Calcium Products - AG Products

Calcium Products - AG Products

Applying Nitrogen to Enhance Corn Residue Decomposition: Does it Work?

  Applying nitrogen in the fall to enhance corn residue decomposition occurs with some frequency in the Midwestern United States. The purpose of this application (normally applied as AMS or UAN) is to deliver a nitrogen source to feed microbes and increase the speed at which corn residue is decomposed. The main reason this topic seems more prevalent in recent years may be related to current hybrids and farming practices. Modern genetics have selected for stronger stalks and larger plants, while increases in corn-on-corn rotations and reduced tillage have resulted in more residual biomass. Combined, these result in greater demand on microbes to minimize the impact of residue on the following season's operations. Rationale Behind "Stalk Burndown" The rationale behind applying N to aid in stalk decomposition is related to the carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio, which indicates how effectively microbes decompose different materials. The C:N ratio is important because it denotes how…
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Three Tips to Spot Sulfur Deficiency in Corn

Now is the time to start scouting for sulfur deficiency in corn plants. As you’re out and about this spring, keep these three tips in mind to successfully identify sulfur deficiency. Check young corn plants. Sulfur deficiency is most obvious early in the growing season, when the plant is most vulnerable to nutrient shortages. Look at leaf color. From afar, plants with a pale green appearance should be inspected closer for nutrient deficiency symptoms. Both sulfur and nitrogen deficiency are marked by yellow striping between the veins of the leaf (interveinal chlorosis), which can cause confusion when diagnosing sulfur vs. nitrogen deficiency. The image above shows sulfur deficiency. Inspect plants’ youngest leaves. Sulfur deficiency shows up in the youngest leaves of the corn plant first, while nitrogen deficiency appears in the older leaves first. The difference is related to how each nutrient is mobilized in the plant. The good news…
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Corn roots growing video

A lot of corn has been planted and it is now rooting down. Have you ever wondered what that looks like? The Gilroy lab funded by the NSF & NASA studies how plants sense and respond to stress, and how roots grow. The had this video linked to their website.    As the root pushes down it develops root hairs to increase its surface area so it increases its nutrient and water absorbing capacity.     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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Windbreaks Increase Yields

If you want great soil quality, you have to make sure the soil stays in your field. While wind erosion has declined in the last 20 years, recent land values, adoption of no-till, larger farm equipment, and aging windbreak plantings have led to the removal of windbreak. It may surprise many growers that windbreaks offer an overall yield increase. A worldwide study found that within the protected zone of the windbreak, spring wheat yields increased an average of 8%, corn by 12%, soybeans by 13%, and winter wheat by 23%. You can learn more by reading the article A Break for Higher Yields found in the Furrow.     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.…
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What is soil quality?

We have always talked about the importance of soil quality. Improving soil quality is the number one thing you can do to improve yields on your farm. What is it that we are talking about when we say "Soil Quality"? At soilquality.org they have a couple of definitions. "Fitness for use" (Larson and Pierce, 1991) and "the capacity of a soil to function” (Karlen et al., 1997). Taken together, these two definitions means that soil quality is the ability of the soil to perform the functions necessary for its intended use. and Probably the most comprehensive definition of soil quality to date was published by the Soil Science Society of America's Ad Hoc Committee on Soil Quality (S-581) as "the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support…
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