Maximizing yield potential: A solution for all soil types

by | Mar 9, 2021 | Ag

One of the main benefits of 98G Pelletized Limestone and SO4 Pelletized Gypsum is that they are well suited to help all soil types. This is largely due to their solubility, but also because they benefit soil quality rather than degrade it.

On coarse-textured (sandy), low organic matter soils with low (10 and below) cation exchange capacity (CEC), 98G is beneficial because of its speed of reactivity. Low CEC soils have inherently low storage capacity, which impacts nutrients, but also the amount of active and reserve acidity they can store. This results in higher proportions of active vs. reserve acidity, which can fluctuate more rapidly compared to finer textured soils. Active acidity should be neutralized as quickly as possible and 98G is the right choice to accomplish that. Frequent, lower rate applications of 98G have been utilized by our dealers for years to combat active acidity in these soil types.

Additionally, sandy soils have a shorter window of application due to higher leaching potential. 98G is easily blended with other fertilizers and will not require a standalone application as aglime does.

On finer-textured (higher clay/silt content), higher organic matter soils with moderate to high CEC, 98G is also a great choice. It not only neutralizes active acidity but can also address reserve acidity more efficiently than aglime.

Most don’t think of 98G as a soil amendment in the sense that it contributes calcium to the soil to help improve soil quality – but once the product is solubilized and calcium is liberated from the carbonate as acidity is neutralized, it is available to help improve soil quality. Therefore, in these “tighter” (high clay) soils, added calcium from the 98G applications can help improve aggregate formation and stability. Further, 98G contains virtually no magnesium and will not increase the magnesium content of the soil, unlike dolomitic limestones which can compound soil quality issues. As with coarse-textured soils, 98G can be blended and applied with other dry fertilizers, limiting compacting trips across the field.

On coarse-textured (sandy), low organic matter soils with a low CEC (10 and below), SO4 has the right solubility and sulfur release to limit the potential for sulfate leaching. Other S fertilizers, like ammonium sulfate (AMS) and ammonium thiosulfate (ATS) solubilize rapidly, allowing S to be lost from the profile before plants can utilize it. This has been demonstrated with research conducted to evaluate the release of sulfur from different sulfur sources.

Traditional sulfur sources (AMS, ATS, elemental sulfur) acidify the soil as nutrients undergo conversion and leave hydrogen (H+) ions behind in the soil, impacting nutrient uptake and crop health/yield. SO4 is a pH neutral sulfur source and provides essential calcium for crop uptake that can be lacking in low CEC soils.

On finer-textured soils, SO4 provides calcium for crop nutrition (as in coarse-textured soils), but also provides calcium to help improve soil quality. As clays become dispersed in these types of soils (due to magnesium and other influences), adding soluble calcium can help restore the aggregation of clays in the soil, promoting improvements in soil structure – water infiltration, seedling emergence, overall tilth, etc.

SO4 has great application flexibility on finer-textured soils as well. It can be applied in the fall without the same leaching risks that come with AMS. Its’ solubility is also such that it can be spring applied on these soils, even as a topdress after emergence, and supply the right level of sulfur to meet crop needs and maximize yield. To expand flexibility, SO4 can also be blended with other fertilizers to keep application trips to a minimum.

Final Thoughts
It may sound too good to be true – but the solubility and performance that is engineered into each pellet of 98G Pelletized Limestone and SO4 Pelletized Gypsum make them well suited for all soil types, crops, and application scenarios.


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