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Calcium Product 98G

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Soil pH – The Foundation for Nutrient Availability

Soil pH Blog Image DRAFT1

Every nutrient's availability is affected by soil pH.

Soil pH is the foundation and main governing parameter of soil fertility. Every nutrient’s availability to plants is affected by soil pH – some more so than others – which is why correcting and maintaining soil pH at adequate levels is so important.

Phosphorous (P) availability is the most affected nutrient by pH because the chemistry of P is such that it loves to react with other minerals in the soil at varying pH levels. At high pH, P is very attracted to calcium, while at low pH, P is very attracted to aluminum and iron. When P reacts with calcium, aluminum, or iron, it forms insoluble compounds that plants cannot easily access.

Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K) are also affected by pH, but not in the same way as P. At low pH, aluminum and iron increase in availability and “out-compete” nutrients like N and K in the soil, leaving N and K susceptible to leaching from the soil profile.

Maintaining proper pH protects fertilizer investments.

With the substantial investment made on N, P, and K fertility programs, it is easy to see why maintaining appropriate pH is paramount to protecting fertilizer investments. Further, crops need sufficient access to these nutrients in order to obtain maximum yield and further return the investment growers make on these important nutrients.

Our philosophy is that soil pH should be corrected and then maintained with yearly or every-other-year, lower rate applications to avoid the pH rollercoaster that can occur with 4- or 5-year aglime application regimens. Our product, 98G, is a pelletized lime that corrects and maintains soil pH. It’s easy to apply and works well in variable rate application programs.

By measuring and managing soil pH, you are ensuring that growers are set up for a high-yielding crop and fertilizer investments are being put to work.

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Any soil amendment will do….

 

Many growers think all soil amendments are created equally. The demanding grower knows better, as the demanding Tequila drinker knows that not all Tequila is created equal.

Check out this fun video Not Just any Tequila from Hornitos Tequila

Choosing any soil amendment product is worse than asking for any haircut. Hair grows back, yields don’t!

Protect your high yielding crops by asking for SuperCal!

 

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Controling 3 Major Yield Robbers in 2010

Written by Greg Ervin, MS CCA, Regional Sales Representative

Achieving high yields consistently is the ultimate dream of most growers.  As we look ahead to the 2010 crop year, it is important to take time to identify potential yield robbing factors and establish actions for offsetting these negatives as they arise.  With plans in place, growers maximize the highest yield potential under their control.

What are some of the looming yield robbers farmers face in 2010?

The following are three concerns I heard from growers this winter:

Emergence problems associated with residue management.  If last year’s residues are only partially broken down and look to present a problem in consistent seed spacing and depth placement , consider creating a more conducive seed bed . This can be done through the use of light tillage and/or the use of Calcium in the forms of Gypsum (for higher pH soils) or Calcium Carbonate (for lower pH soils).  This added soluble Calcium leaches away soil toxins, leaving a soil structure that does a better job of managing moisture and providing more air to soil micro-life.   It also frees tied-up key nutrients from residues and soils making them more available to plants throughout the growing season.  

Soil micro-life is important to the efficient breakdown of plant residues.  With current herbicide technology involving Glyphosate, much of the beneficial micro-life in soils has been reduced to levels where efficient residue breakdown is not occurring (Huber 2010).  Spring and Fall residue treatment programs aimed at enhancing soil micro-life may be logical steps for growers to implement as means for reducing residues and reclaiming plant available nutrients from residues and soils. 

Gypsum is a good fit when considering residue management.  The soluble Calcium aids in creating improved soil characteristics, while the 17% soluble Sulfur in Gypsum acts as an excellent readily available food source for plants and also for expanding micro-life in the soil, accelerating the breakdown of residues.  Calcium Products, Inc. SuperCal S04 is an excellent source of Gypsum for these applications.

Plant Micronutrient tie-ups associated with herbicide use.  Current herbicide programs involving the use of Glyphosate are creating severe Micronutrient tie-ups in plants and in soils (Huber, 2010).  These tie-ups lead to nutritional deficiencies of plants, starving them to the point of reduced standability, reduced yields and inefficient dry-down of harvested crops. 

With today’s understanding of the compounding effects of Glyphosate on soils and plants, I am advising growers to ensure plants have adequate micronutrients available to build strong plant immune systems to fight-off fusarium energized in soils by Glyphosate (Huber 2010).  The addition of Calcium to soils in the Spring or Fall assists plants in building strong cell walls from readily available plant food nutrients released in soils by soluble Calcium. 

Plant tissue testing is an excellent analytical tool available for insuring adequate nutrient availability throughout the growing season.  Taken ahead of Glyphosate applications, Micronutrient levels can be monitored through plant tissue testing and corrected by adding needed Micronutrients with Glyphosate at herbicide application times. 

Growers should not underestimate the importance of Micronutrients to sustaining plant health in the quest for more consistent higher yielding crops.  Calcium Products, Inc.’s SuperCal 98G Calcium Carbonate Liming product is an efficient and cost effective way of meeting Calcium needs of plants, soils, and correcting lower testing pH areas in farm fields.

Compaction from wet soils.  For many areas of the country, wet Spring and

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Commodity Price Increase Alone, Not Enough

It is a great time to be involved in agriculture. Grain prices are high and many farmers are replacing badly needed infrastructure and equipment. With the record grain prices, record amounts of fertilizer are being applied to fields in an attempt to maximize yield. In addition to the agricultures boom, the US dollar continues to devalue, sending oil to record highs. Since the majority of fertilizer manufacturing requires significant amounts of oil, it has (bad pun warning) added fuel to the fire.

