Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: November 2009
Calcium Product 98G


Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: November 2009

Top Blog Posts of 2009

As I look back on 2009 at what I need to improve on, what I have accomplished, what I didn't get done, doing a better job at this blog is on the top of my list. To round out the year I put together a list of post that generated the most comments and views.

Other Items

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Have a Happy New Year! 




At the end of every month I read through my notes from the previous weeks just to make sure I didn't forget something. I found some interesting notes I took at a conference where the speaker was talking about microbes, here are some facts he threw out:

  • More microbes on earth than stars in the sky
  • More microbes on your skin than cells in your body
  • In an acre of soil you can have 2000# of microbes
  • Only 2-5% of microbes have been identified. (best guess)

So if microbes are such a big part of our lives, from the skin we live in to the soil that grows our crops, why as agronomists do we ignore them? Is it because no body taught us about them (they only know about 2% of what is out there)? Because we agronomist don't sell them?

Why as farmers are you not learning more about how these creatures can work for you to improve your soil and bottom line? Why would you not learn how feeding the microbes with the right fertilizer will make your crops grow better and your farm more profitable?

We don't have all the answers yet, but our products do help this process. We will be working to bring such information, stay tuned!


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.

  • Published in Corn

Verity Farms Field Day Yield

A few month back we posted on a farmer that was getting some tremendous results with SuperCal 98G.

Howard's corn made 214 bu per acre, on $195 of inputs, including seed! This was near La Mars IA.

Thanks for the update Howard!


Bread From Stones

I just found out that you can download a classic book on liming and fertilizing, Bread From Stones, This classic, written by Julius Hensel over 100 years ago is a highly recommended read. Julius was a chemist and proved that plants are much healthier when fertilized with rock dust. Every farmer will benefit from reading this book.

I bought a reprint of this last year and really enjoyed it. Julius understood that finely ground limestone worked much better that coarse lime. While there are a few things that have proven to be false much of what he has written will be very valuable to many farmers.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks to for making this available!




It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.  ~Author unknown

Life is about change. Change you socks, change your shoes, make change, change a tire, change the channel, a change in the weather, change seed varieties, change implements. Every day we change hundreds of things, many without thinking about it. Change is not a bad thing. Driving to work today in almost blizzard conditions I cannot wait for the weather to change.

If things didn’t change farming would not be possible. Farming needs change. The sky changes from night to day, the soil changes from black to rows of green. If things didn’t change you could not grow a crop. If you don’t change the way you farm from year to year, how do you expect to stay profitable?

What about your input supplier? Have they recommend changes to keep you profitable? What about you supplier that has not been able to get ag lime spread for the past 3 years because the weather has changed? Many climatologist are predicting that winters will be much more severe than the past 10 years. If they have not been able to spread the past three, are the next 10 going to be any better?

SuperCal 98G is a big change for farmers and agronomists. I understand that it is difficult understand how applying less lime gets better results. This is a huge change in thinking. Over ten years SuperCal 98G has shown to increase soil pH and yields. We would love to Prove It to you. Contact one of our sales representatives to find out how you can conduct an on farm trial.

Greg Ervin, MN, WI, ND, SD, North East IA, Canada
Glen Howell, NE, South and East IA, IL, MO, KS
Craig Dick, all other areas


Silicon, The Forgotten Nutrient

In a past blog we talked about the top 10 nutrients need for proper crop growth. One in particular almost never receives attention. That is silicon.
Silicon is the second most abundant element in soils, the mineral substrate for most of the world's plant life. In spite of silicon as a mineral constituent of plants, it is not counted among the elements defined as "essential," or nutrients, for any terrestrial higher plants except members of the Equisitaceae (*They are commonly known as horsetails, fields growing horse tails could be deficient in silicon).
Going back to the time of Justus von Liebig, who tested both soils and plants for silicon, found it in all cases, was unable to prove it was an essential nutrient by excluding it from plant media, and thereafter dropped it from his tests. However, we are only now beginning to better understand the role of silicon in plant health and disease. Ample evidence is presented that silicon, when readily available to plants, plays a large role in their growth, mineral nutrition, mechanical strength, and resistance to fungal diseases, and adverse chemical conditions of soil.
It is important to note that we need boron to activate silicon. In almost every test I read, boron is deficient. Once we have boron levels adequate we need to look to Silicon. Silicon improves nutrient transport up into the plant. It is found as a component of cell walls.
Plants with supplies of soluble silicon produce stronger, tougher cell walls making them a mechanical barrier to piercing and sucking insects. This significantly enhances plant heat and drought tolerance. Silicon has also shown benefits reducing populations of aphids on field crops.
Tests have also found that silicon can be deposited by the plants at the site of infection by fungus to combat the penetration of the cell walls by the attacking fungus. Improved leaf erectness, stem strength and prevention or depression of iron and manganese toxicity have all been noted as effects from silicon.
Although many soils and especially sandy soils are silicon-rich, soluble silicon content is usually very low. Silicon is an uncharged compound and is sensitive to leaching. There are many good forms of silica fertilizers available, incidentally there is a small amount of silica available in SuperCal SO4. Could this be one of the reasons why growers report better crop response than with other gypsums?

Proper Nutrients are Key for Proper Maturity and Disease Management

This blog is a reprint of an article found in last months Dealer E-Letter.

Proper Nutrients are Key for Proper Maturity and Disease Management

Supplying proper crop nutrition will ensure that your crop reaches maturity. If dry down, test weight, stalk quality, or disease is an issue for your customers, start with your fertility program.
There are of course many more nutrients to ensure proper plant growth and development, but we think getting these 10 right (in this order) will have the biggest impact on health and yield.

Boron is necessary for cell wall formation, membrane integrity, calcium uptake and may aid in the translocation of sugars. Boron affects at least 16 functions in plants. Almost every soil report I have read is low in Boron! More on Boron here
Silicon is found as a component of cell walls. Plants with supplies of soluble silicon produce stronger, tougher cell walls making them a mechanical barrier to piercing and sucking insects.

Calcium activates enzymes, is a structural component of cell walls, strong cells helps fight of disease. It influences water movement in cells and is necessary for cell growth and division. Soil reports typically measure all calcium, making sure calcium is plant available is key.
Nitrogen too much can delay flowering and fruiting. It is essential and needed for amino acid formation, which effects every other plant function.
Magnesium is a critical structural component of the chlorophyll molecule and is necessary for functioning of plant enzymes to produce carbohydrates, sugars and fats. High soil magnesium levels interfere with uptake of other essential nutrients.
Phosphorus is essential for flower and fruit formation. Low pH results in phosphate being chemically locked up, over application results in zinc deficiency. Without phosphors, chlorophyll is not converted to sugar, resulting in purpling of corn.
Carbon is essential to converting chlorophyll into sugar and for plant respiration. Proper soil biology ensures that the plant receive a constant supply of CO2. 96% of a plant is carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen!
Potassium deficiencies result in low yields, mottled, spotted or curled leaves, scorched or burned look to leaves. Is necessary to keep nutrients flowing in the sap.
Sulfur is essential for all nutrients be plant available. Sulfur is a natural disease fighter. Many plants require as much sulfur as phosphors. 
Zinc is a component of enzymes including auxins (plant growth hormones). It is essential to carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis and internodal elongation (stem growth). 
Manganese is involved in enzyme activity for photosynthesis, respiration, and nitrogen metabolism. It can be tied up with applications of glyphosate.
This is of course a very quick look into the functions of each nutrient, give anyone of our reps a call to discuss these nutrients and more in greater detail.

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