Looking At All The Variables

looking at all the variablesIn my area of the country corn and soybean harvest is progressing very rapidly. Yields are all over the board with corn running anywhere from 23 to 200 bushels per acre having essentially rainfall.

I know of four different fields of corn nearby that were alfalfa last year and corn did not even make 30 bushel. Yet corn on bean ground in the same area has had highs of 160 to 200 bushels per acre. Normally the alfalfa sod ground would have the better yields. This year however, sub soil moisture was greatly reduced because of the alfalfa roots.

An example of this is a local dairy firmer who for several years has been getting 170 bushels on his alfalfa sod. This year it yielded only 23 bushels, while his other ground yielded 100 to 120 bushels.

Nitrogen - The Key Element

nitrogen - the key elementNitrogen is one of the most critical elements we need to manage very carefully in modern crop production. In Dr. Reams tapes on crop production he emphasizes the importance of nitrogen, and the roll of nitrogen in the formation of a cell.

Dr. Reams states that the base element of all biological cells start with nitrogen. If nitrogen is not available when a new cell is to be formed in a plant, the cell will not form and growth ceases. He also notes that nitrogen is the electromagnetic charged element that draws the other elements to it in order to start the formation of a new cell based on the genetic code in the DNA. Dr. Reams states that all cells, regardless of species or kind, require nitrogen for the budding of a new cell. This is why it is so important to maintain a constant, steady supply of nitrogen throughout the whole growing season.

Reams Rules

Reams Rules

Hi Folks,

This is Wendell Owens bringing this newsletter to you.

I haven’t written a newsletter for awhile so I need to get at it again. As you may or may not know I have been involved with International Ag Labs (IAL) for a long time. I started at IAL July 10, 1986. IAL was started by Doctor Dan Skow in 1976 as Skow Enterprises and when we incorporated, it became known as International Ag labs. We served international clients for awhile and then 9/11/01 happened and it became harder to get soil into the country. I have been farming since 1954 and still am farming with the help of my son-in-law and grandson.

Dr. Carey was Dr. Skow’s mentor and he wrote a few rules. I thought I would remind you of them, as following the rules brings best results. Believe me, they work well, so pay attention to them. When we give recommendations for soil tests, these are the rules we follow.

Residue Decomposition

residue-decomposition-newsletterInside This Issue

  • Residue Decomposition ...A Foundation for Success
  • Principles For Crop Residue Management Success
  • How Healthy Is Your Soil?





Taking A Good Look At Your Corn

Take A Good Look At Your Corn

It's time to be making preparations for fall fertilization programs, but before you begin it is a good idea to take a good look at your current crop.

Corn Production and Common Problems

This month we will focus on corn production and some of the common problems I have seen in my travels this summer.

It is never easy to assimilate all of the things you need to know to put a fertility program together for a successful crop. From what I have seen on my travels so far, many of you need to practice " see what you look at "--a famous quote of Dr. Reams. I am amazed at how so many farmers across this nation have lost their sensitivity to the things of nature. I think so many of you are so wrapped up with government programs, chemical selection and financial planning that you have lost your ability to really farm. The corn many of you raise is a long ways from what it should be even though you may have good yields. The kernels are shriveled, low in mineral content, and often mold easily.

The Concepts Of Energy And How It Affects Crop Growth

anions and cations - units of energyUnits of energy - anions and cations

It has been some time since we have had a newsletter on the concepts of energy and how energy affects crop growth. I have been reviewing Dr. Reams old notes and cassette tapes concerning energy principles, and felt this would be a good time to review them with you also.

First we must all understand that ultimately all energy originates from the sun. The sun, which is some 93 million miles from the earth, bombards the earth with very small, negatively charged particles of energy. These particles can travel through walls and buildings. Dr. Reams called these charged particles anions and defined a single anion as the smallest known particle of energy. He further stated that anions spin or rotate in a clockwise direction. The light you see when you burn something is anions being liberated from the mass. Mass is made up of atoms, and according to Dr. Reams concept of energy and plant growth, atoms are made up of anions and cations.

The High Cost Of Nitrogen

high cost of nitrogen

Nitrogen is probably the most important plant nutrient used by commercial farming operations today. The cost of producing nitrogen to society and your farming operation is very high. It takes approximately 33,000 BTU's of natural gas to produce a ton of commercial nitrogen. The result is an incredible waste of natural resources that could be used to heat the homes of future generations.

It was reported by practical farmers from Iowa that many corn plots across the state yielded more corn with 30-40 pounds of added nitrogen than fields having 150 pounds. I wonder how often this has happened on your farm without you knowing it. This could be a savings of $7-18 per acre on many farms.

This World of Ours

this world of oursFall is a good time to carefully watch your crop mature, study your moisture reserves, crop health, shape, size, thickness of stalks and leaves. One of the important points is watching the way a crop dries down. Corn and soybeans should have the ears and pods dry before the stalk and leaves dry down. If the stalk and leaves dry down first the grain cannot dry out properly. You end up with grain that doesn't keep. Sometimes the plant and grain doesn't dry at all. This is generally due to excessive nitrogen and not enough calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium.

Lack of available phosphate to plants

One of the biggest problems I see in crop production today is lack of available phosphate to plants. Phosphate is the key to unlock the path to true crop quality. Dr. Reams taught that all plant food should go into the plant in colloidal phosphate form in order to have nutritious strong healthy plants. This means we need phosphate that becomes available to the plant worked upon by the soil micro-biological system. It's true that a lot of elements can enter the plant and cell in non-phosphate form, but you end up with plants that are subject to insect damage and disease .

Tomatoes: Farm and Garden

tomatoesGrowing a quality tomato without the use - or with limited use - of herbicides and insecticides is a very challenging and difficult task

I recently visited with a tomato grower who had potato beetles in his tomatoes. The set plants came already infested with the beetle eggs. Once we got-enough energy in the soil and the brix reading high enough in the plants, the potato beetles marched right out of the field.

This approach to pest management is completely different from the spray insecticide approach. One of the main things that I emphasize in the winter seminars is monitoring the soil energy to keep the plants strong enough to resist pests and diseases. The test used to measure soil energy is called the Ergs test. This test involves taking equal measures of soil and deionized water, mixing them together and then taking a reading with the probe of a conductivity meter which determines the micromhos per centimeter.

Two Fields Compared

Problem being addressed

field comparisonA new client came to my office recently bringing two soil samples from two different fields. Each field consisted of 65 acres and has been in corn soybean rotation for ten plus years. The fields have been ridge-tilled since 1980.

Soil samples on these fields have been tested every year for over 20 years. The test results come back nearly the same each year with fertilizer recommendations also the same for each field. This had the owner a little concerned.

Every time the soils have been tested he has told the fertilizer people that field #1 always has 30-40 bushels less corn than field #2, yet both fields get the same fertilizer recommendations.

When he asked me to run a test I quizzed him about drainage conditions. He feels the fields are equal. The slope and soil types are identical. He also said this problem has existed for 30 years and no one has been able to tell him why.

Wendell Owens

of International Ag Labs

Wendell Owen

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