anything wrong with using calcium nitrate? Less is more?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I just got off the phone with a guy that sells soil biologicals. After reading to him every detail of my soil analysis report, he called me back and recommended that I fertilize my all grass pastures with 60 pounds of calcium nitrate per acre. This works out to about 9 pound of N per acre. I pointed out that many folks had told me that the norm for a grass pasture is 60 pounds of N (BTW- my pasture currently has 2 pounds of N per acre). His response is that calcium nitrate is better absorbed my the plants and that there is less leaching, etc. With most other forms of N, 80% or more never makes it to the plant.
These guys sell bio-goop, they don't sell fertilizer.
I want to beleive this, cuz it will seriously cut my fertilizer bill. The guy has heaps of credentials.... Does anybody have any information that will back this up?
-- Paul Wheaton (email@example.com), April 12, 2002
It appears that google does.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2002.
North Dakota researchers compared the winter leaching and movement through the soil of calcium nitrate, ammonium sulfate and urea, all of which were applied in the fall.
Nitrate molecules have a negative charge that is similar to that of the soil particles. Therefore they are not held tightly by the soil.
Molecules of ammonium-based fertilizers are held more tightly by most soils. Therefore, the loss of nitrate can be greatly reduced by use of ammonium-based fertilizers such as anhydrous ammonia, says Bauder.
Although the soil was wet when the fertilizers were applied, the ammonium sulfate and urea did not leach below the top 12 inches of soil. However, although winter precipitation was far short of the soil-storage capacity, nitrate from calcium nitrate was recovered five feet deep in the spring. This indicates that nitrate-based nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied to well-drained soils in the fall, especially in high-precipitation areas.
-- BC (email@example.com), April 12, 2002.
Did he call you? Hang up & don't waste your money on his snake oil.
It's difficult to apply NH3 (AA) to grass & preserve the smooth field, but any of the regular granular N sources will do fine. 60# is about right for average hay & soil conditions. Apply right be4 a rain so it gets soaked in, & not evaporate into the air.
-- paul (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 13, 2002.
I've been trying to figure out how to fertilize my pastures for weeks now. I have over a hundred hours of research tied up in this.
I am beginning to get pretty weary.
I called this outfit based on a recommendation of a neighbor. This is one of those places that grows microbials for consuming your compost and the kinds of microbials that occur naturally in healthy soils. I thought that through good pasture management, the microbials would eventually return to my soils naturally (I'm convinced that they are nearly extinct now). This outfit offers a shortcut, but at a price. And since they were so knowledgable and familiar with organic approaches, and they offered to do it for free, I gave them my soil analysis info and they made a fertilization recommendation. Only the information was radically different than what I had learned to that point. So I'm interested, but skeptical.
I think I'm going to start a new thread to take a much broader approach to answering the bigger question: fertilizing my pasture....
-- Paul Wheaton (email@example.com), April 13, 2002.