Calcium Products - Glen Howell
Calcium Product 98G


Glen Howell

Glen Howell

Are you ready to cut hay?

As we approach the midpoint of May, many farmers are preparing to harvest the 1st cutting of this year's hay crop.  I have noticed that a few producers have already begun, and more will get started soon if the weather cooperates!

Dr. Stephen Barnhart, ISU Extension Agronomist, gives some good suggestions on timing the 1st cutting.

Matt Digman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, has some tips on making sure your equipment is ready to go.

If you harvest haylage, you may find this helpful in improving your forage quality.

Good luck with your hay crop!



Does agriculture have an image problem?

My oldest son graduates from high school next weekend, & I have been fortunate to attend some of his activities during his senior year.  One of these events was the 2009 National FFA Convention last October. 

Mike Rowe, from "Dirty Jobs," gave one of the best received speeches while I was there.  I ran across some comments that Mike made about his appearance here

Does agriculture have an image problem? Maybe. I am not convinced that it does. It is challenged by things such as GMOs, livestock confinement, and preserving natural resources.  But agriculture, like everything else, will always have (has always had) its challenges.  I think that addressing the root problem (i.e. soil erosion), is a much better use of time & resources than fixing an image problem.

What do you think?


Planting Hay or Pasture following Flooding

Many producers experienced a loss of pasture or hay fields due to flooding in recent years.  Dr. Stephen Barnhart, ISU Agronomy Extension, provides some great recommendations in a recent posting.  You can read his commentary here:

He makes some great points, including the importance of nitrogen in reestablishment, & the value of variety selection.  He also cited the need for the soil pH to be correct. 

SuperCal 98G is a great fit for pasture/forage renovation or establishment.  Due to its high quality & soil solubility, it will work very effectively to reduce soil acidity in the critical seeding year.  We have many producers report that they customarily apply 200-400# with other crop nutrients, either prior to, or as part of, seeding the forage.  I always used this product when direct seeding alfalfa in Nebraska, with fabulous results!

I would also suggest including some SuperCal SO4 when working with the conditions Dr. Barnhart discusses.  Reestablishing soil microbiology is imperative to a successful seeding, & microbes are often suffering from compaction and/or anaerobic (lack of oxygen) conditions due to flooding.  SO4 will provide calcium and sulfur for both the microbes & the establishing crop, & can also help in reducing seedling disease in this environment.

Here's to a great forage year!


Congratulations on 100 Years!

 I attended a program on Tuesday hosted by F J Krob & Company ( in recognition of their 100th year in business.  It was a great program, & the room was packed with farmers wanting to stay informed about the fertilizer industry.

David Delaney, President of PCS (Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan) Sales, was the 1st speaker.  Some of his comments:

  • Proper soil nutrition will be required to increase food production to match population growth.
  • Low yields in developing countries reflect unbalanced fertility.
  • Fertilizer will play a critical role in sustaining productivity of soils.

The second speaker was Dr. Kim Polizotto, Chief Agronomist for PCS.  He noted the short term effects of underfertilization.  They include:

  • Yield Loss
  • High crop moisture content at harvest
  • Stalk/stem strength
  • Disease reactions
  • Crop quality, particularly in hay & pasture, cotton

He also discussed that Phosphorus (P) & Potassium (K) fertilization rates have not increased at the same rate as crop yields since 1980.

Questions from the crowd included concern about China's growing presence in the world demand picture, particularly with regard to their impact on fertilizer demand.  One question involved the possibility of China buying PCS.  Mr. Delaney's opinion was that the Canadian government would likely be very concerned about foreign ownership of their company.

I thought both speakers were very good & informative.  However, both speakers referred to balanced fertility only in regards to N-P-K.  I think that this is a common theory in the fertilizer industry, but one that I highly disagree with.  There are many more nutrients than just 3 involved in crop production (


Congratulations to F J Krob & best wishes for another 100 years in business!




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