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

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Application Decisions – Flexibility of SO4 and 98G

98G Application Photo

Using SO4 pelletized gypsum and 98G pelletized limestone in your fertility program allows flexibility when weather limits application season in the fall and spring. Using SO4 pelletized gypsum and 98G pelletized limestone in your fertility program allows flexibility when weather limits application season in the fall and spring.

Considerations for applying 98G

Ideally, 98G would be applied in the fall to initiate pH correction before spring planting occurs, but its rapid reactivity allows flexibility for spring application as well. Regardless of the season of application, one should consider how 98G is applied with respect to other field work. To maximize the efficiency of 98G, the pellets should be applied and allowed to begin breakdown via water (rain, dew, contact with soil) before being worked into the soil with a field cultivator or other tillage equipment in order to target the zone of active acidification — the top 4 inches of the soil profile.

If 98G is being applied for pH maintenance, it can be blended with other flat-rate, broadcast fertilizers to limit trips across the field, or placed into a split bin variable rate application. When the rate exceeds 200-400 lbs/A, it should be a standalone application.

Considerations for applying SO4

SO4 has several options from an application standpoint. Our general recommendation is that it be applied in spring with other soluble fertilizers, however, it can also be applied in the fall and remain available for crop sulfur needs come spring. SO4 can also be used as a rescue application in the spring where visual sulfur deficiency is present. SO4 can be applied any time after emergence and with the right amount of precipitation, will result in plant green up in less than a week. Because SO4 has a very low salt index relative to other fertilizers, it will not injure/burn young crops after broadcast application. 

Regardless of application scenario, SO4 works best when it is left on the soil surface. Since sulfate is an anion (negatively charged), it has potential to leach, and letting the product work from the surface downward will result in the best sulfate uptake efficiency. 

As with 98G, SO4 can also be blended with other fertilizers to maximize application efficiency. Oftentimes, SO4 is blended with a nitrogen source for sidedress application in the spring, and with phosphorus and potassium applications in the fall.

It should be noted that anytime SO4 or 98G are blended with other fertilizers, particularly those that attract moisture, the blend should go directly from the blending equipment to the spreader to minimize the amount of product degradation from added moisture. It is not recommended that liquid products be added to these blends because it can result in product breakdown and difficulty in the spreading operation.

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Implement 98G and SO4 Equations into Your VRT System

iStock Computer

One of our core beliefs at Calcium Products is to embrace technological advancements that aid growers in maximizing profits. We strive to integrate our products into these technologies wherever possible. One of our core beliefs at Calcium Products is to embrace technological advancements that aid growers in maximizing profits. We strive to integrate our products into these technologies wherever possible. 

Variable rate technology (VRT) allows growers to apply products at the right rate, right place, right time, and with the right source – the 4 R’s. Following the 4 R’s minimizes impact on the environment and maximizes a grower’s return on investment. We have worked for the past five years to develop, test, and refine product specific equations for 98G and SO4 to allow incorporation into VRT systems. 

Given the wide scope of the VRT software industry, we are able to work directly with retailers and/or software companies to make sure our equations are correctly incorporated into their specific VRT system. 

The best way to incorporate our equations into your VRT system is to simply reach out to me and get the conversation started. We will need to know which system you are using and who is responsible for entering equations. Once we gather this info, the process is generally very quick and seamless. We are happy to provide background on how the equations were developed and the equations themselves. We also offer calculators based on these equations that show how the equations provide recommendations prior to incorporation into the VRT system.

We have had tremendous success merging our product equations into customers’ VRT systems, which has helped put our products into consideration when talking with growers about maximizing soil fertility. We look forward to more of you reaching out to get this process started.

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Soil pH: The Foundation for Nutrient Availability

Low soil pH can reduce yield

Soil pH is considered by soil scientists to be a master variable that affects a wide range of chemical and biological processes in the soil. Low pH (below 6.0) can reduce your yield substantially. Nutrient availability is at the crux of this detrimental effect on yield. It’s important to know what is recommended by experts in your state with respect to target pH. Typically, most states in the Midwest recommend a pH of 6.0 – 6.5 to maximize yield while considering liming investment. 

