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

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Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: May 2009

  • Published in Calcium

Cost of sulfur, ammonium sulfate vs. calcium sulfate

While visiting with a dealer last week, I (Glen) discussed the attributes of different sulfur fertilizer sources.  The final choice between ammonium sulfate and calcium sulfate came down to the cost for a unit (#) of sulfate sulfur.  Here is what my calculations showed (these prices are not suggested to be indicative of every particular situation, but only an example):

Ammonium sulfate (AMS), 21-0-0-24S, was costing $0.75 per unit of sulfur (nitrogen value set to 0).

Calcium sulfate (SO4), 0-0-0-17S-22Ca, was costing $0.59 per unit of sulfur (calcium value set to 0).

If the sulfur requirement for 5 Ton alfalfa removal is 30# (6# sulfur per Ton), the cost for sulfur nutrition from AMS was $22.50 per acre, with the SO4 providing the same 30# of sulfur, but for a cost of $17.70 per acre.  Net difference (savings) to the grower of $4.80 per acre.

Not a huge difference, but still a 20% decrease in cost.  With the economic challenges of livestock production today, every little bit helps.

SuperCal SO4, the right fit, right now.

 

 

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 Fertilizer Divide

Have you heard about the climate divide?  That is a term sometimes used to describe the differences in energy use & the associated greenhouse emissions, between the United States and countries like sub-Saharan Africa.  A reference article on climate divide: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/02/health/02iht-climate.1.5109623.html

The term fertilizer divide is being used to describe the differences in fertilizer use between countries.  In a report published in the June 19 issue of Science, China is specifically chided for using too much, according to Peter Vitousek, a professor of biology at Stanford University and senior fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment.   Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-06/su-shm061609.php

"Some parts of the world, including much of China, use far too much fertilizer," Vitousek said. "But in sub-Saharan Africa, where 250 million people remain chronically malnourished, nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrient inputs are inadequate to maintain soil fertility." 

In the report, Vitousek and colleagues compared fertilizer use in three corn-growing regions of the world-north China, western Kenya and the upper Midwestern United States.  The area in China used 525 pounds of nitrogen per acre (588 kilograms per hectare) annually in growing corn.  200 pounds per acre (227 kilograms per hectare) of excess nitrogen is released into the environment.  By comparison, Kenya only used 6 pounds per acre (7 kilograms per hectare), in a 2004 study. 

Statistics show that from 2003 to 2005, annual corn yields in parts of the Midwestern United States and north China were almost the same, even though Chinese farmers used six times more nitrogen fertilizer than their American counterparts and generated nearly 23 times the amount of excess nitrogen.

So why is the United States' farmer always the bad boy of fertilizer use?  Sounds to me (Glen) like China deserves more scrutiny & Kenya deserves more support. 

 

 

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 Calcium

Calcium, Honeybees, Memory

Long-term memory formation in honeybees is instigated by a calcium ion cascade. Researchers have shown that calcium acts as a switch between short- and long-term storage of learned information.

Jean-Christophe Sandoz led a team of researchers from the CNRS, the Université de Toulouse and the French Calcium Research Network, who carried out the neurological honeybee experiments. Sandoz and his colleagues studied a learned behaviour in the bees, extension of the proboscis in response to olfactory stimuli associated with food. Three days after decreasing calcium levels during learning, the bees stopped responding to the odor, and three days after increasing calcium during learning, bees' response to the odor were stronger. In addition, the researchers found that the increased memory performance in bees induced by increased calcium depended on protein synthesis. According to Sandoz, "We have found here that the modulation of calcium during learning affects long-term memory specifically while leaving learning and short-term memory intact".

Link: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/7/30/abstract

I (Glen) wonder if this applies to our memory also?

 

 

 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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Fertilizer & Cattle

Have you ever had cattle consume fertilizer?  It can happen, and depending on the product, can be a significant problem.  If it contains nitrate (ammonium nitrate or potassium nitrate), it can lead to nitrate poisoning.  Nitrate itself is not poisonous, but it is converted to nitrite in the digestive system.  According to Charlie Stoltenow, North Dakota State University Extension Service veterinarian, nitrite is 10x more toxic than nitrate. 

