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Calcium Product 98G


Iowa Soybean Association Spotlights Limestone

The Iowa Soybean association in its weekly On-Farm Advance newsletter discussed limestone last week. Overall we thought the article was good, the more information the better. Also Dr. Blackmer did an excellent job in his presentation at the annual conference, which we encourage you to look at.  There were a couple of items in the newsletter we wanted to address. See our comments below italicized.
Lime is an added cost that farmers incur on a routine schedule. If you are using N, then you should be applying the equivalent offsetting amount of lime each year to maintain proper balance. Saying lime is an added cost is like saying N or seed is an added costs. It should be a necessary and important first step in any fertility plan. Why put on more P on a 5.0 pH soil? 50% of all soil P is unavailable at that pH.
Different liming products affect soil pH differently. Because they go into solution at different rates.
When buying liming products, be sure you know the composition relative to calcium carbonate (the Calcium Carbonate Equivalent). CCE is based on a laboratory standard (AOAC 955.01) this test has no relation to how a lime material will react in the soil. This is calculated by the fineness of the material as well as its chemical makeup. ECCE is the test which is calculated using a fineness factor and the CCE which is the chemical makeup. However it does not give adequate credit for a finely ground lime material. In Iowa the test stops at 60 mesh, though testing shows solubility of a 60 mesh is very low versus 100 mesh lime and thus the 100 mesh is much more effective at changing pH.  
Also remember that surface applied lime will work more slowly to neutralize H ions in the soil than lime that is mixed into the soil profile by tillage. While you do get some soil to lime particle contact and could increase the speed a lime will react, the main component of how fast a lime will go to work is rate of dissolution. This is governed by the geological structure of the lime and the particle size of the lime.
For us at Calcium Products, Inc, is very important that the correct terms are used in liming (ECC vrs ECCE, etc.). There is much confusion in the market place and I believe it is partly due to people not being specific in what they are talking about and partly because lime as always been an after-thought.  Our aim is to correct this, lime should be a foundation crop nutrition product and since we think about lime at least 50% of the time (gypsum the other 50% of our time, of course!) we can focus on it and make sure it gets explained properly.
Thanks again to the ISA’s On-Farm Network Staff for the great information and getting people to think about lime!
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

Sulfur in soybeans

The Iowa Soybean On-Farm Network just sent out an email reporting some data from their trials with our SuperCal SO4. Check out their message:

Sulfur Trials Show Varied Response

There’s been much discussion of sulfur deficiency in Iowa in recent years, but few farmers have actually observed it in their field.

For the past 3 years, growers working with the On-Farm Network® have been using replicated strip trials to look at sulfur-containing fertilizers in an attempt to determine whether these can bring up yields on fields where soil type, management and other conditions might make them prone to sulfur deficiency. We would not expect to see a response on fields where manure has been used recently, or, in general, on soils with more than 2% organic matter content.

Shown here are photos from one of the trial fields in 2011, where visual differences were observed early in the growing season. The field is located in Black Hawk County, with a mix of mostly Finchford, Sparta, Dickinson and Chelsea sandy loam soils. 

Individual plant photos here were typical for the differences between the treated and untreated strips. Aerial imagery in early July and again in August continued to show differences between the strips. It’s quite easy to pick out the strips in these images.

The visual differences seen in this particular trial were greater than those from other 2011 trials. Soil and tissue sample analysis in August showed that sulfur levels for both were higher in the treated strips than in the untreated strips in most of the trials. Yield response for all trials with sulfur products ranges from 2 to nearly 8 bu. per acre. We expected to see a difference in the trial pictured because of the sandy, low organic matter soils.

Click here for additional information on 2011 crop nutrient trials. When the new screen opens, scroll down the page to the Plant Nutrition section.



Kip Culler's New Soybean record


 In case you missed it over at DTN, Kip Cullers breaks another soybean yield record 160.6 bushels per acre!

Way to go Kip!


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 .


Boron, Micronutrient - Macro Benefit

The details are always hardest to manage. It’s getting the small things right that determine whether we are successful or not. While it is important to have  proper soil pH and available calcium. Many farmers overlook the small details; like understanding that micronutrients are the catalysts for big yield gains. Boron is the catalyst that makes calcium, nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorus, carbon, and potassium more available to your crop.

Only a few of Earth's naturally occurring chemical elements make up living matter. Just six of them; carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous and sulfur, make up for 99% of all living tissues. Nevertheless, other minerals or trace elements are crucial for all vital functions even if this may be in extremely low dosages. Some of these, such as iron, copper, cobalt, zinc or manganese, are required by all living forms. Boron is one of those crucial elements, proven essential for the structure of plants.

Any soil test you conduct should be a complete soil test such as Midwest Labs S3C test. That test includes, base saturation, including sodium, and a full micronutrient package. In many of the tests we look at, we see more and more test coming back with very low boron readings. Boron has been much overlooked in the past, but many are discovering the benefits of this micronutrient.

Boron Function

Adequate boron nutrition is critical for high yields and quality crops. The main functions of boron relate to cell wall strength and development, cell division, fruit and seed development, sugar transport, and hormone development. Boron affects sugar transport in plants, flower retention, pollen formation, and germination. Boron is needed in protein synthesis and is associated with increased cellular activity that promotes maturity, increases flower set, and fruit yield and quality. Boron also affects nitrogen and carbohydrate metabolism and water and sap flow in the plant.

