriously, but we also do not disregard the needs of the farmer. SuperCal SO4 can help keep ammonia low, bedding material high quality for fertilizer, animals happy, and farmers profitable.

I am in Fayetteville, Arkansas today to meet with Dr. Susan Watkins and her team to see how effective SO4 can be in poultry operations and to see if any of our experimental manure treatments are any better. We'll keep you posted on the results.

 

 

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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  • Published in Sulfur

Sulfur Deficiency

In an e-letter I received from AgProfessional.com there is a good article on alfalfa response to sulfur. Trials conducted by Iowa State are confirming what Calcium Products' customers have always known.

This summer we will be teaming with Dr. Sawyer, and Extension Agronomist Mark Wuebker to continue their sulfur research on corn. http://blog.calciumproducts.com/posts/iowa-state-sulfur-research.cfm

"We are excited at Calcium Products to team with Dr. Sawyer and his staff." stated Larry Moore, President of Calcium Products. "It will be of great importance to Iowa farmers to finally quantify the impact of sulfur on production. I have seen a yield increase from sulfur on the farms I own and for many of our customers, SuperCal SO4 is the last thing they would cut from their fertility programs in tight years."

SuperCal SO4 is high quality natural gypsum finely crushed then pelletized. It contains 17% sulfur and is one the least costly sulfur products on the market today.

Additional Information

Sulfur is a structural component of amino acids, proteins, vitamins and enzymes and is essential to produce chlorophyll. It imparts flavor to many vegetables. Deficiencies show as light green leaves. Sulfur is readily lost by leaching from soils and should be applied with a nutrient formula. Some water supplies may contain Sulfur.

  

 

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...

Sulfur Deficiency

In an e-letter I received from AgProfessional.com there is a good article on alfalfa response to sulfur. Trials conducted by Iowa State are confirming what Calcium Products' customers have always known.

This summer we will be teaming with Dr. Sawyer, and Extension Agronomist Mark Wuebker to continue their sulfur research on corn. http://blog.calciumproducts.com/posts/iowa-state-sulfur-research.cfm

"We are excited at Calcium Products to team with Dr. Sawyer and his staff." stated Larry Moore, President of Calcium Products. "It will be of great importance to Iowa farmers to finally quantify the impact of sulfur on production. I have seen a yield increase from sulfur on the farms I own and for many of our customers, SuperCal SO4 is the last thing they would cut from their fertility programs in tight years."

SuperCal SO4 is high quality natural gypsum finely crushed then pelletized. It contains 17% sulfur and is one the least costly sulfur products on the market today.

Additional Information

Sulfur is a structural component of amino acids, proteins, vitamins and enzymes and is essential to produce chlorophyll. It imparts flavor to many vegetables. Deficiencies show as light green leaves. Sulfur is readily lost by leaching from soils and should be applied with a nutrient formula. Some water supplies may contain Sulfur.

 

  

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 Cost of Free, part 3

First it was your dog (melamine), then your child (lead toys), so you built a new house to start fresh. Now you are sick and the drywall is the cause. Over the past few years, hundreds of millions of pounds of Chinese drywall were imported and put in new construction. Now many of the residents of those homes have a number of mysterious illnesses.

The story from the AP only confirms our position of why you should avoid by-product gypsum. The imported Chinese drywall was made with fly ash, also known as flue gas gypsum. Now everyone is scrambling to figure out what to do with the toxic drywall.

My guess is that someone will be hired to entice farmers to let them dump the millions of pounds of poison wall board on their farms. 

At Calcium Products, we have looked at recycling drywall a number of times. We have always come to the conclusion that the things that make good drywall, make for really bad soil amendments.

Don't be fooled-things are free or cheap for a reason!

Read the full article: AP IMPACT: Chinese drywall poses potential risks

 

 

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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  • Published in Sulfur

Customer Spot Light

A recent article in No-Till Farmer Magazine spotlights a farming operation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Eugene and Curtis Lapp have been applying SuperCal 98G with their insecticide boxes at planting at 100 lbs per acre.

They have found it to be more economical and more effective than broadcasting.

Congratulations on the article guys, and thanks for the business!

Read the article Continuing Education Helps Make Transition To No-Till Seamless

 

 

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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Why some products are free

Some companies make things that produce hazardous by products. They usually have to pay a huge fee to properly dispose of it. This could mean dumping in a land fill or processing it to reduce the heavy metals, salts, or other toxicities.

By applying it for "free" on your field, it saves them thousands of dollars per ton, and gets rid of the hazardous material. Be suspicious of free product, have your own complete analysis run on the product by a reputable lab. Avoid anything with heavy metals or aluminum in it, as this will cause nutrient tie-ups and imbalances.

In addition to receiving "free" product you also get too much of it and spread poorly.

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For maximum yield you want a proper spread pattern. It does you no good to have a large amount of product right behind the spreader.

In our experience "free" products can show advantages the first year, then as nutrient imbalances develop, yields can crash. This leads to a more expensive treatment of the soil to correct the imbalances caused by over applying free/waste products.

 

 

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...