A few stats from the USDA

Total Production Expenses increased 10.5% in 2007 and are expected to increase 8.6% in 2008. The sixth strait year of increases since 2002. Expenses are expected to eat 75% of all farm income in 2008.

Fertilizer up 20.2% in 2007 will increase 18.4% in 2008. Mainly due to 57% rise in potash and phosphates.

Fuel and oil are expected to increase 12.6% in 2008 following an 11.5% rise in 2007. The annual average fuel price has increased by double-digit percentages, six straight years since 2002, and is projected to have risen 159% from 2002 to 2008. Electricity rates should rise almost 2 percent, which, combined with the increase in total output, should push electricity expenses up 4.0 percent.

The good news is that net farm income is expected to increase 10.3%. Net cash income (cash income earned after out-of-pocket expenses) is money available to pay debt obligations, taxes, and family living expenses. It is an indicator of the farm sector's cash flow and liquidity.

With many farmers feeling relatively good about the economic forecast, making good money, even with record input prices, why change what your doing. Now is the time to try new things, adjust production practices and push yields. Many of the NCGA’s corn growing champions are hitting the 300 bu mark. On many of their acres they have increased the farm average 20-40 bushels in a couple of years. Yes, their expenses did increase, but those expenses generated more income, not more bills. So if you spend $20 per acre to gain 20 bushels, then at $3 per bushel you have a 3x return on each dollar. At $5 corn it is a 5x return.

What are you doing differently? Are you actively seeking products and services to increase the productivity of the biggest income generator on your farm (soil)? Are you doing the same things you were 3 or 4 years ago, spending 40-50% more and not increasing yields. What will you do when the commodity prices drop and inputs stay high?

 

 

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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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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Calcium Products BLOG - Welcome

Welcome to the brand new business blog for Calcium Products, Inc. The regular host and voice of the BLOG is Craig Dick. My job today is to get it started and introduce you to some of the most amazing products designed to increase your crop yield while decreasing your costs.

For years producers have used traditional ag lime to adjust their soil pH. The recommended amount can be anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 pounds per acre. Meanwhile with SuperCal 98-G, a pellet product, a producer only has to use 400 pounds per acre.

How can that be?

Well, what you're not being told is that much of the ag-lime spread on fields simply does not work...or it blows away. For lime to work effectively the particle size needs to be small but not so small that it powders and drifts from the field. Or, if the ag-lime is wet, farmers pay for water.

So, what is the difference between traditional ag-lime and SuperCal 98G?

Two big and important things:

SuperCal 98G is 98% Pure. It just does not get any better.

We grind this pure product and then create small pellets that are pretty uniform in size. The result is the product goes right to the soil and starts working right away.
Over the next few months we invite you to come back and learn more about SuperCal 98-G and the other products made by Calcium Products. And, because this is a business blog it can be a two way method of communication. Go ahead, ask Craig a question. He'll respond.

Thanks for reading the Blog and stay tuned for more ways you can lower costs while increasing yield.

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SuperCal SO4 with Zn and N on Corn

SuperCal SO4 has been shown to increase nitrogen uptake as sulfur in SuperCal SO4 aids in the nitrification process. Calcium helps to stabilize nitrogen by decreasing volatilization loss. Calcium is essential to the biochemical process of plants to absorb nutrients. Adding SuperCal SO4 to your fertility program will make your expensive nitrogen and zinc work better.

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SuperCal SO4 on Soybeans with White Mold

Plot Map

white-mold-1

• Planted soybeans (Stine 2500) on May 16, 1998 at 50 lbs/A
• 20 acre field
• 5 Replications
• 2 Treatments

CaSO4 Soybean with White Mold Yield Map 1998

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The average of the areas receiving SuperCal SO4 yielded 48.4 bushels, the areas that did not get treated averaged 38.6 bushels, which was a difference of 9.8 bu/A. At $10 soybeans that is a return of over $65 per acre.

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SuperCal SO4 on Corn and Soybean

A two treatment trial where two treatments are paired together in adjoining strips is a type of a randomized complete block design. This trial had ten paired strips, each containing one strip each of the two treatments.

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Corn Harvest Analysis

This type of trial can be analyzed using a t-test, which determines if numerical difference between treatments are legitimate. Following is a "cookbook" approach to analyzing the data from a trial with up to ten double strips, each containing one strip each of the two treatments. The second and third columns are labeled "yield," but any type of data can be analyzed this way.

corn-soybean-3

The difference between the two treatments is given in Cell 3. The number in Cell 8 is called the "t value" (be sure to record it without the negative sign, if Cell 3 us a negative number, that is, if treatment B has a higher yield than treatment A). We assess whether the difference between treatments (Cell 3) is real or whether it's due to random chance using the following test:

We're 90% sure the treatments really differ if Cell 8 is larger than: 1.860

We're 95% sure the treatments really differ if Cell 8 is larger than: 2.306

Therefore, the statistical confidence that there is a difference between these treatments is greater than 95%. So, the plots treated with SuperCal SO4 produced a significantly higher corn yield than those that were not treated.

 

Soybean Yield Analysis

corn-soybean-4

For the soybean analysis, the statistical confidence appears to be less and the resulting conclusion is that the difference is not explained by the statistical model, meaning that there is not a real difference between the two yield values, despite the roughly 3 bu/A increase when using gypsum.

 

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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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