Nitrite is absorbed into the red blood cells and combines with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin. Methemoglobin cannot transport oxygen as effectively as hemoglobin, so the animal’s heart rate and respiration increase. The blood and tissues of the animal take on a blue to chocolate brown tinge, muscle tremors can develop, staggering occurs and the animal eventually suffocates.

“Fertilizer is good for plants, but not good for cattle,” Stoltenow says. 

I wonder what he thinks about using urea or urea-based feeds as a protein source in finishing cattle?

According to the article, the best way of preventing fertilizer-related nitrate poisoning in cattle is by controlling access to fertilizer. Avoid letting cattle graze immediately after spreading fertilizer and clean up fertilizer spills. Areas where the fertilizer spreader turns or areas where filling (and consequently spilling) take place may have excessive quantities of nitrate available to the cattle. Also, do not allow cattle to have access to areas where fertilizers are stored.

You can read more here:

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2009/june-8-2009/fertilizer-and-cattle-do-not-mix/

SuperCal 98G & SuperCal SO4 are produced from products that are commonly found in nature (calcium carbonate & calcium sulfate, respectively).  They are not toxic to humans or animals. 

 

 

 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 Forages

Yellow Rocket

Second cutting alfalfa is fast approaching and many are still fighting Yellow Rocket.

In many years the easiest way to take care of weeds in alfalfa was to wait until first cutting. In the mowing process weed pressure is eliminated. But have you really done any good?

While weeds may not be visible for the remainder of the year (in most years), you still have not solved anything. The soil conditions have not changed because you cut alfalfa. Also you give up quality of the first cutting, which is costing you money!

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 Second cutting is near, Yellow Rocket taking over

 

So this year cutting alfalfa didn't get rid of Yellow Rocket, you might choose to spray your alfalfa with a herbicide. While this may get rid of the weeds, you will also have a harvest interval, and the possibility of killing soil biology which will reduce yields.

Since spraying will cost $20-$30 per acre why not treat the soil imbalances which is causing the Yellow Rocket outbreak? SuperCal SO4 will reduce magnesium in the soil, making it drain better and reducing the amount of Yellow Rocket germination.

As an added benefit your adding calcium and sulfur, two of the most used nutrients by alfalfa. The increase in quality and tonnage will more than pay for the cost of the product.

Other Alfalfa Blog Articles

Fertilizing Alfalfa

More on Yellow Rocket

 

 

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 Forages

Hay Expo, Day 1

Just arrived back at the hotel after the 1st day of the 2009 Hay Expo.  Had a great time!

Jim & I talked with farmers about why they have problems with high potassium levels in their forages (need more calcium), how to overcome high magnesium soil levels (need more calcium), and ways to reduce the impact of high potash prices combined with low milk prices (need more calcium sulfate). 

All in all, a good day.  Crowd was a little less than I anticipated, but still a good day overall.

If you have the chance, look us up on Thursday.  We're in the Hay Industries Tent, on the north side.

 

 

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 Forages

Fertilizing Alfalfa

Are you ready for hay season?

1st cutting alfalfa is underway.  Where I (Glen) live in Northeast Iowa, the farmers have been working at it since Memorial Day.  I thought this would be a good time to review alfalfa's nutrient needs.

In general, alfalfa removes 12.5# Phosphorus (P), 40-50# Potassium (K), 30# Calcium (Ca), 6# Magnesium (Mg), 6# Sulfur (S) and 0.08# Boron (B) per ton of dry matter yield. Plants may remove higher amounts of these nutrients if soil test levels are in the High (H) or Very High (VH) levels.  This is known as luxury consumption.

Growing 5 Ton hay?  Then your crop will remove 62.5# P, 250# K, 150# Ca, 30# Mg, 30# S, 0.4# B.  With today's fertilizer prices, many growers are making sure that all nutrients are at optimum levels.  Sulfur deficiency is being diagnosed much more often than previous years. 

Where does SuperCal SO4 fit in?  With 22% Ca and 17% sulfate sulfur, it helps build and maintain plant structure, while also providing sulfur for use in protein synthesis.  I typically recommend 200# per acre annually.  This will provide 44# Ca and 34# S.  If you are experiencing problems with too much K in your forage, then increasing the amount of calcium available will help.  This has been a recurring problem with dairy cows in many operations.

