Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: January 2011
Calcium Product 98G


Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: January 2011

  • Published in Sulfur

Sulfur's Effect on Plant Diseases

Pulling from my new favorite book, Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease, Edited by Lawrence E. Datnoff, Wade H. Elmer, and Don Huber. I have pulled out selected text from the book. It's not word for word, but I have tried to keep the original intent intact. I have include my notes in italics to set it apart from the text of the book. I hope you learn as much new information about sulfur as I did.


Chapter 8 Sulfur and Plant Disease


Justus Von Liebig, one of the founders of modern chemical agriculture understood that the nutritional status of plants was a key factor in a plants susceptibility to disease.


Sulfur-Induced Resistance:

SIR is the reinforcement of the natural resistance of plants against fungal pathogens through triggering the stimulation of metabolic processes involving sulfur by targeted sulfate-base and soil applied fertilizer strategies.

(My Note: That was along sentence, what does it mean? Applying sulfur fertilizers reduces the incidence of disease by strengthening the plants natural immune system.)


In trials, as the S supply was increased reductions of the following diseases are noted:


Boron 2

Ever since the first boron article I get many questions on its necessity, more than any other micronutrient. It may be a micro but it is essential for higher plants (and humans). Unfortunately it is one of the least important nutrients with regard to its functions and one of the least understood of all the trace elements. 

During the mid-1900s, as we learned to control atomic energy and radiation, Boron, was shown to absorb atomic particles without changing the neutron. This capacity for absorbing radiation makes boron a mineral for our times. 
In nuclear reactors scientists learned how to control neutrons involved in fission. Boron rods are still absolutely necessary to keep nuclear reactions in power plants under control.  In nuclear reactions, the rate of fission is controlled by the depth of boron rods in the reactors. In regards to human and plant health maintenance, the presence or absence of boron in has a big effect on metabolic function.
Boron in Plant Health
It is the only non-metallic micro-nutrient.
Boron is anionic and highly leachable. It should be applied every year, preferably in-conjunction with calcium and or humates.
Boron is known as the calcium helper and for the metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. If calcium is the trucker of minerals, boron is the driver. 
Boron is easily displaced by aluminum, losing three boron molecules for every aluminum molecule. Using by-product liming agents that have high aluminum will reduce available boron.
Low Boron reduces growth of soil bacteria.
Without boron, plant cells may continue to divide, but structural components are not differentiated. This means the plant has a hard time making xylem tissue. This leads to plugging of sap vessels and cross-transfer of plant fluids among vessels. Sort of like clogged arteries in humans, and in plants leads to poor movement of sap, sugar and carbohydrates in the plant. 
This reduction in cellular differentiation leads to compromised meristematic cell elongation, which also reduces flowering and pollination, notably growth of pollen tubes.   This affects timing of maturity, pollination, reproduction and ultimately yield. Boron in conjunction with Ca influences reproductive process. 
Low boron causes low lignin in the plants. Lignin leads to sturdier plant stalks.
Low boron compromises cell membrane function. Like Calcium, Boron is non mobile in plants and a continuous supply is needed. Cell walls contain 90% of plant Boron and provide structural linkages within cell walls, stabilizing membranes. Boron keeps calcium in the cell walls, calcium pectates do not form in the absence of boron. Low boron increases fungal invasion of the cell
Calcium deficiency alone favored the colonization of plants but disease severity was greater when calcium and boron were deficient
Boron deficiency leads to higher incidences of:
Powdery Mildew, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, and Verticillium among others.
When pesticides are needed to control pathogens, Boron increases the efficacy of many fungicides. How this is done is still unknown.
Boron protects from oxidation and free radical damage. Yes plants experience free radical and radiation damage. Boron acts as a natural radiation absorber.
Low Boron reduces the shikimic acid pathways. In plants that have their shikimate pathways compromised from herbicide,s having boron at adequate levels is critical.
Been applying lots of zinc but no boron? Zinc applications reduce boron uptake, and can reduce boron toxicity. Conversely Boron can reduce zinc in the rhizosphere, so make sure you keep your zinc levels up.
Low pH soil, and/or excess phosphorus, and/or excess potassium, and/or high pH can reduce boron uptake
Optimum boron is achieved most precisely through tissue sampling.
Human Health Impacts
Boron supports blood brain barrier health, helps remove toxins from the brain, and enhances memory.
It Elevates testosterone and assists in the production of natural steroid compounds.
Boron relaxes the arteries and increases electrocoductivity of the heart.
It activates vitamin D.
Protects from oxidation and free radical damage.
Required in trace amounts for healthy bones and muscle growth.
Boron plays a part in the body’s sugar metabolism.
Boron is needed for the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
USDA research reveals that 3 milligrams of boron supplemented each day drastically reduces urinary loss calcium and magnesium. It is the not having enough magnesium in the system that can lead to arthritis and kidney stones.
Deficiency sings may include ADD/ADHD, osteoporosis, arthritis, fatigue, decrease short term memory and brain function.
Foods that should be high in Boron
(but likely are not since I have never seen a soils analysis with adequate boron)
Plum, Strawberry (if they are hollow in the middle they are low in boron), peach, cabbage, apple (most apples are short in calcium so…) asparagus (same as apples) celery, Tomato (same as apple), pear, beets, cherry, cauliflower,

