Understanding Your Soil

understanding your soilWhy change my current farming fertility practices?

Every once in a while I am asked why should I bother to change my current farming fertility practices. I used to get pretty excited about a question such as this and would really light into a person. Then I realized they simply did not understand the consequences of their fertility practices. Now I like to take the time to explain the long term consequences of their actions. I also encourage them to start with small changes.

The need for reconsideration of fertility practices is best explained by the following case history. A friend of mine recently visited with a German farmer. He was spreading a lot of manure on his land which the American could not understand. The American asked how he could afford to do this. The German replied we cannot afford not to.

Yield Data

Yield DataInside This Issue

  • Varieties To Note
  • Plot Data East Chain
  • Plot Data Winnebago
  • WayAhead 7X

 

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Zwitterions

zwitterionWhat does this word have to do with agriculture?

For an old farmer like me, this sounds like a foreign language. Being an old farmer isn’t always bad. I have taken many things apart just to see how it works. That is what compelled me to sneak up on this word and do some investigation.

A zwitterion is a hybrid

That’s a word we farmers understand. Now we know it can’t be all bad. If it is a hybrid it must be a mixture of something and that is true. A zwitterion is an ion that carries both a positive and negative charge. Make a mental note of the last statement because this is the most unusual thing about a zwitterion.

We at International Ag Labs have always stressed the importance of putting a mixture of different products together in our nitrogen solutions to stabilize them. This has been very successful for our producers that do not farm organically. We have been able to lower our nitrogen requirements for corn from 1.2 lbs per bushel to .6 to .7 lbs per bushel. The products in this nitrogen mixture have always been dictated to us by the results of a soil test. It also determines the ratios of products in the mixture. Our goal in making this mixture was always to end up with a simple amino acid solution.

Wendell Owens

Co-Owner
of International Ag Labs

Wendell Owen

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