Every nutrient’s availability is affected by soil pH

Soil pH is the foundation of and main governor of soil fertility. Every nutrient’s availability to plants and behavior in soil is affected by soil pH, some more so than others, which is why correcting and maintaining pH at adequate levels is so important.

pHScale Graphic 600x600

Phosphorous (P) availability is the nutrient most hindered by pH, because P is very reactive with other nutrients and minerals in the soil at varying pH levels. At high pH, P is attracted to calcium, while at low pH, P is attracted to aluminum and iron. In both cases, P binds with these elements to form less soluble compounds that plants have difficulty accessing in comparison to P availability in the right pH range.

Nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) are also affected by pH, but in a different way. At low pH, certain elements increase in levels found in the soil. This allows them to take space away from nutrients like N and K in the soil, leaving them susceptible to leaching from the soil profile.

Maintaining proper pH protects your fertilizer dollars

With the substantial investment you make on your fertility program, it should be clear to see why maintaining the right pH is essential to protecting your fertilizer investment. Further, crops need sufficient access to these nutrients in order to deliver maximum yield and return more on the investment.

MonthsAfterApplication Graphic 600x600

Traditionally, pH has been viewed as a 4-5 year program due to the slow reactivity of ag lime. With 98G, pH management can be shifted to a maintenance program with much smaller application rates (think 100-300 lbs/A) every year or every other year depending on your nitrogen fertilizer regimen. 

By being proactive about your soil pH, you are ensuring that no fertilizer dollar is wasted and a maximum yield can be attained each year.

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How to repair sodic soils

Sodium problems are becoming more widespread

Sodic soils are one of the most difficult challenges facing turf managers in areas where they exist. With the rise of effluent water use for golf course and athletic field irrigation, sodium problems are becoming more widespread than they were in the past. High levels of sodium create a toxic environment for plant health and destroy the physical structure of soils.

Sodium becomes a problem when it reaches levels that overwhelm the natural equilibrium of the soil. It causes soil clay particles to swell and disperse, causing soil pores to become blocked, limiting water infiltration and drainage of the soil. Plants trying to grow in sodic soils exhibit symptoms of drought due to excessive uptake of sodium and lack of water infiltration into the soil where roots normally grow.

Check out our document on using SO4 and 98G to manage sodium affected soils.

Del Norte High School in San Diego, California

Below are before and after photos of Del Norte High School's baseball field in San Diego, California. After extensive soil testing, it was identified that sodium levels were at toxic levels for quality turfgrass growth and that the Calcium/Magnesium ratios were dramatically off. 98G, our pelletized limestone, was applied at 10 lbs/1000 ft2 every three to four weeks from June to November for a total of about eight applications.

Below: Del Norte High School third base line in June 2016.

Del Norte 3rd Baseline Before

Below: Del Norte High School third base line in November 2016.

Del Notre 3rd Base Line After

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Meet our Updated Product Names and Logos

 

We have some exciting news to share! We are shortening our product names to 98G and SO4 and have created a new logo for each. Yes, we are retiring the “SuperCal” language in an effort to simplify the product names for more clear communication.

We are committed to growing brand recognition for 98G and SO4, and we’ll be updating materials over the next year.

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Can 98G and SO4 be Applied on Frozen Ground?

Frozen Ground

We are often asked about applying our products on snow-covered or frozen ground. While it may seem intuitive that products should not be applied to frozen ground, in general, applications can be made during late fall or winter and have similar considerations as other times of the year, such as water and ground conditions.

When determining if conditions are adequate to apply SO4 and 98G, keep these considerations in mind.

Potential for water runoff

Water influences movement of surface applied inputs. When water has potential to runoff and not infiltrate, then perhaps applications should be delayed.

Late fall and early winter before the ground is completely frozen can be a good time to make applications. As long as there’s not a substantial amount of snow on the ground (less than 6 inches), applications of 98G and SO4 can still be made. If snow comes early, there’s potential that it will slowly melt and start breaking down the product, which will help disperse the particles of the pellets and make them more effective come spring.

Even if the ground is completely frozen, applications can be made before too much snow accumulates. An extremely wet spring with multiple, heavy rain events can lead to water, and thus, product runoff and off-target effects, so paying attention to long range forecasting can help inform application decisions.

Slow snow melt and ground thaw is the best case scenario for products applied on frozen ground. Even if there is some runoff, it’s not likely that all of the product will be taken from where it was applied.