Photosynthesis transforms sunlight energy into plant energy compounds such as sugars. For photosynthesis to continue, the sugars must be moved away from the site where they are made and stored or used to make other compounds. Boron increases the rate of transport of sugars to actively growing regions and to developing fruit (grain). Boron is essential for providing sugars which are needed for root growth in all plants and also for normal development of root nodules in legumes such as alfalfa, soybeans and peanuts.

Since boron is non-mobile in plants (like calcium), a continuous supply from the soil is required in all plant growing points. In mineral soils, release of boron is usually quite slow. Much of the available soil boron is held rather tightly by soil organic material. As organic matter decomposition occurs, boron is released with a portion being absorbed by plants, some leaching below the root zone area (especially in acid soil), or tied up under alkaline soil conditions.

Boron Deficiency and Excess

Boron deficiencies are found in acid soil, sandy soils, soils with low organic matter, and in regions of high rainfall. Borate ions (soluble boron) are mobile in soil and can be leached from the root zone. Boron availability also decreases on heavy clay and high pH soils. Soils with a high pH (at 7.5 pH boron becomes fixed) or which have just been heavily limed, have a limited amount of boron available for plant growth. Boron deficiencies are more pronounced during drought periods when root activity is restricted.



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!


Phytophthora Root Rot and Gypsum

With all the saturated fields we had this past spring many farmers found large patches of soybean fields dying out. This is known as dampening off or Phytophthora root rot.
Did you know you have options other than replanting… if you start now with fall fertility.
Current recommendations to control root rot are:

Choosing the right variety
Improve soil drainage
Fungicide seed treatments can be used to reduce the early season damping off
Avoid applying high levels of potash


Many growers will not want to reduce their applied potash for fear of yield loss, fungicides have shown to help, tilling can improve drainage, and the variety that may yield the best under normal conditions may not have resistance to root rot.
What if there was a product that could improve soil drainage, making tile work better, add nutrients to increases soybean yields, and helps with potash uptake? What if you could replace a fertilizer you are already using and it costs less?
Lucky for you there is, its called SuperCal So4 pelletized gypsum. You can use it as your primary sulfur source since it has 17% sulfur in the sulfate form. That means it works right away in any pH. SuperCal SO4 help drainage tile works better, increases yields, and increases nutrient uptake.
While no University is currently doing any research on reducing root rot on soybeans with gypsum, lots are looking at gypsum on other crops. Gypsum has shown to reduce root rot on many other crops.

Root Rot in Avocado
Infection of avocado seedlings by Phytophthora cinnamomi in infested soil was decreased by 71% by the addition of gypsum soil amendments in replicated greenhouse experiments. 
From: Effects of Gypsum Soil Amendments on Avocado Growth, Soil Drainage, and Resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi. B. J. Messenger, J. A. Menge, and E. Pond, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521

Red Stele in Strawberries  
Gypsum applied at 6 tons/acre either in the fall or spring prior to planting strawberries significantly reduced the incidence and severity of red stele (Red stele is caused by the soil borne fungus Phytophthora fragariae) in the spring, one year after planting compared to untreated soil. The severity of red stele remained significantly lower in plots amended with gypsum applied at 6 tons/acre in the spring, compared to untreated plots for up to 2 years after  application.
From:  Effect of rate and timing of gypsum soil amendments on the incidence and severity of red stele in strawberries  M.J. Celetti,  C. Kessel, P. Fisher, J. DeEl, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Guelph, Ontario; Simcoe, Ontario
Note: Customers of ours have reported better results with 300# of SuperCal SO4 than 3 tons of gypsum sourced on the west coast.

Raspberry -- Root Rot
Cause: Root rot is a major disease complex of raspberry in the Pacific Northwest. Many fungi and fungus-like microorganisms associated with cane fruit root rots are associated with strawberry black root rot. Phytophthora fragariae var. rubi causes a typical wet-soil root rot on some red raspberry cultivars throughout the region. 
Cultural Control: Amend soil with gypsum (6 tons/A) before making raised beds and planting.
Note: Customers of ours have reported better results with 300# of SuperCal SO4 than 3 tons of gypsum sourced on the west coast.
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!

98G, pH, and Tillage Influence on Soybean and Corn Yield


A number of South Dakota soils are developing lower pH surface soils primarily due to the acidifying effect of added nitrogen. Two adjacent studies at the Aurora Farm (Brandt loams) were established to adjust soil pH by either lime or sulfur additions to determine the long term effect of soil pH on corn and soybean yield under both conventional and no-till systems.


SO4 vs. Cal-Sul on Soybean

The 'SO4 versus Cal-Sul broadcast on soybeans' study evaluates these products' ability to enhance soybean seedling vigor, stand establishment and yield response. An 80-acre field was planted with soybean variety Pioneer 92BO5 (141,000 seeds per acre) and  SO4 at 300 lbs/A and 500 lbs/A versus Cal-Sul at 300 lbs/A and 500 lbs/A applied broadcast in 44 foot wide strips, 1,200 feet long. Strips were alternated in six replicates and comparisons were tracked throughout the growing season until harvest.


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