SuperCal SO4, the right fit, right now.

 

 

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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10 year affair with White Grubs

For Randy S. - better late than never!

Back in college when I was an intern for the no longer American Cyanamid, I attended a field day about white grubs. As part of my internship, I was also charged with writing a paper about what I learned. Long story short, I never wrote the paper, I felt like I didn’t really get any answers other than use seed treatments.

A couple of days latter my uncle called me, he had some pretty severe stand loss. After scouting it was determined that in one area of the field he had 2-3 white grub larvae per sq ft. In addition to root feeding, raccoons had managed to dig up the remaining corn in search of the grubs.

So ten years later I am writing about white grubs.

At the field day I attended we looked at white grub damage with thresholds in the 4-5 per sq foot range. The field was on a side hill, with a grassy tree filled creek at the bottom. This was very similar to the field my uncle had problems with.

What do we know about the white grub?
White grubs are the larvae of scarab beetles, otherwise known as June Bugs.

White grubs feed on fibrous-rooted plants, such as corn and grass. 

Larval infestations are greatly influenced by soil type or texture. Infestations by white grub are reported to be more common in light, sandy soils that are well-drained than in poorly drained, heavy clay soils.

White Grub normally takes three years to complete its life cycle in most areas.
The June beetles fly from willow and poplar tress to grassy areas to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch and over winter. In the second year the most damage is done.

Preventative insecticides are not recommended, and shelter belt removal is foolish. Planting tolerant crops and tillage (exposes grubs to birds) might be an option.

What have I learned after 10 years of thinking about a project I never completed and no one missed? Proper fertility is actually key to white grub management. In soils that have low calcium and soil with an imbalance of soluble salts, grasses like foxtail can predominate, regardless of herbicides use.

Soil with proper pH and proper calcium insure herbicides control foxtails, and reduces weed vigor, making a poor environment for the June beetle to lay eggs. Sounds too simple I know, but in most cases the simplest solution is usually the best.

Visit http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/aginfo/entomology/entupdates/whitegrub/whitgrub.htm for more info on white grubs.

 

 

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 Forages

Launch the Rocket

As I drive down the road the sweet smell in the air reminds me summer is here. To me nothing says summer like fresh cut alfalfa (though I do not miss throwing small squares). This year in alfalfa fields, growing along the edges and in the low lying areas, I have noticed quite a bit of yellow flowers.

This weed is Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris). A winter annual or biennial with shiny green foliage and bright yellow flowers that may reach as much as 3 feet in height.  Primarily found growing in winter small grains, forages, and pastures. 

The preference of Yellow Rocket is full sun, moist conditions, and a fertile loam or clay-loam soil. Growth is less robust at drier sites with poor soil. A little shade is also tolerated. Most vegetative growth occurs during the cool weather of early to mid-spring.

Yellow Rocket is Also Known As...

winter cress    bitter cress
 rocket cress  yellow-weed
 herb barbarea  wound rocket
 water mustard  

 
If you have yellow rocket it’s because your management practices have made a great environment for it. Once we know what kind of conditions it likes we can take steps to select against it.

According to Weeds and Why They Grow, Yellow Rocket (Winter Cress) likes soils very low calcium, low in phosphate, high in potash, very high in magnesium. It likes soils low in humus, soils that are anaerobic, and moist.

To reduce the vigor and eliminate Yellow Rocket in alfalfa, cut the amount of potash applied and increase the amount of SuperCal SO4. Based on the type of environment that Yellow Rocket likes this makes a lot of sense.

Muraite of potash reduces humus, calcium and soil porosity, making it less aerobic and water logged. This makes for a perfect environment for Yellow Rocket. SuperCal SO4 increases soil calcium, porosity, and sulfur levels, exactly what alfalfa needs.

Did we mention that SuperCal SO4 cost a fraction of potash? That SuperCal SO4 increases feed value of alfalfa?

What are you waiting for, the countdown is on to growing high quality alfalfa, now if the perfect time to apply SuperCal SO4 and launch yellow rocket out of your fields!

 

 

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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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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