Books bought but unread;
Roots Demystified, Robert Bourik
Building Soils for Better Crops, Fred Magdoff and Harold van Es
More Food From Soil Science, The Natural Chemistry of Lime, V. A. Tiedjens
From The Soil Up, Donald L. Schriefer
Books bought and worthy of your attention;
How Soils Work, Paul Syltie, PH. D.
This book is a very basic introduction into the workings of the soil. I read about 2/3rds of it the first time I picked it up. It’s a quick read and much of this is a refresher for me. This is a great book for anyone who has not taken a university soils course
Soil Fertility & Animal Health by William A. Albrecht, Ph.D.
, I have read a few chapters of this book. I have been told by many well known consultants that this is “the” book to read on soils. However, Dr. Albrecht was a great scientist and as such his papers read like a science journal. You have to want to read this one, and be ready for some work. While I have to force myself to pick up this book and read a chapter from time to time, I always pick up extremely useful information.
Last night I started Bread From Stones, by Julius Hensel
. This book was originally written in 1893 in German, and has since been translated to English. It is a quick read, though a little tough as grammar and names for elements are a little different today than over 100 years ago.
Hensel goes into detail the dangers of over applying nitrogen to fields, the dangers of ammonia to animals and how to raise high quality meat, dairy and eggs, and backs it up with chemistry that still holds truth today, even if we’ve forgotten that basic chemistry principles.
The benefits of fine ground stones where known as far back as Roman times, and Hensel expands “ …every little particle may be rendered accessible to the water and the air, and can, therefore be used as plant food. Thence it follows that one single load of the very finest stone-meal will do as much as twenty loads of coarser products, so that by reducing to the finest dust the cost for freight and carriage…would amount to one-twentieth.”
We have known the benefits of finely ground stone dusts (meals) for decades. Many consultants still say it takes tons of lime to change tons of soil, if this were true; wouldn’t it take a ton of MAP to raise your phosphorus levels? The reason it doesn’t is because MAP is fine particles in prills, very reactive in the soil… kind of like SuperCal SO4 and SuperCal 98G!
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!