Correcting the Cause
There is no doubt that fertilizers play a pivotal role in crop production. As crop production increases, the demand for enhanced fertilizer efficiency is critically important to the profitability of the farmer. There are many factors which contribute to a farmer’s fertilizer use efficiency. Planting date, seed selection, fertilizer rates, timing, and placement along with the complex relationships between various sources of fertilizers have been extensively studied to produce a greater fertilizer use efficiency. There is, however, another component of fertilizer use efficiency which remains a bit of an unknown to mainstream farming. The inefficient cycling of soil’s nutrient pool and organic manures can often limit production and increase the demand for additional fertilizer.
As farming evolves to correct these inefficiencies, we have begun to see new products introduced to address nutrient cycling. Farmers are beginning to look closely at biological products and the benefits they provide for nutrient cycling and converting the inorganic pool into an organic pool available for plant uptake. Biological products, however, require specific environmental conditions (oxygen) and robust species richness for success.
Many biological products currently on the market seek to isolate specific microbial species to be utilized for a very specific response (i.e. Mycorrhizal fungi, rhizobium, residue digesters). Due to the great diversity and richness of microbial communities in the soil, this approach may be critically flawed and inefficient. The shotgun approach to biological products proves far more efficient due to the richness and diversity of microbes which can be applied to the soil.
The soil environment is in constant flux. Across the field and throughout the season, soils change. As a result, soil microbial communities change. With such a large variation in soil conditions and microbial communities it stands to reason that biological inoculants should also strive for diversity. Introducing diverse or rich biological products allows various microbial communities to activate based on the changing soil conditions. As the microbial communities develop and expand, they begin building diversity in the soil. It is this diversity which the farmer seeks. As theses microbes improve the nutrient cycling of the soil and increase the soil’s nutrient use efficiency as well as the fertilizers nutrient use efficiency.
Correcting the cause of poor nutrient cycling and low fertilizer use efficiency is thus quite simple. Create the proper soil environment for the proliferation of soil microbes and inoculate with a highly diverse and species-rich biological innoculant. Often simply establishing these biological fundamentals can enhance your nutrient use efficiency and gain you a higher return on your investment as well as a bump in your yield.
The soil environment is in constant flux. Across the field and throughout the season, soils change.
The following are general recommendations for reducing soil compaction, improving the overall structure of your soil, and increasing the nutrient use efficiency of the soil via diverse microbes. THESE ARE GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS it is important to work directly with the Soil Works staff and/or with a trained Soil Works distributor to correctly diagnose your field. Every farm, field and soil type are different, please contact us directly to provide you with the optimum program for your operation. Application rates may vary depending upon your penetrometer readings.
90-120 grams GSR Dormant Calcium
2-4 lbs Pure Cane Sugar
2-4 lbs Micronized Soft Rock Phosphate
2-4 gallons Fish Fertilizer
10-15 gallons Bio-5 Soil Conditioner
- Product is intended to be applied post-harvest mixed with water at a minimum application rate of 20 gallons/acre. MORE WATER IS RECOMMENDED. Optimum efficacy is achieved when soil applied and immediately followed with irrigation or before precipitation.
- Direct soil contact is recommended. Enhanced efficacy is achieved when the soil is tilled to a depth of one inch below the aerobic zone or following vertical tillage.
- If applying over a layer of dense mat of crop residue, the products efficacy may be reduced. As the residue decomposes the products applied may be utilized for residue decomposition rather than soil remediation. Multiple dosages may be required as well as increasing the amount of water applied with the product which can help the product reach the soil. Please consult directly with the Soil Works staff before application.
- Application rates vary based on needs of the individual field or soil type. High CEC soils with excess Magnesium and/or Potassium require higher rates for optimum efficacy. Please consult directly with a trained professional for customized application rates.