Calcium Reduces Many Plant Diseases

I got a new book this week, Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease, Edited by Lawrence E. Datnoff, Wade H. Elmer, and Don Huber.

It is really heavy reading, it isn't the kind of book you sit down by a fire with and read at one setting. Its 278 pages of scientific journal papers showing which mineral deficiency (or excess) are the under lying cause of plant disease. Over the course of the next few month I hope to use this a a reference for this blog. I will try and break out some points that farmers and agronomist will find helpful. My pain is your gain, but for the references you'll need to buy the book.

Take Chapter 6, Calcium and Plant Disease, pg 82;
  • Cephalosporium Stripe in wheat was significantly reduced when liming soils from a 5.1 to 6 pH.
  • Pythium in wheat was inhibited with two applications of 440 lbs / a of gypsum
  • two applications of 440 lbs / a of gypsum significantly reduced the incidence of sheath rot caused by Sarocladium Oryzae , increased yields comparable with those obtained by the fungicide carbendazim .
Pretty cool, gypsum being as effective as a fungicide without the cost or possibility of liver tumors!
This work also backs up past work done on gypsum reducing phytophhora root rot in other crops.
So in addition to adding sulfur to your fertility plan with SuperCal SO4, the calcium is helping to provide a defense against many diseases.

SuperCal 98G Better than the Next Big Thing

The next big thing is doing something with an old thing.

No limestone is not new. Knowledge of the value of lime in agriculture is ancient, but agricultural use only became widely possible when the use of coal made it cheap in the late 13th century.

Back in the day before high powered crushers lime was quarried through burning it. This quick lime was mainly used in mortar, but some did reach farm fields.

In the 1950’s when mechanization became main stream and we were in the height of road building, cheap crushed limestone became the norm. This is the product most still use today. The chips and dust from making aggregate for road stone and cement.

While we didn’t invent the use of limestone in agriculture we are improving on it. Our process takes some of the purest limestone on the planet, grinding it past 100 mesh, and then pelletizing* it for ease of handling. It is the purity and fineness of grind that makes it so effective.

Ag Leader didn’t make GPS, they made it more effective for farming

John Deere didn’t invent the plow, he made it better

Henry Ford didn’t develop the car, he helped get it to the masses

With apologies to Seth

*No pelletizing isn't new, its been around since the 70's. However everyone is pelletzing the course ground leftovers of crushing aggreget. This doesn't make it more effective, just more expensive!

Yield Starts Here is a blog for farmers, focusing on increasing yield and profitability by focusing on the soil. It is managed by Craig Dick, a Blogronomist and Sales and Marketing Manager at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at


Calcium's Role in Plant Nutrition

In researching how calcium affects nutrient uptake of other fertilizers I found an article Calcium's Role in Plant Nutrition from the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation.

