Calcium Products - Displaying items by tag: gypsum
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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Natural vs. Synthetic Gypsum

Synthetic Gypsum

What is Gypsum?
Gypsum is a mineral that has been used in agriculture for a long time. Its chemical name is calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4 • 2H2O). It provides a sulfur source in the plant available form, sulfate, and provides calcium – both essential nutrients in crop production.

SO4 is naturally mined gypsum
SO4 is pelletized from gypsum that is naturally mined in northwest Iowa. Gypsum deposits were left behind when inland seas that used to cover Iowa dried up and receded.

Synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of burning coal
In contrast, synthetic gypsum (photo above) is a byproduct of burning coal. This source is commonly referred to as synthetic or flue gas desulfurized (FGD) gypsum. Power plants have ‘scrubbers’ that control emissions from their flue stacks. The process in its entirety is called flue gas desulfurization.

In short, these scrubbers filter by forcing sulfur dioxide and calcium carbonate (limestone) to react with one another, which creates calcium sulfite (CaSO3). Most power plants also use an additional step called ‘forced oxidation,’ whereby the calcium sulfite is oxidized to calcium sulfate, or synthetic gypsum. The resulting moist material is either landfilled or used in various industries around the U.S. – wallboard for instance. 

Challenges with synthetic gypsum
There are a few challenges with synthetic gypsum worth considering:
1. Coal contains heavy metals, which are generally isolated in the scrubbing process but occasionally can end up in the synthetic gypsum, raising obvious concerns about agricultural applications.
2. In bulk form, the material contains high moisture levels, making it difficult to spread and manage. As a result, recommended application rates are in the 1,000+ lbs/A range, which can create imbalance in the soil. These rates lack scientific evidence supporting their use in Midwest agriculture.
3. The purity of synthetic gypsum is only as good as the starting feedstock (limestone) and the system that produces it, creating highly variable chemical characteristics. Because of its synthetic/by-product nature, it will never be registered for organic use.

Synthetic gypsum is difficult and expensive to pelletize due to its fine particle size and requires the use of specialized binders and additives. This results in slow breakdown and activity in the field.

In summary, natural gypsum is mined from the earth while synthetic gypsum is a byproduct of burning coal. SO4 is pelletized, natural gypsum. It’s consistent pellet size allows it to blended and applied with other dry fertilizers.

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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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What is SuperCal SO4?

Over the past few weeks, people have asked is what is SuperCal SO4?

SuperCal SO4 is pelletized gypsum, however we put in a crazy amount of extra time and effort to ensure our products are highly effective. We call it the SuperCal Advantage and it consists of three components

Purity                          Particle Size                       Precision 

Purity

SuperCal SO4 is a true dihydrate gypsum mined from one of the purest sources of gypsum on earth. Many people think, gypsum is gypsum, however science shows us this is just not so. Check out this test from Pace Turf .

gypusm bars

We’ve also spent extra time and effort to test many sources of gypsum, and none compare to SuperCal.

Particle Size Matters

When it comes to mined gypsum, none are ground finer prior to pellitization than SuperCal. The combination of purity and particle size results in the highest dissolution rates in the industry.

Why I am telling you this?

Gypsum is a rock, and if you cannot get it to dissolve in the soil solution it won’t work. Gypsum, limestone and fertilizer all must dissolve in the soil solution to be effective! Large particles don’t react in enough time for you to see benefit from it.

We Pelletize for Precision

The reason we pelletize is to ensure our very pure, finely ground SuperCal SO4 spreads evenly for maximum effectiveness. With nearly 30 years in the industry, we have perfected a formulation resulting in low dust and precise spreading on every acre. Poorly applied product costs the grower yield.

A study from Virginia Tech confirms what the farmer knows, “The results of this research proved conclusively that non–uniform application of fertilizers resulted in less total yield than uniformly applied fertilizers even though the same total rate per acre had been applied in each case. The loss in yield due to lower than recommended rates of application far exceeded the slight increase in yield obtained from excess application over the recommended rate.”

clumps stipes  

 Whether its wet or dry, bulk gypsum won’t spread well.

The other issue with finely ground gypsum is drift loss. The chart below was developed from a USDA program that was developed to predict the motion of spray material released from various devices connected to an aircraft. Values and assumptions were modified to match that of a dry material in a rotary spreader in an agricultural setting.

drift

 Based on this work, you could see up to 25% or more drift from a bulk applied product. The finer and dryer a product, the farther and greater the drift!