10 Tips for Higher Yields

After many months meeting farmers from all over the country at tradeshows, I put together a short list of topics that were raised from many of our friends and future clients. This is not a comprehensive list, but a starting point for anyone looking to quickly and inexpensively increase yields.

1. Soil Test

According to Midwest labs only 1 in 6 farmers are soil testing. You soil is the most important part of your farm. If you don't know what's in it, how do you know what to add? It takes more than a good CSR or knowing you soil type to grow high yields.

2. Understand Soil Life

They have been referred to as the livestock of the soil. I prefer to think of them as free help, if you help them out once in a while. The little creatures that make soil (they literally make soil form organic matter, rocks, and air) will make farming a lot easier for you if you let them.

3. Don't be a More-On

If a little is good a lot is better, right? WRONG, applying more and more N-P-K will not get you to the next yield plateau. Only by knowing what is missing in your soil and adding it in the proper amounts will you gain significant yield.

4. Avoid Compaction

This is probably the biggest yield robber of all-time. Many soils have hard pans 8-12 inches deep. This dramatically limits the amount of soil roots come into contact with, reduces water holding capacity, increase diseases and lodging.

5. Avoid Potassium Chloride (KCl)

Some crops need a little chloride, most do not need the dose that 0-0-60 (muriate of potash provides. In addition to keeping soils wet and killing beneficial soil life, it increases leaching of soluble calcium. Avoid this or risk spending more money on other fertilizers and soil amendments.

6. Keep soil oxygen levels up

Soil by volume need to contain 25% oxygen. This increase nutrient uptake to plants, increases beneficial soil life and reduce diseases like rhizoctonia and fusarium. Soil should be thought of as a living breathing organism, and as such needs oxygen.

7. Keep your soil sulfur high

Keeping good levels of sulfur in your soil ensures greater N uptake and nitrogen efficiency, keeps sodium and magnesium levels in check, builds organic matter, and helps produces higher protein crops.

8. Dig plants and inspect roots

If you do this periodically you will quickly be able to tell if you have compaction, disease, insects, and low calcium levels. Roots should be bright white, if not you need more calcium. Like eyes are the way to the soul, roots will give a quick indication of how happy your plants are.

9. Leave test strips

I always hear farmers say, “I don’t really know if it worked, it s

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  • Published in Sulfur

You have high soil pH now what?

When it comes to high pH there are no easy fixes. Understanding why you have high pH is the first step to increasing production.

Soil pH is the measure of potential Hydrogen. It is simply a measure of how much hydrogen is in the soil and tells you nothing else. It has nothing to do with whether you have high or low levels of cationic nutrients.

In high pH we are measuring the OH ion. That ion can be tied to a limitless number of other ions, such as nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, sodium, or calcium to name a few.

Here is a quick rundown of soil compounds that cause high pH.

The Carbonate (CO3) molecule can also be a source of high pH soil. Carbonates can occur in high pH soils that have low oxygen and high carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Water (H2O and CO3 interact to from OH ions and CO2. In aqueous solution, carbonate, bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, and carbonic acid exist together in a dynamic equilibrium. In strongly basic conditions, the carbonate ion predominates.

Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) – Is an extremely strong base. KOH becomes tacky in air because KOH is hygroscopic.  KOH generally contains varying amounts of water as well as carbonates. Adding potassium chloride (muriate of potash) to wet soil increases soil KOH, making soil higher in pH. If potassium is needed in high pH soils it is best to use a potassium sulfate. To reduce soil KOH use a fertilizers that create sulfuric acid.

Potassium Carbonate (K2CO3) - Is a white salt, soluble in water which forms a strongly alkaline solution. It is hygroscopic. Soils high in KOH and have poor aeration can lead to increased amounts of Potassium Carbonate It is a main component of soap, and is correlated with reduced biological activity. Keeping soil oxygen levels up and avoiding KCl fertilizer applications will reduce potassium carbonate build up.

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) - Also known as lye, is a common component of drain cleaners. Sodium hydroxide forms a strong alkaline solution when dissolved in a solvent such as water. It is hygroscopic and readily absorbs carbon dioxide from the air further increasing soil pH. A sodium hydroxide solution will leave a yellow stain on fabric and paper.

Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) - Is formed by combining sodium hydroxide and carbon dioxide. Aqueous solutions are mildly alkaline: Sodium bicarbonate may also be used as an anti-fungal. It has disinfectant and antiseptic properties. Keeping soil oxygen levels up, limiting raw manure applications, and using sulfate containing fertilizers will help to reduce sodium soil levels.

Magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2 ) – Is best known for low solubility, and is considered a strong base. Magnesium hydroxide interferes with the absorption of folic acid and iron, necessary crop nutrients.

Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3) – Is formed by combining Mg(OH)2 and CO2. It is practically insoluble in water and ammonia. All forms of magnesium carbonate react in acids. Due to its insolubility, high magnesium soils often have magnesium deficient crops growing on them. MgCO3 is a potent liming agent, but should be used with caution to avoid build up of magnesium in soils. MgCO3 is hygroscopic and can cause soils to stay wet and sticky.

Calcium Hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) is formed in soils by that have calcium chloride (by product of KCl) and an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide present. In some cases calcium hydroxide can be a flocculent.

 

 

 

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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!

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