Soil tillage

Heavy or primary tillage (moldboard or chisel plow, ripper) is not a recommended practice after application of 98G or SO4. Application should be delayed until after these tillage practices have already occurred, due to non-uniform depth of application and the likelihood that the pellets will be placed too deep in the soil profile to affect meaningful pH adjustment.

If ground is not completely frozen, then there’s still a chance for the product to start working its way into the ground. SO4 should always be surface applied and left to release its nutrients from the surface, so if some tillage is expected after the application, it may be wise to delay application until spring after ground work has been completed. 98G can be incorporated via surface preparation, so the same considerations do not apply to both products in this case – incorporation can also reduce runoff potential for 98G.

Field slope

Slope of the field should also be considered; relatively flat ground is less susceptible to runoff events and will have more leeway with late fall and winter applications.

To summarize, frozen ground applications are acceptable if snowpack and slope are minimal – however, the risk of excess water in the spring and significant runoff are always present.

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Take the 98G Challenge – See How Your Aglime Stacks Up.

Challenge Blog Image

Do you know how effective your aglime is in changing soil pH?

Below are two photos comparing 98G, our pelletized lime product, to aglime being spread in a field near Boxholm, Iowa. The photos illustrate that the finest particles in aglime, although the most effective at changing soil pH, are subject to significant drift loss.

98G is pelletized for uniform distribution out of application equipment resulting in ideal spread and solubility. It also has the ability to be mixed with other dry fertilizers.

Learn more about the 98G Challenge and request an aglime sample collection kit.

 98G Lo Res

98G, October 18th, 5-10 mph winds.

 

Aglime Lo Res

Aglime, October 19th, 10-15 mph winds.

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Soil pH – The Foundation for Nutrient Availability

Soil pH Blog Image DRAFT1

Every nutrient's availability is affected by soil pH.

Soil pH is the foundation and main governing parameter of soil fertility. Every nutrient’s availability to plants is affected by soil pH – some more so than others – which is why correcting and maintaining soil pH at adequate levels is so important.

Phosphorous (P) availability is the most affected nutrient by pH because the chemistry of P is such that it loves to react with other minerals in the soil at varying pH levels. At high pH, P is very attracted to calcium, while at low pH, P is very attracted to aluminum and iron. When P reacts with calcium, aluminum, or iron, it forms insoluble compounds that plants cannot easily access.

Nitrogen (N) and Potassium (K) are also affected by pH, but not in the same way as P. At low pH, aluminum and iron increase in availability and “out-compete” nutrients like N and K in the soil, leaving N and K susceptible to leaching from the soil profile.

Maintaining proper pH protects fertilizer investments.

With the substantial investment made on N, P, and K fertility programs, it is easy to see why maintaining appropriate pH is paramount to protecting fertilizer investments. Further, crops need sufficient access to these nutrients in order to obtain maximum yield and further return the investment growers make on these important nutrients.

Our philosophy is that soil pH should be corrected and then maintained with yearly or every-other-year, lower rate applications to avoid the pH rollercoaster that can occur with 4- or 5-year aglime application regimens. Our product, 98G, is a pelletized lime that corrects and maintains soil pH. It’s easy to apply and works well in variable rate application programs.

By measuring and managing soil pH, you are ensuring that growers are set up for a high-yielding crop and fertilizer investments are being put to work.

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Let There Be Lime

In January 2015 Agriculture.com featured an article written by John Deitz, Let There Be Lime. The focus of the article is the how SuperCal products are helping producers in in Western Canada reclaim land and increase yields

Key Points from the Article:

  •  “If we can apply lime annually to a very small width of application within actual areas that need to be treated, we can drive annualized costs down to between 7% and 9% or lower than the amount the old methods would use,” Solberg says.
  • In 2013, ENR applied a 600-pound rate of SuperCal SO4 to about 200 acres of white, hard, grow-nothing land in southern Alberta that had 26% sodium. It harvested 80-bushel barley on the treated area.
  • The 400-pound applications of SuperCal 98G increased soil pH by about 0.6 and offered the best return – nearly 9 bushels per acre. Cost for the product and application was about $57 an acre.

You can download the article as a pdf

 

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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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!

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