Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: fertility
Calcium Product 98G

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Humates. What are they? Should they be in your fertility program?

Humates and humic acids are certianly nothing new, in fact, humates are millions of years old. They are organic matter in an advanced state of decay. Humates have passed through the stages of compost and peat but have not yet become coal.

Here is a great informational sheet describing the benefits of humates: Humic Info Sheet

If you are not currently using humates and/or humic acids you need to consider adding this powerful soil amendment to your fertility program.

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Fertility or Genetics?

Over Christmas break I had a lively discussion with my brother-in-law (Andrew) about genetics and environment. Andrew is in med school studying to become a surgeon. He was adamant that genetics is 80-90% responsible for the outcome of your health.

I was adamant that genetics was only 10-20% and your environment was 80-90% of your outcome. My basis for this is that many farmers plant the same hybrid varieties and have such a different outcome from field to field. While some verities my be predisposed to higher yield, plant in the wrong location, the results are disastrous.

I don't know if corn is more susceptible to the environment than people, and Andrew is pretty sharp, and has always been at the top of his class, so I owe it to him to research his point of view. Since its a slow week, I thought a poll question would be a fun way to get input from a variety of view points.

Is soil fertility more important than genetics?

Let us know what you think, we will post the results next month.

How did the discussion end? Well, At the end of the night, Andrew and I agreed that the winner of our bowling match was not a good way to settle the argument and we would both research the topic more.

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I'm not a farmer but I play one on T.V.

"It is an old saying that ""any fool can farm,"" and this was almost the truth when farming consisted chiefly in reducing the fertility of new, rich land secured at practically no cost from a generous Government. But to restore depleted soils to high productive power in economic systems is no fool's job, for it requires mental as well as muscular energy; and no apologies should be expected from those who necessarily make use of technical terms in the discussion of this technical subject, notwithstanding the common foolish advice that farmers should be given a sort of ""parrot"" instruction in almost baby language instead of established facts and principles in definite and permanent scientific terms. The farmer should be as familiar with the names of the ten essential elements of plant food as he is with the names of his ten nearest neighbors. Safe and permanent systems of soil improvement and preservation may come with intelligence--never with ignorance--on the part of the landowners."

From: The Story of the Soil by Cyril G. Hopkins, Professor of Soils and Crops, University of Illinois, 1910.

How well do you know the soil? If you're a professional farmer, agronomist, or consultant you should know it very well.

Just as you would expect your doctor to know the human body, or your tractor mechanic to understand electrical and hydraulic principles, you as a farmer, should know the soil.

Not knowing the soil and applying the same fertilizers as your neighbors is like taking the same medication your doctor prescribes your neighbor. Not very wise and potentially detrimental.

Planting is nearing and we'll soon be done with spraying. How will you spend your spare time this summer, watching baseball, or fishing? Will you decide that now is the time to really understand plant nutrition and what happens in the soil that creates your lively hood.

Where to start? Try these links.

http://books.google.com/books
Many free books available to read online

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page
A number of free books to read online

I will be posting a list of books I am planning on reading this summer on a future blog.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

 

 

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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Fertility is key, but not exciting

I was reading an article from the Corn and Soybean Digest entitled “Yield Contest Winner Provides Last-Minute Corn Growing Tips”. I found one sentence particularly interesting, “Everything has to be managed exactly right,” he says. “Fertility is the key, but I experiment all the time to find out what works best for my area.”

The reason it is interesting is because it is the only sentence in the whole article about fertility. I find it extremely curious that every article about NCGA winners talks about what seed type they use, what seed treatment and/or insecticide is used, and the herbicide and fungicides.

In almost every article about NCGA winners you are lucky to find 2 or 3 sentences about the fertility of the farm.

Since the champion growers are planting the same corn, at the same populations, with the same seed treatments herbicides and fungicides as almost every farmer uses, why doesn’t everyone grow 250+ bushel corn?

Proper fertility is hard work, results are hard to measure, and it’s not as exciting as “I applied product x and I grew 20 more bushels of corn!” Why do some genetics result in record yields in some fields and the same genetics in your field falls down? Soil quality and fertility might just have something to do with it.

 

 

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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Improving Soil Quality

This week’s issue of Iowa Farmer Today features a guest opinion by Kendall Lamkey. The focus of the article is the decreasing quality of Iowa soil. We argree with most of the article; the soil is our number one resource, soil gets treated like dirt, Iowa soil is being depleted rapidly, and organic matter does not get enough focus.

He is also right on track that the degradation of the soil is linked to human health, plant production, and water quality. I am not sure that we necessarily need new approaches to preserve and maintain the soil. We need to do a better job of marketing the basics of fertility and soil management

Soil management is not easy, sexy, or exciting. There is no instant gratification like with tillage (which generally degrades the soil). There is no sense of accomplishment like watching the corn emerge through the soil. Understanding cations and anions takes more time than 0.7 x yield goal. Soil management is hard, that’s why most people ignore it.

Calcium Products is committed to helping you improve your soils. We have been doing it for over ten years. SuperCal 98G and SuperCal SO4 are key components to improving your soil. We have developed these products to make the old hard and difficult process of amending the soil easy and efficient. Keep checking back, we’ll continue to bring you information and ideas to improve your soil, yields, and bottom line.

