Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: quality

Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: quality

Better Roots for Better Soil

Could better corn roots be the key to better quality soil and water? According to the article “How Corn Roots Got Better by Accident, traditional plant breeding has also made roots better at taking up nitrogen, though more research is need to understand the mechanisms.

Here are some key points from the article:

MaizeRootStudy SimRoot

Image: Courtesy of Larry York

Using a Penn State-developed computer program called SimRoot, researchers modeled the average root architecture of modern corn hybrids (shown) to help compare it to that of older varieties.

“About half of the yield gains in commercial corn hybrids in the last 100 years have come from improved plant genetics, explains Larry York, recent PhD graduate in ecology, now a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Nottingham. The other half came largely from agronomic practices, such as fertilizer use and higher planting densities.”

“A lot of research has focused on the shoots of maize plants, such as the direction of the leaves and how they capture light, or how the plants divide matter into ears and kernels,” York says. “We all know roots are responsible for the uptake of water and nutrients. However, relatively little is known about how roots do that.

“If we understand how roots have evolved and which specific root traits increase the plant’s efficiency, then we can take the next step in breeding that can help decrease pollution, save farmers money and make more yield.”

“Not only can crop varieties with improved root systems increase yields and reduce hunger in impoverished regions of the world with nutrient-poor soils, they also can decrease excess nitrogen where water quality is a critical issue, such as in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”

"The researchers hypothesized that during a century of corn breeding aimed at increasing yields, root systems were indirectly selected for architecture and anatomy that are more efficient for nitrogen acquisition."

"The researchers found that the newest commercial varieties performed better in every agronomic environment. These varieties also had root characteristics known from previous Penn State research to make plants more efficient at acquiring nitrogen from the soil, including fewer nodal roots, longer lateral roots, and larger cortical cells. They published their results online in the Journal of Experimental Botany."

Source: Penn State via 



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!


Soil Quality - Your Life Depends on It

Your soil is the foundation for everything that happens on your farm. It is the number one ingredient for high yields. A true farmer thinks of his soil first and works to improve it. If you are just planting seeds, applying a little fertilizer, and harvesting a crop, you are not a farmer, you’re a miner.

Before I get into it, let me say we are not eco-nuts. However you need to understand that proper soil fertility leads to improved yields, healthier crops and livestock, lower input costs, and higher per acre income. Even if lack of moisture is your biggest limiting factor!

What is the cost of not properly maintaining soil quality?

Soil should act as a sponge that holds and gradually release water back to the plant. If it is ponding, running off, or out a drainage tile, it is taking valuable nutrients with it. Having a quality soil that is soft, increases infiltration and decreases loss of water and nutrients.

Average cropland erosion removes soil about 10 to 100 times faster than it forms.

Land degradation and desertification may account for as much as about 30 percent of the world's greenhouse gas releases, according to researcher Rattan Lal of Ohio State University. A quality soil will raise higher yields resulting in more carbon being stored in the soil as organic matter (OM). During the growing season the soil can release CO2 slowly resulting in higher yields and increasing OM. Low quality soils produced lower yields, resulting in decreasing OM, releasing more gasses to the atmosphere.

Currently US farmers are feeding more than 150 people. However at the current world population growth rate they will need to produce more food within the next 50 years than during the last 10,000 years combined! Genetic engineering will help, but if we do not have quality soils left to plant them in, they will not yield their full potential.

The book ""The Erosion of Civilization"" by David R. Montgomery, sums it up best. farming was the foundation of the great flourishing of Mesopotamia, but it faced two great problems: salinisation from irrigation, and soil erosion. Such erosion was also a problem in Bronze Age and classical Greece. Montgomery quotes Plato on the region around Athens: "The rich, soft soil has all run away leaving the land nothing but skin and bone."

Protect your biggest investment, protect yourself from future government regulation, protect your source of income, take care of your soil first!



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!


Website Tools


We are constantly updating our website to bring you valuable information. Here is a short list of items you might find useful.

The State of Iowa Lime Report
Every quarter the Iowa Department of Agriculture samples lime quality of all liming products sold into the state of Iowa. Find out if the lime your using is any good or not.
 To get there, click on “Resources”, then “Links”, then “Lime Links”

Test Plot Results
We have been testing SuperCal SO4 and SuperCal 98G for over 10 years. See what others have found out, 98G raises pH, faster and more effectively than other products. Want to test our products on your farm? Contact you local agronomist or contact us here.
 To get there, click on “Resources”, then “Test Plot Results”

Customer Testimonials
Find out what other producers have discovered. SuperCal 98G and SO4 works on their farms. We have testimonials from farmers from North Dakota to Missouri. Have a great story how SuperCal 98G or SO4 increased production or decreased costs on your farm, let us know here.
 To get there, click on “Resources”, then “Customer Testimonials”

Event Calendar
Find out which farm shows and events we’ll be at. Click on the show name for all the details. We love talking with our customers and friends, and meeting new ones.
 To get there, click on “Resources”, then “Calendar”

We hope you find the information useful, thanks for reading.

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