Calcium Products - Blogronomist
Calcium Product 98G


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…

....isn't that renters lime?

This weekend while talking with some friends, I was asked about pelletized lime. One friend said his agronomist called pel-lime renters lime. He wanted to know why as a landowner he would want to use SuperCal 98G. Why have renters used 98G? It costs less, you see yield results the first cropping year. In most cases, 300- 400 pounds of SuperCal 98G, every other year, on a corn-bean rotation will raise soil pH. The cost of 300-400 lbs applied is usually in the $20-$25, or $10-$12.50 per year for liming (could be less depending on pH). Compare that to applying AgLime waiting 3 years for pH to rise then waiting to re-apply for 2 more years until the pH falls again. You will pay $20-$25 per ton of AgLime, and most people put on 2-3 tons when they apply it. So you pay $40-$75 to put on AgLime, wait 3…

Fertilizer Outlook 2008

This week I attended an annual meeting for a large retail group. One of the discussions was about the fertilizer situation in the coming year. What was their take? There will not be adequate amounts for 2008 due to;Demand world wide is at an all time high60% of US fertilizer stocks are importedFreight to the US has tripled in the past few yearsFall needs have been decided in May/June.With the exception of Urea expect that there will not be enough other products to meet demand. At Calcium Products we see this trend as well. I attended a meeting last fall and these comments were echoed. I will be attending a number of fertilizer seminars over the next few months and continue to update you. So what does this mean for the grower? Customers unwilling to pay higher prices for inorganic fertilizer will need to find alternatives or change crops. If…

New Technology for Improved Production

Hanging in my garage are my great-grandfather's harness he used when he farmed. My wife asked why? Sentimental reasons, I like history, I think they’re kind of cool. They don’t do anything but take up space; I don’t go to nostalgic farm shows and give demonstrations. I certainly would not farm today using them. There are always improvements in farming. Could you meet today’s productivity with yesterday’s technology? Are you still farming with a John Deere model "720”? Are you waiting to hear grain prices on the news, or do you get real-time quotes on the Internet? Did you plant a triple stack corn or saved seed? Have you been trying to raise pH and increase yield with AgLime? While applying tons of AgLime looks like you are really accomplishing something, unfortunately, like a 720, when the dust clears, it costs too much to do, and does not really accomplish…

Is the solution to your current problem adding problems?

This week in the Iowa Farmer Today, Tim Hoskins reported on “Mineral deficiency cropping up in alfalfa fields”. Iowa Farmer Jeff Ryan turned to Brian Lang Iowa State University crop specialist for Northeast Iowa. Mr. Lang worked out that the poor yield was due to a sulfur deficiency. It is not clear in the story who recommended the solution, but it will be nothing but headaches for Ryan. Ryan applied 100 lbs. of Ammonium Sulfate (AMS), at a cost of $17 per acre. Wow! $0.70 per pound of sulfur! Then factor in the unintended costs of AMS. AMS is one of the most acidifying fertilizers on the market. It takes 5-7 lbs of SuperCal 98G, or 15-20 lbs of AgLime to neutralize the acidity caused by AMS. Add $5 to $20 per acre to the fertilizer bill for lime. Don’t forget the unintended cost of stand reduction from the added…


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