Calcium Products, lower input costs, higher yields, better soils!

 

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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Are you Treating the Cause or the Symptom

Like health care costs, crop inputs have risen sharply in the past few years. Not only has the cost of inputs raised, the number of inputs has continued to increase. With today’s high yield goals and high dollar investment to raise a crop every input is considered to raise a better crop.

What does it take for today’s producer to reach their yield goals; an N stabilizer, side dressing, foliar feeding, seed treatment, stacked hybrids, herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, stock chopping, and/or heavy tillage to remove crop residue, dirt work to fill in gullies. I realize not everyone has these problems, or does all these steps every year, but if you’re doing more than 3-4 of these every year there may be another cause of your problems.

The symptoms are one or more of the following; poor nitrogen utilization and leaching, seedling diseases, soil crusting, excessive weed pressure and hard to eradicate weeds, white mold and other foliar disease, nematodes and other insects, poor organic matter, residue that does not breakdown, and erosion.

Diagnosis -- POOR SOIL QUALITY

Many of today’s newest agricultural inputs are great tools, but are relied on as a solution. They are only treatments for a pre-existing condition. Improving your soil is the curative. If your soil quality is already great, why not implement preventive steps to keep it that way. It is much easier to keep you soil in optimal condition than to improve it.

SuperCal SO4 & 98G are key components for many of our customers fertility programs. Helping them improve their soil, leading to increase yields, and reduced costs. We can show how to do the same, as well as other tools and techniques for soil improvement. Look for future posts on soil quality improvement in the future.

Calcium Products, lower input costs, higher yields, better soil

 

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!  

Read more...

Fertility is key, but not exciting

I was reading an article from the Corn and Soybean Digest entitled “Yield Contest Winner Provides Last-Minute Corn Growing Tips”. I found one sentence particularly interesting, “Everything has to be managed exactly right,” he says. “Fertility is the key, but I experiment all the time to find out what works best for my area.”

The reason it is interesting is because it is the only sentence in the whole article about fertility. I find it extremely curious that every article about NCGA winners talks about what seed type they use, what seed treatment and/or insecticide is used, and the herbicide and fungicides.

In almost every article about NCGA winners you are lucky to find 2 or 3 sentences about the fertility of the farm.

Since the champion growers are planting the same corn, at the same populations, with the same seed treatments herbicides and fungicides as almost every farmer uses, why doesn’t everyone grow 250+ bushel corn?

Proper fertility is hard work, results are hard to measure, and it’s not as exciting as “I applied product x and I grew 20 more bushels of corn!” Why do some genetics result in record yields in some fields and the same genetics in your field falls down? Soil quality and fertility might just have something to do with it.

 

 

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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Fertilizing Alfalfa

Are you ready for hay season?

1st cutting alfalfa is underway.  Where I (Glen) live in Northeast Iowa, the farmers have been working at it since Memorial Day.  I thought this would be a good time to review alfalfa's nutrient needs.

In general, alfalfa removes 12.5# Phosphorus (P), 40-50# Potassium (K), 30# Calcium (Ca), 6# Magnesium (Mg), 6# Sulfur (S) and 0.08# Boron (B) per ton of dry matter yield. Plants may remove higher amounts of these nutrients if soil test levels are in the High (H) or Very High (VH) levels.  This is known as luxury consumption.

Growing 5 Ton hay?  Then your crop will remove 62.5# P, 250# K, 150# Ca, 30# Mg, 30# S, 0.4# B.  With today's fertilizer prices, many growers are making sure that all nutrients are at optimum levels.  Sulfur deficiency is being diagnosed much more often than previous years. 

Where does SuperCal SO4 fit in?  With 22% Ca and 17% sulfate sulfur, it helps build and maintain plant structure, while also providing sulfur for use in protein synthesis.  I typically recommend 200# per acre annually.  This will provide 44# Ca and 34# S.  If you are experiencing problems with too much K in your forage, then increasing the amount of calcium available will help.  This has been a recurring problem with dairy cows in many operations.

SuperCal SO4, the right fit, right now.

 

 

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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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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Too early to apply?

WOW, what a treat! Most of America is enjoying a very warm, early spring! I know everyone is itching to get outdoors and kick off the season. While it is still too early in most parts north of the Mason-Dixon line to begin your early spring fertilizations, it is never too early to begin spreading SuperCal SO4.

SuperCal SO4

One of the great characteristics of organic, all-natural products is not having to depend on mother nature for an application schedule. Take our SuperCal SO4, for example. It is a naturally mined, organic material that works beautifully with any fertility program. You can apply it any time throughout the year. You don’t have to wait for the frost to be out of the ground, you don’t have to wait for the ground temperature to hit a magical degree in order for the product to work. Our SuperCal SO4 can be applied, left alone and forgotten. As soon as the spring thaw begins or that first April shower (March this year?) hits, the SuperCal SO4 pellet will melt and the calcium and sulfur will begin to work.

Another benefit of SuperCal SO4 being a safe, all natural organic product is that it will not burn or damage your turf no matter how much you apply or when you apply. If you are working to create the best soil structure possible for growing the best turf of the season, now is the time to apply SuperCal SO4.

For more info, check out this PDF on SO4.

 

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