Only SuperCal SO4 ensures you the highest quality, most effective product in the market, backed by over 20 years of success and farms all across North America.

Here is one mutli-year study by Iowa State. Wider yield differences were experienced early in the study due to application on known sulfur deficient soils. Regardless, the consistent yield improvements speak for themselves.

 

ISU Trial data

For farmers that demand consistent repeatable responses from their inputs, SuperCal SO4 is the only market proven product. If you still have questions, give anyone of our staff a call!

More Helpful Links:

SuperCal SO4 Product Page

More Test Plot Results

Product Videos

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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Carboxylic acid . . . is it worth the price?

Carboxylic acids are added to some gypsum products to act as a ‘complexing agent.’ One of the claims is that these acids make the calcium ‘more available’ for plant uptake.

For the calcium and sulfur to be plant available it needs to be in the soil solution. Using a simple test, one can determine how soluble a product is. Our research has shown that SuperCal SO4 is more soluble than products containing expensive carboxylic acids.

 

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Considering FGD gypsum? Read this...

Many farmers are confused about gypsum sources. Are they all the same? Our testing has shown that like limestone, not all gypsum is the same. One of the newest “gypsumsources to come on the market recently is Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) from coal combustion.

Here are some excerpts from this long research paper by Western Kentucky University. My notes are in bold:

  • Coal contains small amounts of toxic metals. Some of these metals are captured in FGD gypsum.
  • Wet FGD technologies can remove highly soluble oxidized mercury (from burning coal); about 85%-90% of the mercury can be captured in wet FGD gypsum.
  • Therefore, mercury content in FGD gypsum is of major concern in FGD by-products.
  • Mercury is more volatile than other elements and can readily evaporate into the atmosphere.
  • It has been reported that mercury in the soil can emit into the atmosphere and be absorbed by plants.
  • Mercury in the soil also can be up taken by plants.
  • When it comes to mercury distribution in plants, the mercury concentration in the stem is much lower than in leaves and roots. (Mercury is up to 6 times higher in the leaves and roots than stems.)
  • When a plant defoliates, the leaves fall down, and mercury enters the soil and is absorbed by the plant’s roots.
  • Mercury in the plant’s roots stays in the plant’s roots.
  • More FGD added leads to more mercury in the soil. (30% to 300% depending on depth sampled.)
  • Over dosage of FGD gypsum resulted in a negative effect on growth of tall fescue.
  • Mercury could also poison the roots, leading to low yield.
  • Plants may absorb mercury because the mercury size and valence state is similar to plant nutrients.
  • It could be inferred that mercury penetrated into the subsoil and finally leached out of the soil.   
  • The mercury concentration in FGD gypsum is 300 ppb. The initial mercury concentration in the soil is 28 ppb. Mercury in seed is 65 ppb. (This means in a standard application of 1 ton of FGD you are applying 3# of Mercury.)
  • One possible reason for the increase is that mercury species in FGD gypsum was in ionic form, and therefore is able to dissolve in the water
  • Using water evaporation as a mode of transportation, mercury was released from the soil.
  • With the increased addition of FGD gypsum, more mercury was dissolved in the water, and thereby more mercury evaporated into the atmosphere. (8-15% of applied mercury vaporized into the atmosphere. The higher the application rate the more that evaporated into the atmosphere.)
  • FGD gypsum only affected the H+ concentration in the soil at massive doses, which is most probably due to unreacted CaCO3 in the FGD gypsum. (In this study (page 51) large amounts of gypsum raised pH significantly. This suggests the conversion of the limestone and sulfides to gypsum is not a stable conversion and could cause soils to be “over-limed” in already high pH soils.)
  • In this field study, the FGD gypsum used had the same mercury concentration as that of mined gypsum.
  • The mercury concentration of the whole stalk was higher in FGD gypsum plots than the mined gypsum plots.
  • The FGD gypsum mercury may be more easily absorbed by the plant than mined gypsum.

I leave you with this... SuperCal SO4 is naturally mined gypsum, has no heavy metals and had been proven effective.

 

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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I apply ag grade potassium...

How many farmers or dealers are applying a coarse ag grade, phosphorite, Kainite, or sylvinite

The answer is, almost none.