Summary:  Calcium availability is essential in the biochemistry of plants and, as we are learning, in the nitrogen fertilizer efficiency of surface-applied urea.  We should not confuse the role of important soil amendments such as lime or gypsum with the need of soluble calcium by high-value crops. Both are extremely important in soil fertility and plant nutrition and complement each other.


If Doritos Were Fertilizer, It would be Illegal in Wisconsin

As a salesman and advertiser of fertilizers it’s fun to watch the Super Bowl advertisements. The nations biggest brands showcase their creative efforts. After watching the Ad by Doritos which “claims” that Doritos can bring your pets, plants, and grandfather back to life, I wondered how different the Super Bowl (and the ad industry) would be if all products being sold would have to adhere to the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculutre, Trade and Consumer Protection.


From the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection.
ATCP 40.02 Definitions
(18) “Labeling” means labels and other written, graphic or pictorial statements that accompany a fertilizer or a soil or plant additive, or that promote the sale or distribution of fertilizer or soil or plant additives. “Labeling” includes advertising and website materials that promote the sale or distribution of a fertilizer or soil or plant additive.
Like many manufactured goods, fertilizers are regulated for quality, this is done at the state level. Where does regulating for quality cross over to the ablity to regulate claims?
The Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO) is the national organization of fertilizer control officials from each state, Puerto Rico and Canada responsible for administering fertilizer law and regulation. AAPFCO ensures adequate labeling of fertilizers by establishing standard definitions for each fertilizer type. State control officials then test the nutrient content of fertilizers to ensure the mixture is consistent with these standards. This process protects consumers by making sure that the label on the fertilizer they purchase is consistent with its nutrient content. AAPFCO regulations also address the presence of naturally occurring metals in some fertilizers. At the end of the day each state still decides how their laws will be written and enforced.
What about a company that manufactures products sold in many states? If the soils are relatively similar in one field to the next does a fertilizer work differently just because one field is across an imaginary state line? Should the products that make food be held to a tougher standard than food (Think Activia) ?
Is the Wisconsin Department of Ag implying that farmers are generally dumber than the general public? Sure it’s obvious that Doritos can’t bring your grandpa back to life, but maybe I should try them in my garden this summer!

Recap of Bob Streit's Talk at ICCC


For those of you that missed hearing Bob Streit last week, here is a recap from the Fort Dodge Messenger



2011 crop challenges outlined

Controlling weeds, pests, diseases leading the list

February 6, 2011 - By KRISS NELSON, For The Messenger

FORT DODGE - There appears to be a trend in more growers applying residual pre-plant herbicides again, due not only to recent wet springs, which have hindered timely herbicide applications, but to help control the increasing problem of resistant weeds.


That assessment was offered by Bob Streit, an independent crop consultant, Monday to 20 producers attending his second of two presentations featuring crop challenges for 2011 at Iowa Central Community College.

"We are still seeing Roundup-resistant varieties being planted, but are also seeing a switch back to pre-plant herbicides," said Streit.

"Guys are learning they shouldn't have relied completely on Roundup as a (sole) means of weed control."

Streit recommended several products that can be used. He said that when it comes to deciding just which residual herbicide to use, figuring out the pH levels and the kind of weed pressure in one's field will help determine which will work best.

Fungicide use

Streit described fungi as simple plants without chlorophyll and no way to produce their own sugars. The most important factor, he said, is to understand what he calls the fungi triangle, which features three factors - susceptible host, conducive environment and pathogen; and with those three factors combined all together will equal disease.

Fungicides need to be used with caution, Streit warned, as diseases are being developed due to fungicide misuse.

"Too much selling and not enough education has been used," said Streit. "Never use strobes twice alone consecutively or twice alone in the same season."

According to Streit, people need to learn how the chemicals work, when the proper application should be and what should be added in the tank for extended protection.

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