Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: September 2012
Calcium Product 98G


Calcium Products - Items filtered by date: September 2012

145 million years in the making

Often I am asked about our source of gypsum and what makes it so special. I thought I would take this opportunity to share a piece of history with you.

SuperCal SO4 is derived from calcium sulfate dihydrate or, for you chemistry fans, CaSO4*2H20. One of the purest gypsum deposits in the world, happens to be found in a very small region of Webster County, IA, near Fort Dodge.

According to Raymond Anderson in his piece, Fort Dodge Gypsum: A Salt from Iowa’s Jurassic Sea, ”this deposit, part of the Jurassic-age Fort Dodge Formation (about 145 million years old), comprises one of the most pure gypsum deposits known on Earth.”

Anderson went on to explain, “The gypsum at Fort Dodge, like most commercial-scale deposits, had its origins in the evaporation of seawater from a restricted shallow basin. Water from the Jurassic-age Sundance Sea passed over a low-lying barrier into the basin, where the mineral salts became concentrated by evaporation in the hot semi-tropical sun. When the brine became sufficiently concentrated, gypsum crystals formed and settled to the floor of the basin.”

Check out Anderson’s article; it provides an interesting look back at one of Iowa’s most valuable natural resources and gives more insight into why our SuperCal SO4 is so pure!


How will dry soil conditions alter your soil tests?

I read a great piece in titled “Nutrient management related to dry soil conditions" and wanted to share it. A few key points I'm quoting from the piece:

  • Unfortunately if dry soil conditions continue, soil samples taken this fall (if the ground is soft enough to get a sample) may provide misleading results for K. Soil test K has been shown to vary substantially with dry conditions. 
  • Soil pH measurements are also affected by dry soil conditions. With a dry season and poor plant growth much of the fertilizer added this spring and last fall remains in the 8-inch sampling zone. Higher than normal salt (fertilizer) levels affect the way the pH electrode functions and will produce a pH reading about 0.5-1.0 pH units lower than the actual pH. In addition, soil moisture has been insufficient for normal amounts of limestone reaction in soils limed this spring or last fall. Therefore, soil pH measured this fall will be lower than expected. The lime remains in the soil, however, and when moisture returns it will increase soil pH as expected. Re-testing this fall and adding more lime based on a low soil pH measurement may result in excessively high pH in future years.

My response: while lime needs moisture to react, the reaction speed of limestone is based on lime source and particle size more than anything. Finely ground calcitic limestone will react much faster than coarse ground calcitic, and much faster than dolomitic, even when ground ultrafine. Finely ground lime like SuperCal 98G should be left on the surface and worked in by moisture only; do not work it in, especially in a dry year. This will make sure proper dissolution of the lime. 

Read more of the article here.


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, the blogronomist and VP of sales and marketing at Calcium Products. Find other articles by Craig and guest writers at


The most combines harvesting at once - ever! had a fun story yesterday about a record that was broken up in Canada — the most combines harvesting simultaneously ever. They had more than 245 combines on one field!

It happened in Saskatchewan and it was an effort for the Harvest For Kids program. Harvest For Kids has worked on this record before; they previously held the record with 208 combines at once. 

The project was planned to bring farmers together, raising money for and giving hope to kids.

Click on over to the story and check out the photos of the event. It's pretty cool to see that many combines lined up!


Welcome Andrew Hoiberg to our team!



Maintained by our team of experts, we have a wide array of blog articles from our experts and guests on topics related to soil and crop health, farming and growing tips, and so much more. If it’s not here, ask us!

  1. Categories
  2. Archives