Why? Because highly efficient plant-available sources are available. While the cost of these products on a per ton basis is many times higher than the ore they are derived from, the per acre cost is lower due to the efficiencies gained through the processing and pelletizing or granulation of these materials. This makes the product less expensive and more effective on a per acre basis than shipping and applying many tons of a low grade ore.

Wouldn't it be great if there was someone who manufacted a highly efficient, very pure lime or gypsum product?

Lucky for the farmer there is. SuperCal 98G is the highest quality, highest efficiency liming material avaialble for agriculture. SuperCal SO4 is the country's most effective gypsum product.

Call us, we can show you how to increase yields while decreasing costs!

 

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 blog.calciumproducts.com.

 

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Using Gypsum in Center-Pivot Irrigation and Fertigation

We currently do not recommend SuperCal SO4 for fertigation since is it is only crushed to 70% passing 100 mesh, so we cannot guarantee that it will pass though all irrigation openings. With that said we are aware of some farmers that are doing this practice and we have received a number of phone calls from other farmers interested in this process this year.

Fertigation with gypsum

Applying fertilizers such as gypsum through a center pivot irrigation system affords many benefits to the crop, soil and grower. It is required that the fertilizer being used is fully soluble and/or will stay in suspension during the irrigation process. Mixtures of gypsum and water may have to be agitated for up to an hour to assure that the gypsum is fully solubilized and is in suspension. Continued agitation through the irrigation process is recommended.   

The practical challenges of injecting gypsum relate to plugging up the system. The most immediate incidence of gypsum plugging occurs either when more gypsum is injected than can be dissolved into the irrigation stream or when not enough time is allowed between the injection of the slurry and its arrival at the system filter. In either case undissolved gypsum coats the filter and plugs it. This can be overcome by reducing the concentration rate of the injection and, when possible, by moving the injection point farther upstream from the filter.

Perhaps the most common plugging problem associated with gypsum injections is lime scale formation. Lime scale (calcium carbonate) is formed when calcium ions (either naturally present in the source water or added as calcium sulfate in gypsum) combine with naturally occurring bicarbonates in the water.

Water quality is also important in maintaining the solubility of the fertilizers. When we dissolve gypsum into water that contains appreciable (100 mg/L or greater) amounts of bicarbonates and has a pH of 7.0 or greater, we are setting up a system to actively precipitate calcium carbonate (lime scale). When dealing with waters with high potential for lime scale formation (high total alkalinity), it may be more cost effective to seek methods of applying calcium to the vineyard other than through irrigation injection.

Gypsum may be injected without the worry of lime scale formation if the pH and the bicarbonate (often expressed as total alkalinity) levels of the water are low enough. If the natural water is too high in either of these two factors, it can be modified with the injection of sulfuric acid prior to the gypsum injection point, effectively reducing the total alkalinity and pH.

Fertigation using gypsum can help to flush sodic soils of high sodium concentrations that have built up over time from using irrigation waters that are high in sodium. The Ca in the gypsum will replace the Na on the soil exchange complex allowing the irrigation waters to flush the sodium through the soil profile. You need to apply enough water to exceed the evaporation needs of the crop to assure downward movement of water through the soil profile and past the root zone in order to move the salts out of the profile.

Fertigation also reduces soil compaction as it reduces the number of trips across the field with heavy equipment. It allows for timely application of nutrients when they are needed by the crop and nutrients can be uniformly applied across a field.

As far as rates for gypsum, it will all be determined by your calcium and sulfur needs. The benefit of fertigation is a grower can spoon feed the nutrients and time his applications. Applying a low rate several times will really help when the nutrient solubility is low.

 

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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Agronomist Reactions to The Soils Conference

On Jan 24th and 25th Calcium Products held a soil and fertility conference for its dealers and professional agronomist. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the program.

 

 

We had a great turn out and would like to thank everyone who came out. Escpecially the speakers and those that contributed to the video footage!

You can see more vidoe of the conference here.

View the presentations here.

In the next few weeks we will have all of the presentations on our YouTube page. We'll let you know as soon as it's posted!

Read more...

Agronomist Reactions to The Soils Conference

On Jan 24th and 25th Calcium Products held a soil and fertility conference for its dealers and professional agronomist. Here is what some of the attendees had to say about the program.

 

 

We had a great turn out and would like to thank everyone who came out. Escpecially the speakers and those that contributed to the video footage!

You can see more vidoe of the conference here.

View the presentations here.

In the next few weeks we will have all of the presentations on our YouTube page. We'll let you know as soon as it's posted!

Read more...
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